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The chief engineer of the Chevrolet Corvette has gone on the record to deny rumours about a switch to a mid-engine layout for the next-generation car.

Tadge Juechter, chief engineer for the Chevrolet Corvette, was this week’s special guest on the Autoline After Hours online TV show.

During his appearance, the hosts brought up photos and speculation recently aired on a cable TV show about a new mid-engine Corvette dubbed Zora. Juecther said of this: “I’ll have to check that out, because I know no such car exists. Frankly, if such a car exists, it belongs to another division is my best speculation.”

Earlier this year, Car and Driver published photos of chopped up and widened Holden Commodore ute that many believe houses prototype mechanicals for just such a mid-engine Corvette.

On the show Juechter also laid out a quite compelling case as to why he and his team decided to stick with front-engine, rear-wheel drive for the current seventh-generation car: “People ask me all the time why didn’t you go mid-engine.

“We looked at mid-engine as an alternative for the seventh-generation car, and we’ve always said that when the whole car gets better as a mid-engine architecture we would do it.

“Mid-engine requires a lot of compromises. You look at the elite race programmes around the world, they’re all mid-engine. So … if all you care is purely performance then it makes sense to put the engine in the back.

“If you’re still talking about a car that can be used as a daily driver, long distance tourer, as well … handle benignly on the track, and have accessible performance. There’s a whole lot of other things that come into what is the optimum.

“You look at Ferrari, they do a 458, now a 488, and that’s mid-engine. But you go up from there and they do front-engine V8 car.”

John McElroy and the other hosts then countered that maybe Corvette could spawn multi-model range or a competitor to the mid-engine Ford GT. Juecther responded: “If someone wants to do billions of dollars at me, I’ll do multiple models. We’ll cover the whole range.”

When asked later on by a listener about specifics for the eight-generation car’s Z06 model, Juechter did caution that speaking on-the-record without authorisation about future product is a fireable offence.




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