Corvette celebrates 50th anniversary of racing at Le Mans

Corvette celebrates 50th anniversary of racing at Le Mans

Rumors of a mid-engine layout for the C7 Chevrolet Corvette have been laid to rest by GM, but that's not stopping the mill from postulating on the properties of the C8 generation. While the C7 Corvette is expected to make its debut sometime in 2012, complete with a smaller capacity twin-turbocharged V-8 fitted in a traditional front-engine position, its successor, the C8, could be completely different as its release isn’t due for at least another decade.

There are all manner of rumors concerning the C8 model, with stories ranging from the possibility of a mid-engined platform to all-wheel drive powertrains and even the arrival of a dual clutch version. Although there isn’t much substance to any of these rumors, an inside source--from Saab of all places--has revealed in a trade magazine that the Swedish automaker was enlisted by GM to develop a dual clutch transmission for a mid-engine version of the Corvette.

GM called for a wet clutch system that could handle as much as 590 pound-feet of torque, just shy of the current ZR1 supercar’s 595 pound-feet. Unfortunately, the financial crisis and GM’s own bankruptcy issues meant the project was put on the shelf. The added cost of developing an entirely new platform was simply too risky for GM in its current financial state.

Another reason for the demise of the mid-engine concept for the Corvette is the issue of fuel economy. Unfortunately for proponents of the mid-engine Corvette, the extra weight of the heavier rear cowl would offset any fuel savings a smaller engine may bring.

As for the next-generation 2013 Chevrolet Corvette, or C7, you can view some computer-generated renderings and read up on all the available details in our previous story by clicking here.