Why Bowling Green’s Investment Could Mean Mid-Engine Corvette

A $290 million investment in General Motors’ Bowling Green, Kentuky Corvette plant could herald the arrival of a long-rumored beast.

The cash infusion, announced today by GM and reported by Automotive News, is meant for assembly upgrades and modifications, though it also supercharges speculation that a mid-engine Corvette is finally on the way.

GM said the money will go towards “technology upgrades and manufacturing process improvements,” but didn’t give out any product details. Last year’s $439 million investment went towards a new paint shop at the plant, which only produces the one model.

The C7 ‘Vette is still relatively young — at three years of age, the generation should still have several years of life in it. But that isn’t the timeline GM has in mind, according to a supposedly reputable source who leaked information to Car & Driver last month.

The source told the publication that the eighth generation will bow in 2018 as a 2019 model, with a production version ready for display at the 2018 North American International Auto Show. The mid-engined Corvette will allegedly use the C7’s pushrod engine at first, with a new twin-cam V8 engine boosting the ‘Vette’s output in early 2019.

Base price for a C8 would be about $80,000, with the new engine bumping prices into the six figure range, the source claimed.

GM has long ignored calls to offer a mid-engine Corvette, but marketplaces evolve. Despite chief engineer Tadge Juechter’s 2015 claim that “no such car exists,” evidence is piling up that deep-pocketed enthusiasts will get their way.

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