2018 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Carbon 65 EditionEnlarge Photo
The 2018 Chevrolet Corvette's model year will be one of the shortest in nameplate's history. After the Corvette's Bowling Green, Kentucky, assembly plant went offline in August 2017, production of the 2018 Corvette will restart next month. But the plant will stop building the 2018 model year not long after.
That's because the assembly plant will begin assembling the 2019 Chevrolet Corvette on January 29, 2018, according to Bowling Green Daily News. The final day for 2018 Corvette production is slated for January 22 with a week to gear up for the 2019 model year. It's an intriguing timeframe as the industry expects two significant Corvettes hover on the horizon.
This news suggests that the Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 may arrive as a 2019 model year, though its debut is unknown. The more significant model, what is likely the mid-engined C8 Corvette, is also preparing for production. After all, the Bowling Green assembly plant went offline for retooling and greater flexibility on the line itself. The plant also opened its new paint shop.
Only 9,700 2018 Corvettes are estimated for production, which falls short of normal production totals by a large margin. Motor Authority reached out to Chevrolet for some additional reasoning behind the abbreviated model year and were simply told, "We do not discuss production details or future product."
2018 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 spy shots - Image via S. Baldauf/SB-Medien
2018 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 spy shots - Image via S. Baldauf/SB-MedienEnlarge Photo
With this latest information, there are two theories. First, the 2019 Corvette and the ZR1 will be built alongside the mid-engine C8 Corvette at least for a period of time. Or, secondly, the 2019 Corvette ZR1 will be a seriously limited-production car as a farewell to the front-engine, rear-wheel drive layout the Corvette retained since its inception 65 years ago.
With auto show season nearly upon us, we'll likely have more answers soon.