This Mid-Engine Corvette Doesn't Sound like a Boosted Beast
I should start by pointing out the fact that every aspect of the discussion focusing on the mid-engine Chevrolet Corvette is based on rumors, leaked documents, speculation, hopes and dreams. General Motors has never formally acknowledged the existence of a mid-engine Corvette program, but with all of the images, videos and leaked documents, it is clear that General Motors is working on some sort of performance car with the engine mounted behind the seats.
Some people think that it will completely replace the front-engine configuration, making the C8 era of the Corvette the beginning of the new age of the American sports car. Others think that the mid-engine Corvette will be a halo model that runs along with the traditionally-configured models (with the engine in the front) as Chevrolet forms a sort of Corvette family.
The next key point of discussion is what will power the mid-engine Corvette. If the mid-engine design is going to become the full replacement for the C7 then we would expect to see a range of trim levels and engines. That would likely begin with some sort of naturally aspirated V8 – presumably the LT1 or the evolution of the LT1 – along with a higher performance model with a powerplant like the supercharged LT4 or LT5.
The most popular rumors insist that the mid-engine Corvette is going to be a supercar killer, packing upwards of 900 horsepower from a twin turbocharged V8. Those hopes are supported by CAD images showing what looks to be a twin turbo GM V8, but others expect that there will be a new iteration of the LT5 that will produce far more than the 755 horsepower in the current ZR1.
In any case, the car in the video below sounds good, but it sure doesn’t sound like a modern forced induction engine, nor does it sound like it packs monster power.
A Subtle Roar
The video below shows what we believe to be the mid-engine Corvette blasting around the Nurburgring. We get to watch and listen as the car powers through straightaways, scoots through the turns and accelerates away to the next turn. The car sounds good with the throaty roar of a V8, but this car is nowhere near as loud as the current Corvette ZR1 with the LT5. We know that because in testing, the ZR1 had to run extra mufflers on the end of the exhaust tips to conform to Nurburgring sound rules, but this car does not have those awkward extra parts – nor is it anywhere near as loud as a new ZR1.
Along the same lines, there are no “forced induction sounds” as the car accelerates. The LT5 in the ZR1 whines and if this car had a monster twin turbo setup, we would expect some sort of whistling. Of course, the induction system and exhaust setup could be muffled enough to disguise all of those familiar characteristics, but the bottom line here is that if this mid-engine Corvette offers somewhere in the area of 900 horsepower – or even 700 horsepower – it might be the quietest big-power car on the market today.
What I think is really going on here is that this mysterious mid-engine sports car is a “base model” Corvette with a naturally aspirated engine. If that proves to be the case, this car supports the argument of a full range of mid-engine Corvettes, nearly confirming the end of the front-engine layout.
In any case, the video below has some great footage of some upcoming supercar and the odds are good that it is a Chevrolet that may or may not be the C8 Corvette.