Can’t wait for the C8? Try these 4 small-block-powered mid-engine kits
The ongoing UAW strike has the highly anticipated mid-engine Corvette potentially held in purgatory. If the wait is just too much for you to handle, avail yourself in the meantime with this list of high-performance kits that you can buy right now. With any luck, something here will tide you over until mid-engine Corvette delivery day arrives.
This grouping is comprised of cars that have vaguely similar characteristics to the upcoming C8, mainly because they are assembled with a generous dip in the Corvette parts bin.
Of course, these four alternatives give a taste of the mid-engine V-8 life—but not at the C8’s bargain price.
The side profile of the Superlite SLC certainly screams mid-engine supercar, but this is not a traditional production car. Instead, it’s a kit that you can buy and assemble. A popular engine choice to wedge in is the LS-series V-8 sourced from C5 Corvettes, but whatever your favorite flavor of engine, it will likely fit (according to Superlite’s FAQ section). Most of the transaxle recommendations are of the row-your-own variety. Basically, choose your own adventure.
Factory Five Racing GTM Supercar
Best known for its Roadster design kit vehicles, which are a strong nod to the Shelby Cobra, the FFR team also offers the GTM Supercar. Interestingly, even when utilizing an LS6 plucked from a Corvette engine bay, the two-door kit car claims 0-60 performance close to the 2.9-second sprint of the new C8—but not quite there. The kit starts at just under $25,000, however, so maybe the potential savings will help you look past the 0.3 seconds longer it apparently takes to reach 60 mph.
If off-beat supercars are your thing, the MT900 is right in your wheelhouse. This one’s not a kit, but it is brutally fast. The Mosler MT900 is also exceptionally hard to come by; total production numbers don’t even come close to the triple digits. Production was from 2001–10 and utilized the LS1 and LS7 Corvette V-8s. The transaxle was yanked from a Porsche, and the styling seems heavily inspired by the 1996 video game Rush.
SSC Ultimate Aero
When a company is bold enough to put “ultimate” in the model name, the results had better live up that claim. The Ultimate Aero was the first car to make a run at the Bugatti Veyron’s production-car top-speed record of 253.2 mph, and in 2007, on a highway in Washington, it achieved that goal with a speed of 256.14 mph. And yes, it too uses a supercharged small-block V-8.
Given its total lack driver’s aids (like ABS, traction control, stability control, etc.) the Ultimate Aero is a rare example of pure, unadulterated insanity that demands a talented driver to wield. Production numbers were not large—just 25 examples—but that still means there are more of them on the streets than customer-owned C8 Corvettes, at least right now.
The performance-per-dollar of the new mid-engine ‘Vette will be phenomenal. Journalists are currently getting turns behind the wheel of the long-awaited car, and we’re excited to get behind the wheel as soon as possible. With the production delay, however, customers might have to wait a little longer. If you have your own suggestions for mid-engine V-8 madness, post them in the Hagerty Forums below.