Embedded in the confirmation of mid-engine C8 Corvette, Chevrolet announced that C7 production will cease summer 2019. Whether or not the front-engine C7 will be sold alongside the mid-engine C8 has been a question mark for Corvette enthusiasts, but the announcement of the sale of the last C7 confirms the end of an era.
Now that standard is changing, the C8 is a revolution for the Corvette nameplate, and with the change comes a split from the Corvette community. Initial speculation penned the C7 to be sold alongside the new C8, but with Chevrolet’s announcement that the final C7, a black 2019 Z06, will be auctioned at Barrett Jackson’s Northeast sale on June 28. GM has not indicated if the Z06 will be a coupe or convertible, or if it will have an automatic or manual transmission.
The sale will benefit the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation, which builds mortgage-free, accessible smart homes for the most catastrophically injured service members and helps pay off mortgages held by families of first responders killed in the line of duty.
The Corvette has been front-engine since its introduction in 1953. The model did not gain its performance reputation until the new-for-1955 small-block V-8, which set the standard for the the American sports car in many hearts and minds.
This confirmation of the last C7 means moving forward the Corvette community loses two things that many consider part of the character of Corvette—a manual transmission and front-engine layout. (We expect the sole transmission choice at launch will be a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic, with no row-your-own gearbox on the horizon.) Chevrolet and Corvette continue to bum-rush the summit of the performance car heap, but how much of its heritage is it willing to give up to get there?