A New Era of sports car with American power that takes hints from Euro super-cars
Car and Driver Magazine have been talking about this new age-Corvette for years, but up until now, it’s always been an urban legend. Now it’s becoming a reality. Though production plans are still hazy, here’s what we know thus far via Car and Driver.
THE PLAN: The C8 flagship, the Zora ZR1, will debut the new mid-engine architecture. Launching as a 2017 model, it will define the top of the Corvette hierarchy just as its precursors did in 1990-1995 C4 generation and 2009-2013 C6 model years. As before, the ZR1 will be low volume, roughly 1500 units per annum, and high priced. We figure around $150,000.
THE ENGINES: Small-block V-8s will remain the engine of choice—at least for the near future. And, beginning with the Zora ZR1, they’ll nestle just in front of the rear axle.
THE STRUCTURE: Today’s aluminum space frame will need a heavy massage to provide the C8 with strong, stiff bones. But it’s doable: The robotic frame fabrication GM tooled up for the C7 can be expanded and reprogrammed to serve the coming car.
THE BODY: Doors are the next logical candidate for conversion from sheet-molded fiberglass to lighter, stiffer, crash-resistant carbon-composite assemblies. Current Corvette supplier Plasan Carbon Composites manufactures carbon-fiber panels for both the Corvette and the Viper, and this firm has the ability to supply additional parts using its advanced press-press processes.
THE CHASSIS: Expect the current control-arm suspensions, composite leaf springs, adjustable magnetic dampers, and Brembo brakes to carry on with appropriate revisions.
This story comes courtesy of Car and Driver.