Mid Engine Part 1

Mid Engine Part 1

June 20, 2018 0 By Laura
With all the rumors, pictures and videos of the Mid-Engined C8, I though it would be fun to test your knowledge of past Mid-Engine Corvettes.


Chevrolet has never produced a production mid-engine Corvette, but they have done many a prototype. How many can you name?


Starting in 1963, Chevrolet has made 8 known mid-engine prototypes! That is unless you count the 1959 XP-719 that may or may not have been a Corvette.

#1 – This first one was named the CERV II (Chevrolet Engineering Research Vehicle). Yes, there was a CERV I, but it was a test vehicle and not considered a Corvette. The CERV II was conceived early 1962, developed and built under Duntov’s direction between 1963 and 1964 as a separate line of racing Corvettes, but was rejected by GM management.

#2 – Next came the XP-880 “the Astro II” in 1968. This was Duntov’s first real effort at a production-ready mid-engine Corvette. It was built using off-the-shelf parts, a mid-mounted 427/390hp V8, and a two-speed transaxle from a Pontiac Tempest.


Duntov pushed hard for it to be the C4 Corvette, but it never happened.

#3 – XP-882 Aerovette Mid-engine Corvette concept was debuted at the 1970 New York Auto Show and impressed the car show crowd.


It turned out that its popularity was the reason Chevrolet never built it. Chevy was facing new competition in the mid-engine arena and wanted to be perceived as an engineering leader, so they scrapped the V8 for a new rotary-powered design and canceled the XP-882.

#4 – XP-895 “the Reynolds Corvette” was intended in 1973 to be a more production-ready version of the canceled XP-882.


The XP-895 used the same chassis as the 882 but that is where the comparison ends. The fiberglass body was replaced by an aluminum body created by aluminum distributor Reynolds. The powerplant was also replace with two Chevrolet 2-rotor engines joined together to make a 4-rotor, 420hp setup.


Again, the popularity of the traditional fiberglass-bodied, front-engine Corvette ended up being the demise of the XP-895. The C3 was just selling too well to justify a totally new design, and GM went for easy money, keeping the C3 fresh with minor changes instead.

Part 2 next week.

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