Aussie Mag: C8 Corvette Coming in 2019 with Right-Drive, Mid-Engine, Hybrid Power
Now before getting into the report on the C8 Chevrolet Corvette from Wheels magazine in Australia, we should point out that none of this information has been confirmed (or even addressed) by General Motors. While Wheels references discussions with various members of the GM team, they don’t address where they got this information. They do, however, point out that their magazine is “Australia’s most experienced and most trusted car magazine since 1953”, so it should be noted that this information comes from a reputable outlet – albeit on the other side of the world.
According to an article in the May 2017 issue of Wheels, Holden’s new performance car will be the C8 Corvette, which will arrive in 2019 with a mid-engine design, a hybrid drivetrain (in addition to a traditional V8 drivetrain) and the right-hand drive layout that is required for use Down Under.
Why Wheels Cares
Some of you might be reading this, wondering why we are paying any mind to information posted by an Australian outlet. After all, Chevrolet doesn’t operate in Australia and neither the Camaro nor the Corvette are current available via General Motors, but we need to keep in mind the fact that the Holden Commodore is on its way out. The Commodore has long been the go-to high performance car for GM fans in Australia, but it is in its final model year and the replacement is expected to fall short of the current model in terms of performance.
This vacancy in Holden’s performance spot has led many people to believe that the Camaro, the Corvette or both will soon be offered under the Holden brand, but GM will first need to begin building these cars with right hand drive. The right-drive layout is required for use in Australia, so for Holden (or Chevrolet) to market either of these cars Down Under, they will need to offer them from the factory as RHD models.
The company seemingly has no intention to offer the 6th gen Camaro with right hand drive and it appears to be too late for the C7 model to make the jump, and that is why Wheels is so interested in the C8 Corvette. The C8 could be the first Corvette to be built with the right-drive layout and if that is the case, it would finally open up the Australian market to America’s legendary sports car.
Big Expectations for the C8
Again, while there is no evidence to prove right now that any of this is true, Wheels is reporting that the C8 Corvette will arrive in 2019. When it does arrive, it will have a mid-engine layout and an optional hybrid drivetrain, along with the steering assembly and cabin design which cater to both left- and right-drive configurations. Really, the availability of RHD makes no difference for the US market, but the rest of the claims in the Wheels piece will catch everyone’s attention around the world.
First and foremost, Wheels expects that the C8 Corvette will be a mid-engine machine, allowing it to better challenge the greatest sports cars in the world. This mid-engine V8 will allegedly have a naturally aspirated V8 in its base form, but there will be higher performance models likely featuring forced induction at some point.
Also, Wheels expects that there will be a hybrid model, presumably called the E-Ray, which should offer a great mix of performance and efficiency.
Again, there is no official confirmation from GM to prove that any of this is true, but Wheels expects that all of the rumors about the C8 Corvette in the past few years will come to volition – with right hand drive, a centrally-mounted engine and optional hybrid power.
Rumor has it that the C8 Corvette will debut at the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, so here’s hoping that at least that rumor proves to be true.