We’ve been hearing rumors about a mid-engine Corvette for a couple of years, and while GM is keeping it very under wraps, it turns out you can learn a hell of a lot from stuff floating out on the open internet. Including that everyone’s talking about two different cars entirely.
Our latest form of proof comes from engineer and supplier profiles on LinkedIn showing the work that has already been done and giving us a few more details on what is going into the car.
The next-generation Corvette currently has two working platform names, according to the public LinkedIn profiles, “Y2XX” for the standard front-engine car and “ZERV” for the mid-engine car. That’s not surprising as the C7 used the working name of “Y1XX,” and the ZERV name seems very related to the CERV name used for their mid-engine projects in the past.
Negotiations for parts and tooling for the mid-engine car have already been completed, according to one GM buyer profile that lists the ZERV code, and it is slated to be a 2020 model year vehicle. Pre-production builds usually happen just past the prototype phase and are used to test out the tooling and tweak final production details.
Webasto Roof Systems appears to be developing the doors for the mid-engine car according to an engineer profile. The interesting bit about that is that this engineer usually works on sunroof systems, so we may see more complex doors than your standard horizontal fare, much like the Ford GT for this car.
Another buyer lists that she negotiated the seat belts for the mid-engine car, and that the work was completed between August 2017 and January 2018. Moving on through the rest of the interior we find a profile for a program manager for seat supplier IGB, whose profile lists that he managed the development of the ventilated seats for the mid-engine car and specifically calls it out as the “ZERV Corvette.”
The mid-engine car will employ an “aluminum roof bow” assembly, according to one profile of an employee at Tier 1 supplier Magna. This is not surprising as GM has used such a support in previous Corvettes, as well as the Pontiac Solstice coupe.
The sun visors for the mid-engine car were developed by supplier Daimay and according to a profile for one of their managers, with the work completed between November 2016 and March 2017. The radio antenna for that car has also been in development for a similar amount of time, and according to a profile for an employee of supplier Kathrein USA, it will support the standard bands of AM, FM, and Sirius XM. That’s all very normal in most modern cars, but the interesting part is that it will also support DAB, which is non-existent in North America, but very popular in the United Kingdom and Australia, which would mean that a right-hand-drive appears imminent as well.
Heatshield testing for the mid-engine car has been in progress since June 2016 and appears to have to been completed already, according to the profile of another engineer.
General Motors declined to comment, but that may not matter. Things can always get cancelled at the last minute, but it appears as if both of these cars are full steam ahead.