C9 Corvette Will Return to Front-Engine Layout


"It had to be done," says GM.

After decades of being in existence, it took the most recent C8 version of the iconic Chevrolet Corvette for the original vision of a rear-engined layout to come to pass. While some have praised GM for dramatically improving the drama and exoticism of the Corvette, others have lamented how difficult it is to work on and modify in such a tight space. Coupled with numerous quality issues, the most recent of which includes cracked wheels, there have been questions about whether Chevrolet knows what it's doing. But surely, the C9 will be better, right? Well, yes and no. It'll be better, but only because GM is returning to the layout it knows and putting the engine back in the front.

Before you start saying that the C8 is a great car, just remember that even the supposedly reliable and versatile LT2 engine can fail after just 57 miles. The V8 in the Camaro doesn't have the same issue, and it's also worth remembering that having the engine in the front enabled the Corvette to become a motorsport legend. In addition, with the need to eventually electrify the Corvette, space near the rear of the car becomes an issue, so you're gonna end up with some weight over the front wheels once again in any case. As a bonus, that means more space for turbos, a supercharger, or other upgrades you may want to fit.

Ultimately, the front-engined, V8-powered sports car is a staple of the American automotive landscape. New design boss at GM, Joe Massa-Puzj (we Googled him - he's got Italian and Serbian blood), says that this decision has freed him up in many ways: "The front-engined Corvette is an icon, and putting the motor back where it belongs allows us as designers to play around more. We don't have to integrate vents and ducts along the profile now, and that means a sleeker, faster-looking machine. We're also toying with the idea of bringing back the split rear window, but we can't confirm that it'll make production at this stage." Interesting times indeed.

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