2017 Corvette Zora
Continuing a proud American tradition, General Motors (GM) has confirmed they will introduce a new C8 Corvette for the 2017 model year that features a striking mid-engine design. Named after legendary Corvette engineer Zora Arkus Duntove, the Zora Corvette represents a significant evolution of the platform designed to appeal to a new generation of Corvette enthusiasts.
A Different Kind of Corvette
The decision to introduce a mid-engine model fulfills a long-standing dream for those involved in the engineering of the Corvette since its inception in 1953. From a practical standpoint, the redesign became necessary because the ability to transfer front-engine power into torque had reached its limits with the C7. By shifting the engine mass closer to the tires, drivers of the 2017 Corvette Zora will experience superior acceleration and improved braking.
In order to achieve these goals, the engineers of the 2017 Corvette Zora needed to alter the existing C7 aluminum chassis architecture to accommodate the mid-engine design. However, the popular small block V-8 with variable-cam-timing, modular displacement and direct injection technologies will continue to serve as the primary power plant for the C8 Corvette. Overall performance for the C8 is expected to exceed the current Stingray Z51, which is capable of reaching 60 mph in 3.9 seconds with a top speed of 181 mph.
C8 Exterior and Interior Design Changes
While the exterior design of the C8 Corvette is currently unknown, the body is expected to share many elements with the existing C7 model. Experts believe that GM engineers will elect to use carbon composites, which are lighter, more flexible and provide better crash protection when compared to molded fiberglass. Other anticipated changes include more aggressive styling, wider tracking and a slightly lower profile for better performance. Naturally, interior elements will incorporate the latest technology, including multiple LCD screens, LED lighting packages and advanced seating design.
The Need for a Revolutionary C8 Corvette
Interestingly, GM is exploring alternate power sources as a way to keep the Zora Corvette viable as increasingly aggressive fuel consumption regulations kick in. Tuned V-6 engines without boost are inevitable, so moving the engine behind the cockpit allows designers to use vacant space under the hood for an electric motor assembly, which means a hybrid Corvette with 4-wheel-drive could be coming in the future.
The 2017 Corvette Zora was developed to address changing demographics and economic realities. Most C7 buyers are in the 50+ age group, and GM is eager to appeal to a younger, upwardly mobile generation. The mid-engine design of the Zora Corvette places it in a distinctly different sports car category previously reserved for European supercar classics from Ferrari, Lamborghini and Porsche. Currently, there are plans to produce about 1500 C8 Corvette Z1s annually, and the car is projected to have a price tag of around $150,000.
Until the much anticipated Zora Corvette is available, check out our inventory of C7s with the Z06 high performance package.