Some Words of Wisdom from Corvette Royalty
The C8 Corvette is only weeks away now, and everyone seems super excited for the reveal, we are included. However, in an interview with GM Authority, Jim Mero, a former Corvette engineer said, “I worry about the mid-engine (Corvette).” Mero said that he briefly worked on the C8 Corvette before deciding to retire. He saw the process as it evolved and saw the decision made to move to a mid-engine layout.
According to Mero, the move to a mid-engine layout was not needed to meet the performance goals Chevrolet had set out to achieve. Before deciding to make the switch from the front-engined car to the mid-engine design, Mero said Chevy engineers decided to benchmark the Z06 Corvette against the competition.
What was that competition? The Acura NSX, Ferrari 458 Italia, Audi R8, and a few Porsche 911s. Mero said that the Z06 “smoked them.” This meant that the front engine design would have been fine for the future Corvette. While the results of the benchmark testing gave the Chevy engineers pause, it didn’t have an impact on the high-level executives at GM. They were the ones who made the decision to switch to the mid-engine layout.
This is interesting because it’s always been said that the move to the mid-engine layout was for performance purposes. Now, Mero says that isn’t the case. At this point, it doesn’t matter much. The C8 Corvette is designed, developed, and more or less ready to go. However, it makes us wonder if Chevy couldn’t have pushed the iconic front-engine design a little further. We’ll likely never know the answer to that question.