It's official: There's no mid-engine Corvette on the horizon.
That's the word from General Motors top global engineer.
A Corvette with a hybrid powertrain? That's a possibility.
Karl-Friedrich Stracke, GM's vice president of global vehicle engineering, met with Automotive News and AutoWeek editors on Tuesday to discuss a wide range of topics, including the next-generation Corvette.
Over the past two years or so, numerous stories in print and on the Internet have been written about the upcoming redesigned Corvette, and nearly all have speculated that GM was developing a mid-engine model. Speculation for the timing for the mid-engine car was anywhere from the 2014 model year to several years later.
Stracke said he was familiar with those stories: “I don't know who made this public. I think it is wrong.”
Today, when asked for clarification about Stracke's comments, Dan Flores, a GM spokesman, said Stracke “is quashing those rumors.”
He added: “The rumors and speculation about the Corvette are just that. There is no mid-engine in the plans." He also said there is no plan for a wet dual-clutch transmission.
Earlier this month, a story attributed to a Saab engineer said the Swedish automaker had developed a wet double-clutch transmission for a mid-engine Corvette, according to Autocar.co.uk. The transmission supposedly had been created when Saab was part of GM.
Stracke has been the head of GM global engineering since December.
Talk about a mid-engine Corvette has been a hot topic in chat rooms. But not everyone is in favor of that engine configuration, which puts the engine behind the driver and passenger seats instead of under the hood.
On the subject of eight cylinders vs. six -- another hot online topic -- Stracke said GM is not testing a V-6 Corvette.
But asked if a hybrid powertrain ever will be offered in a Corvette, Stracke said: “That is an interesting idea.”
He added: “Porsche has announced a full hybridization for their complete lineup. What can they do? They need it” to meet CAFE standards, he said.
“The customer always wants power. That will not go away.”
That means automakers must continue to offer better performance while improving fuel economy, he said.
Stracke said GM and other automakers could decide on a strategy that limits the number of conventional powertrains in their sports cars.
Said Stracke: “You could keep a normal powertain configuration for a small amount of very excited car enthusiasts and turn 80 to 90 percent of your sports car portfolio to hybridization.”