Only a month ago, Motor Trend came out with the news that Chevrolet was working on a new mid-engine platform for the next Corvette ZR1, and that this new architecture would go on to underpin the next-generation C8 Corvette. Car and Driver has now delved into the matter, and the magazine’s Corvette expert Don Sherman has put together an article for the October issue hitting newsstands now.

According to his article, the new mid-engine ZR1 will arrive in time for the 2017 model year, and like the previous C6 ZR1 it will be priced above $100k. In line with previous rumors, the new ZR1 is said to feature the Zora name in its full title, a name General Motors Company [NYSE:GM] recently trademarked. The usage would serve as a tribute to Corvette father Zora Arkus-Duntov, a huge fan of the mid-engine layout.  

Power is said to come from a small-block V-8, just like the current C7 models. Chevy engineers have already shown that some serious power can be extracted from the engines, as evidenced by the 650-horsepower C7 Z06 introduced for 2015. Though not mentioned, we could also see the new ZR1 adopt hybrid technology to ensure it can keep up in the technology stakes against its German and Japanese rivals.

Don’t look for carbon fiber construction just yet. Today’s aluminum spaceframe should remain, though beefed up so it’s even stiffer. Some carbon fiber is likely to be adopted for the body, however, such as for the doors and roof. Suspension, braking hardware and possibly the transmission will all likely carry over from the C7, with revisions for the increased performance expected from the new ZR1.

After the new ZR1, the next-generation C8 Corvette should arrive. This model is said to adopt the new ZR1’s mid-engine platform but not much else is known about the car. Prices are likely to rise but this will allow the Camaro to move up the chain so that Chevy can finally introduce an affordable rear-drive sports car.


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