The much-rumored mid-engined Corvette project has been unexpectedly confirmed by a senior Saab source.
The engineer revealed in a trade magazine that Saab's engineers had developed a double-clutch transmission for a "mid-engined version of the Corvette" when Saab was General Motors' center of competence for those systems. The source also revealed that the wet-clutch transmission was designed to cope with up to 590lbft of torque, only marginally less than delivered by today's Corvette ZR-1 V8.
The news of the DCT project confirms just how serious GM was about shifting to a mid-engined layout for the new-generation car. It's thought that the mid-engined Corvette concept was fully engineered but became a victim of the credit crunch in 2008. However, the new rumors suggest the mid-engined layout is now back on the agenda for the next-generation C8 Corvette, which is expected to arrive in five years' time.
GM bosses are also said to be considering downsizing to a V6 engine, probably backed up by turbochargers. The C8 could also be more compact and lighter, possibly using more aluminum in its construction.
There have been numerous mid-engined Corvette concepts since the 1960s; the last concept to feature such a layout was the CERV III in 1990 (shown above).