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It also gives a clear connection between the radical new car and the front-engined Corvette that will continue in production. This could be advantageous given the existing car has an older and more conservative buying profile than other sports cars in the US.
Punchier powerplants are a certainty, however — especially given GM’s history of offering faster variants soon after the launch of a base car.
Media in the US have reported that these will include a newly developed overhead camshaft V8, set to be sold in both naturally aspirated and twin-turbo forms, the latter sure to produce at least as much as the 745bhp of the current supercharged Corvette ZR1. Beyond that, a hybrid version will add an electrically powered front axle to the mix, potentially giving a total system output approaching 1000bhp.
Gallery: Corvette Sting Ray – America’s greatest sports car?
Another big change will be a new twin-clutch transaxle gearbox, developed by transmission supplier Tremec and effectively removing the option of a conventional manual version — a significant shift given the relatively high percentage of current Corvettes that are still sold with a clutch pedal.
Other parts of the design remain a closely guarded secret for now; the test mule gives little away beyond the need for significant cooling at the front of the car. Despite GM’s sale of its European operations to the PSA Group last year, the new car is being developed with significant use of the Nürburgring Nordschleife and we can expect the sort of aggressive aerodynamics necessary for good high-speed performance there, possibly including active elements.