Our closest look yet at the mid-engine Corvette
New spy photos of development Corvettes give us the best view yet of the long-awaited mid-engine C8. Although the camouflage wrap is doing its best to deceive the eye, there’s no bulky padding anywhere to really throw us off. We can glean plenty of the production car’s design from these latest images, and we’ve even compared them to the rendering that we debuted in January 2018 based on our best information about the Corvette at the time. How did we do?
What we got right
Overall, the profile of the test mules caught in the photos seems very close to our rendering. The greenhouse and side windows appear to be spot-on. The rear view of the car clearly reveals quad exhaust tips, in pairs at each side of the lower valence, although the rear glass and engine cover area is busier than we’d expected.
In our rendering, the quarter glass was very much C7-inspired. The spy photos appear to agree by showing a separately wrapped piece just behind the door glass that could turn out to be a small quarter window. If not, it would be one substantial C-pillar—not quite as massive as an Enzo Ferrari, but possibly larger than an Acura NSX. We think we were pretty close.
While there have been rumors that GM would use the Cadillac brand to debut the new mid-engine platform as a halo model for the brand and company as a whole, everything still points to this car wearing Corvette crossed flags and not a Cadillac crest.
What we got wrong
The shape of the air intake duct on the quarter panel was in the ballpark, but the photos show a larger opening than our rendering. It’s also farther forward, with the upper strake of the intake actually attached to the door.
The rear view also reveals a lot of new detail. There appears to be scalloped engine cover vents on the rear deck, although that’s perhaps the best camouflaged part of the entire car. The most notable discrepancy is that the rear quarters transition to the tail more gradually than any Corvette since the Sting Rays of the ‘60s. In our rendering that area was highly influenced by the C7. Gone is the sharp line and nearly cut-off look that marked the end of Corvette quarter panels for the last 50 years (but especially since the C4).
Instead, taillights appear to wrap around from the rear to be visible from the side, reminiscent of the sixth-generation Camaro. We thought the C7’s move from round taillights caused a stir, but down the road, the C8 could even adopt active aerodynamics. We can only imagine what the reveal of the rest of this car is going to do to the Corvette faithful.