When the new spy photos of the C8 Mid-Engine Corvette were revealed on Friday, Corvette enthusiasts like us got very excited over the design and layout of the cockpit.
Now that we’ve had a chance to calm down over our initial shock and awe of the C8’s interior (and the fact that these photos were able to published), we returned to the photos looking for anything that may give us a clue about the new Corvette and any of the features it may contain.
One of the more interesting buttons can be seen above the silver dial (that most likely controls the infotainment and other functions on the large center console screen) as the button appears to show a split rear window.
If you know your Zora history (the man not the car), you know he hated the split-window design of the 1963 Corvettes because of how it limited the visibility out the back. Zora argued strongly against it to design chief Bill Mitchell and Mitchell won that first year but relented in 1964 to the Chief Engineer.
Since then, the one-year-only Split Window design has become of the most famous design features on a Corvette and with every new Corvette, there are those who have argued for its return. In fact, now-retired GM Design Chief Ed Welburn once said back in 2009 that we would see the Split Window again:
Welburn addresses the visibility issue by saying “With the back-up cameras and blind-spot detection systems that we have these days, the visibility issue is much less of a problem.”
The Corvette Stingray Concept that appeared in the latest Transformers movie also has a split rear window. “That car is not the next Corvette.” says Welburn, “But the split-window is something that I expect for the next Corvette.”
So to return the conversation back to the C8 Corvette and this button, a member of the MidEngineCorvetteForum.com named Skank talks about why a Split Window could work on the mid-engine Corvette:
There is a button above the leather covered infotainment controller that appears to have a icon that represents the rear hatch opened up. It has the shape of the rear ventilator frame with a center rib down the middle. There’s a real possibility of a split window detail as there’s really no reason to have full vision out the back of that heavily sloped and distorted rear window when they now have a wide angle Digital Rear View Streaming Mirror/Camera. The shape of that rear hatch ventilator frame could easily allow a glass overlay detail that could create a split window look or leave it off for people that don’t want it. With that rear view camera a rear window is actually unnecessary.
In fact, it kind of makes all sorts of sense to do this as the 63 split window coupe is an Icon for Corvette. They could treat the rear window frame as a design element that could be Matte black, Carbon Flash, Dark Grey, body colored, or even centerline bookmatched Carbon Fiber like the ZR1 and many other high end exotics.
The C8 Corvette will utilize a rear-facing camera which you can see in the photo above, and other spy photos have confirmed the existence of proximity sensors on the rear fascia, so there should be no-visibility issues with the new car.
Skank also linked to this feature from GM Authority that shows the rear-facing camera on a Cadillac in action as well as a list of current production cars from GM that are currently using a rear-facing camera.
We know several people who have seen the actual C8 Corvette in the flesh and nobody has mentioned a split-window design (which we think would be one of the first things that people would remember). GM could be holding back on this until the very last minute to ensure there are no leaks. Until the reveal, we’ll just have to watch and wait to see if anything else comes out.
[SPIED] Carscoops Shares First Photos of the C8 Mid-Engine Corvette’s Interior
GM’s Welburn: Split-Window to Return on C7 Corvette
[SPIED] C8 Mid-Engine Corvette Spotted Driving to the Milford Proving Grounds