Back at the start of 2015 some rumors started floating around the Internet about an upcoming GM product with a mid-mounted engine after a camouflaged ute test model has been seen testing at the Nurburgring. This was wider than usual, used the same cabin as a Corvette and its bed was covered while on the sides there were air intakes. Thanks to this car we now know for sure that GM is in fact testing a mid-mounted engined car and the most probable candidate for that is the 2017 Chevrolet Corvette Zora ZR1, first just a rumor and now a car that is expected to be confirmed by GM in the upcoming months.
There are still very few details about it but it seems that the Zora might get part of the Corvette’s chassis while the rear end and its front sub-frame are both going to be all new. The material of choice is likely going to be aluminum in order to save weight and also allow the Zora to be affordable.
On top of that, the fact that it will share parts with the regular Corvette should allow GM not only to price it quite aggressively but also make a profit on it. The release date is still unknown but we expect a working model to be shown by the end of the year while a production-ready car might be showcased in the second half of 2017. The price will likely be set for around $100,000 which would be a lot better than pretty much any other mid-engined car with the power the Zora is expected to have.
Because it will be built mostly out of aluminum and it will have a plastic reinforced body, the 2017 Chevrolet Corvette Zora ZR1 might weigh close to 3,000 pounds which would be very good for a car in its class. Most of the running gear is very likely going to be taken from the regular Corvette but the springs and shocks should be upgraded in order to fit a mid-engined car.
The brakes on the other hand should be nearly identical while the cabin will likely be the same as well. There is still no word on how the car is going to look but if we inspect the test mule we’ve seen a while ago then it is quite clear that the car will be similar in size to the regular Corvette but it will be slightly lower which might mean a more aggressive design.
Don’t look at it though like at the Ford GT which will be nearly five times more than it. However, the 2017 Chevrolet Corvette Zora ZR1 will still have to compete with cars like the Porsche 911 or the Audi R8, two very good mid-engined car which are likely going to be better built than the Zora.
The ace in GM’s sleeve is that the Zora will be cheap for what it will offer. The base engine is expected to be a 6.2 liter supercharged V8, the same as in the Z06. While this is not exactly the most refined engine out there, its 650 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque are likely going to be more than what the Ford GT has, so the Zora will definitely be faster on the straights.
The cornering performance, while unknown at this point, is expected to be quite good as well and even though it will not be as refined as all the other super-cars out there, the Zora should be more than capable of handle itself. The large rear wing on the test mule and its massively wide wheels suggest that GM is preparing to take head on all the European super-cars out there.