It feels like silly season is upon us as these C8 Corvette rumors continue to abound. The latest comes from Car and Driver’s Technical Editor Don Sherman, who we like to remind people is a long-time Corvette owner. When Sherman has something to say about a next generation C8 Corvette, we listen like he’s EF Hutton.
Sherman’s bombshell in his report at Car and Driver is that the next generation C8 Corvette will be going to a mid-engine architecture only. The mid-engine project name is call ZERV, a nod to Zora’s experimental mid-engine test vehicles from the 1960’s known as CERV-1 and CERV-2. The C8 Corvette ZERV will feature two models, a base model powered by the current LT1 V8 as well as a high performance version powered by a new Corvette engine that is under development.
The new C8 Corvette, according to one of Sherman’s sources, will debut at the 2018 North American International Auto Show with an LT1 powerplant that will make somewhere between 450-500 hp and a starting price point around $80,000 . The high-performance version will debut a year later in 2019 and behind the seats will be a new four-cam 32-valve V8 designed specifically for the ZERV. That version will debut with a starting price over $100,000.
And remember that interesting trademark that GM secured for “Corvette E-Ray”? Sherman says thats a hybrid Corvette using the “E-Ray” name will be out in 2020 and it will contain electric front-wheel drive.
But what about the C7 Corvettes? Sherman says Chevrolet will send the C7 off into the sunset with an expected announcement in 2017’s NAIAS of a final high performance model that could possibly be named the ZR1. If that’s the case, now we know why a Collector’s Edition was offered on the 2017 Grand Sports.
Sherman goes on to talk about ZERV program including the competition that is being used in the benchmarking process. He says that GM owns two Ferrari 458 Italias, a Nissan GT-R, two Porsche 911 Turbos and a BMW i8. Once upon a time a McLaren was in the benchmark fleet as well. The work on experimental C8s is being done at Building 54 at GM’s Milford Proving Grounds. Since a camouflaged Holden Ute was captured at Milford by a drone, Sherman says the mid-engine prototypes seldom leave the building during daylight hours.
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