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Auto blogSun, 17 Feb 2013 13:03:00 EST
It seems to be commonplace that when a new Corvette is in development, rumors swirl about a possible mid-engine layout. As is the case of Chevy's most recent C7 Corvette, these rumors never pan out.
In any case, the idea for a 'Vette with an engine mounted behind the driver can probably all be traced back to a single car, the 1964 XP-819 prototype. Built as an "engineering exercise" back in 1964, the prototype was designed with a rear-mounted engine. History tells us that the idea of a rear-engine Corvette fizzled, and the XP-819 was eventually cut up into pieces and stored at a shop in Daytona Beach, FL.
After sitting for untold years, a restoration project started on the car, and while it isn't yet fully completed, the current owner of the car, Mid America Motorworks, will have the car on display at the 2013 Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance as a "driveable chassis" with hopes of having a fully completed car ready to bring to next year's show.
It won't be long before we see the official, production-ready Chevrolet SS sedan (hint: it will be revealed this weekend). And to tide us over until all of the official details are released about the US-spec version, we have this: the Holden VF Commodore SS V show car, a performance-oriented brother to the Calais V that debuted earlier in the week.
What we really want to know about the SS V is what lies underhood, but General Motors' Australian arm is keeping that under wraps until the Chevy model breaks cover this weekend. Nevertheless, it's obvious that the SS V will be a serious performer, with all sorts of aggressive cues driving that home on the car's exterior. Take a look at those 20-inch billet aluminum wheels that hide big Brembo brake calipers up front, the sculpted hood and front fascia, the wide air intakes with LED running lights and the quad exhaust pipes out back. It's like the Pontiac G8 GXP never even left us.
Inside, there's a sporty-looking interior with aluminum accents that mix in with black leather and suede surfaces, all tied together in the middle with an eight-inch MyLink touchscreen infotainment system. It looks great, and again, while we don't know anything regarding powertrain details, it makes us oh-so happy to see a manual shifter smack dab in the middle of the center console.
Just looking at the new 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, it's not hard to see that the car's design was created with aerodynamics at the forefront, but Chevrolet designers point out exactly what went into designing the iconic coupe in a pair of recently released videos. The videos show the Corvette going through early design phases, including clay models and wind tunnel tests, as well as talking to the car's chief engineer, Tadge Juechter.
Both videos help explain various aspects of the C7 Corvette, but it's the aero tuning of the car that is most interesting. This includes extra attention paid to the lower air dam and vented hood to help reduce drag and lift, while the rear quarter inlets are for differential and transmission cooling. Juechter said that some of these aero-tuned elements were inspired from GM's involvement in racing.
If you have about five minutes and you can't get enough information about the new 'Vette, then check out the videos posted below.