Despite the fact that GM has previously hinted that the C7 Corvette won't be mid-engined, the rumors of such a plan continue to percolate through the Web's enthusiast aquifer. The latest revives those rumors and mixes in some other familiar details while shaking up the possibility for a fully-revamped C7 Corvette.
Previous talk from GM had centered around the idea of an evolutionary adaptation of the C6 platform, much as the C6 is itself based on the C5, rather than an all-new build for the C7. Instead, the next full redesign of the Corvette was to wait until the C8 generation. Now, Mark Reuss has said the next Corvette will be "completely different."
On its own, that's a harmless enough statement--Reuss could be referring to powertrains, exterior/interior styling, and even the platform itself, of course, but it's not clear how different "completely different" really might be. Nonetheless, many have taken it at its most literal interpretation, intimating confirmation of a mid-engine layout.
We continue to disbelieve the idea that the C7 Corvette will use a mid-engine layout, as it would require an entirely new, ground-up platform to be developed in time for a 2013 calendar-year launch. It's far too late to start such a project now, and if it were already underway, we can't help but think there'd be photographic evidence somewhere.
More likely is a familiar front-engine layout, though the rear transaxle may be ditched to make cylinder deactivation and other fuel-saving measures easier to implement on the rumored 5.5-liter, 440-horsepower next-gen small-block V-8. Alternatively, GM's V-6 engine range may be tapped for the new 'Vette, including a possible turbocharged or supercharged version. Output from such engines is now reaching well into the realm of the current LSx V-8 range, and could reach even farther with the budget available in a high-end Corvette build. Pair that with the need for improved fuel economy across its model range, a rumored dual-clutch gearbox, the distant possibility of all-wheel drive, a revised exterior, and a more modern, feature-filled interior, and you have a fair basis for Reuss's statement--without resorting to a mid-engine platform.
For now, consider the rumor mill in full tilt. We'll see what happens when the rubber meets the road in 2013.