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Report: Mid-Engine Corvette is Coming Because Too Many Old People Buy Corvettes

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The right to own the first production retail model of the 2017 Corvette Grand Sport was auctioned away for $170,000 and that cash amount will be donated to aid cancer research

According to an anonymous source, the Corvette Grand Sport will be phased out after 2021

Another month, another rumor pertaining to the mid-engine Corvette. According to The Detroit News, multiple sources have confirmed that the long-gestured Corvette Zora will be debuting in early 2018 and hitting the market in early 2019. Interestingly enough, one of these unnamed sources stated that current plans have the mid-engine Corvette—currently codenamed “Emperor”—becoming the only style available after the C7 Z06 and Grand Sport are phased out after 2021.

Chevrolet would not offer product on future product plans, but an anonymous former GM employee familiar with the project confirmed that “the worst-kept secret in town” is in motion because “Mark Reuss wants it.”

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The concept behind offering the Corvette exclusively on a mid-engine platform seems to be lowering the average age of the typical Corvette buyer. Tom Wallace, former Corvette chief engineer, told Detroit News that the median age of Corvette buyers “got three years older while I was there [from 2006 to 2008], which scared the hell out of us.” A mid-engine sports car would theoretically be more appealing to younger buyers even if the change in format would mandate a significant uptick in the starting price.

The mid-engine format would also put the Corvette in direct competition with the likes of the Ford GT, though it would certainly be offered in far greater quantities at a substantially lower price and without the need for potential buyers to apply for the right to own one. A report from Car and Driver earlier this year reported that the base price of the C8 Corvette would likely be in the $80,000 range, which would be approximately one-fifth of the price of a Ford GT.

The format would also give GM more flexibility to build an all-wheel drive, plug-in hybrid variant, allowing it to compete with the likes of the Porsche 918 and Acura NSX.

The Detroit News also notes that the mid-engine Corvette platform would likely lead to a Cadillac sports car, likely based on the Cien concept that Mark Reuss had a hand in creating and has expressed a great degree of fondness for. If we’ve learned nothing else from this latest report, it’s that whatever Mark Reuss wants, he more than likely gets.

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News Source: The Detroit News