Drop the mid-engine Corvette. Now.
It’s time for GM to stop its development of an icon vehicle, the 20?? mid-engine Corvette. Yes, the long, long overdeveloped car that has diverted GM’s innovational (?) attention for over 25 years. The car could be way behind what is happening in the 2-seat racing-type model of today.
Huge changes are ongoing in the automobile business. We all see that. Car companies are formed and reformed, replaced, absorbed. New technologies are in huge development – autonomous cars and trucks are surely on the way. Electrics are moving – in some instances, shoved – on the scene, replacing the internal combustion engine.
(Porsche planning super-fast charging network to support launch of Mission E electric sports car. Click Here for the latest.)
Even though the future of the Vette’s current project looks shaky (see photo) GM continues old-time, piston engine development, eschewing the benefits of an electric car that would position the brand as a leader in the changes affecting the auto industry today.
Think of the advantages of electrics over pistons:
– Forget the advantages, like balance, of a mid- engine piston design under process now. An electric can locate its (battery) weight anywhere, but you can bet its center of gravity would be low, low, low. All lower than the internal combustion V8s.
– Never worry about where to place the coolant radiator. Hide it or display it, depending on the designer’s choice. Many other design options like this one.
– Forget the restrictions of rear-wheel drive. An electric can easily match that, offer “any-drive” wheels where it’s called for – on sloppy roads or high-speed tracks.
– Consider the leadership image GM would assume with a Corvette electric switch – up front in the minds of everyday opinion, up front at the lines of checkered flags.
(Jaguar plugs in. Click Here for our report on the official debut of the new Jaguar I-Pace.)
We could go on, but the verdict seems clear: GM, get working on an electric Vette now. Flick the switch.
(At a Chevrolet press conference some 25 years ago a Corvette engineer was posed with this question: “How is the progress with the mid-engine Vette coming along?”
The answer was immediate: “Jim, I could tell you, but then I’d have to shoot you.”)
Editor’s Note: We have to agree with the premise that GM should be working on more than just mainstream electric vehicles like the Chevrolet Bolt EV. The good news, according to several very highly placed product development executives we’ve spoken to, is that there is a performance electric program in the works.
What it is and what products may be involved, well, they just won’t say. We do know that Ford has a hybrid version of the Mustang in the works. And, during a news conference at the North American International Auto Show, it teased an all-electric supercar, tentatively named Mach 1, which will roll out in 2020.
Tesla, Porsche, Audi, Aston Martin, Nissan, the list of brands bringing performance electric models to market is set to explode over the next decade. We fully expect GM to joint that list, even with a conventionally powered mid-engine Corvette in its line-up.
(Click Here for more on Ford’s Mach 1 plans.)