Which is the better mid-engine Corvette?
It is official. We now live in a world where there really is a production-ready Corvette with mid-engine. The 2020 Corvette Stingray is a monumental downhill run for the iconic American sports car, but as you've probably heard, this was not the first such machine to ever see the light of day at General Motors. In fact, we recently took a walk through the history of GM in the mid-engine and introduced no less than 10 prototypes and race cars of Corvette descent. Now that the C8 is here, the CERV III from 1990 deserves a closer look as it is the latest Vette-branded mid-engined prototype, probably the closest to production.
Oddly enough, it compares surprisingly well with the new C8 Stingray. Although the CERV III was almost 30 years old, it was a tremendous technological advance for GM. It featured "otherworldly" features such as adjustable suspension, a lightweight compound body, four-wheel steering, a six-speed automatic transmission and four-wheel drive – a feature not even the C8 offers. At least not yet.
It also had power – in fact a lot of power. The roots of the CERV III go back to the 1985 Corvette Indy Concept, a fabulous futuristic shape featuring a high-spring, Indycar-derived 2.8-liter twin-turbo V8 engine with over 600 hp. Ultimately it was just a model of this mill, but a working Indy – and later the CERV III – got a high-revving DOHC 5.7-liter V8, which was to become the LT5 used in the 1990-1995 Corvette ZR-1 has been. 19659005] In order to keep the promise of performance, the engine was equipped with a pair of turbochargers, making the CERV III no less than 650 hp. Such a figure is impressive for supercars debuting today . So you can imagine what it must have been in 1990. This is especially true when you consider that the CERV III's advanced features like Stability Control or Active lack aerocomponents to keep all of these forces in check.
|2020 Corvette Stingray||1990 CERV III|
|Engine:||6.2 l LT2 V8 nat. aspirated||5.7L LT5 V8 twin turbo|
|Trans:||8-speed dual clutch automatic||6-speed automatic|
|0-60:||Under 3 seconds||Under 4 seconds|
|Speed limit:||Not yet available||225 miles per hour|
|Unit price:||60,000 US Dollars (estimated)||$ 300,000 (estimated in 1990)|
As you can see, the basic values for C8 and CERV III are not all that far apart from each other on paper. That is, except when it comes to the price. We're not sure yet how much the new C8 will cost, but amazingly, it will start at $ 60,000. That's not even in the same solar system as $ 300,000, and mind you, that's $ 300,000 in 1990.
Of course, this is not a real comparison of apples to apples. Despite all the accolades, the 2020 Corvette Stingray is essentially a entry-level mid-engined supercar. If the CERV III had gone into production with all its then state-of-the-art systems and enormous horsepower, he would have expected the Jaguar XJ220 and the McLaren F1 – two vehicles that many consider the world's first hypercars. However, the performance estimates for the C8 Stingray indicate that he will lag behind the CERV III for some time to come.
It is extremely interesting to see 30 years of evolution from CERV III to the 2020 Corvette Stingray. We also wonder what if . Should GM have pressed the trigger of the CERV III to build a C5 Corvette with mid-engine, or is the new C8 a super car that has been worth the wait? Tell us what you think in the comments.