Mid-Engine After 67 Years?

Dawson Barnard

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Rumors have circulated that it would be mid-engine since its 1953 release.  A fully camouflaged car was spotted on the road and on racetracks. Car and Driver magazine then released their renderings of a very similar looking car. The body lines of this vehicle suggest that the new Chevrolet Corvette will finally be mid-engine.

Mid-engine cars have the motor behind the driver.  This design greatly affects handling, due to the change of the weight in the car.  Supercars have used this strategy for years to increase handling performance.

Corvettes have always had their engine in the front of the car.  While older Corvette fans believe that this change could alienate customers, General Motors feels that they will reach younger audiences.  Junior Dalton Smith thinks that Corvettes should change to the mid-engine format to be more competitive. He also believes it would be a big change for the company.  Junior Kyle Sledge is also in support of the mid-engine format, because it is a big step toward competing with even more supercars.

General Motors has not had a good history with mid-engine vehicles.  The Corvair was known for having unpredictable oversteer, because of the suspension setup in the rear end.  The Pontiac Fiero, the second attempt by General Motors at a mid-engine vehicle, became known for catching on fire.  After only being in production for two months, a Pontiac engineer reported that two Fieros caught on fire after being sold to the public.  In reality, only .07% of all Fieros sold had engine fires. They were caused by low oil in the motor.

After the Fiero’s failure 30 years ago, General Motors never released another mid-engine vehicle.  However, they want their fastest vehicle, the Corvette, to continue to compete with mid-engine supercars.  The probability of the next Corvette having a mid-engine format excites the younger audiences that General Motors needs to reach.

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