General Motors Redesigns 2020 Chevrolet Corvette To Have Rear Engine

General Motors Co. introduces the Chevrolet 2020 Silverado HD pickup truck at the GM Flint Assembly Plant in Flint, Michigan
General Motors Co. introduces the Chevrolet 2020 Silverado HD pickup truck at the GM Flint Assembly Plant in Flint, Michigan
(Photo: Reuters/REBECCA_COOK)

This is not the first time General Motors have tried to sell a car with a rear engine. In fact, the company has tried it three times, and these three cars were widely considered a failure by many in the motoring community. Recently, GM is once again trying its hand into this elusive design with the eight-generation 2020 Chevrolet Corvette.

Putting the car's engine behind the driver requires great engineering skills. There are not a lot of cars that have this kind of design. Although those that have it have withstood the test of time, just like the Volkswagen Beetle which is now a motoring icon.

General Motors first tried this rear-engine design back in the 1960s with the release of the Chevrolet Corvair. It features a flat-six air-cooled engine. While the Corvair did perform quite well on the market, the car's handling problems brought about by its novel design did not help in boosting its image. The car eventually faded into obscurity and had a bad reputation in the motoring community.

Another failed attempt at this rear-engine design took to play in 2011. This time, GM's German Opel division dipped their toes into the problem. Opel unveiled the Speedster, an enhanced version of the Lotus Elise. The car was in production for only four years. Considering the fact that it only manages to sell about 7,200 units, one can say that this is not exactly a popular car. Although Opel managed to remedy the previous problems encountered by GM, the car simply did not sell.

Presently, General Motors is again attempting to release a rear-engine car with the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette. Compared to previous attempts, GM has a lot of improvements today, especially when it comes to designing and engineering the car. First, the popularity and power of the computer will have drastic effects on the final design. GM claims that it has developed a software system that can detect potential problems way before the first part arrives at the assembly line.

The new Corvette will sport a 6.2-liter V8 engine which was designed primarily by Jordan Lee. Mr. Lee told AutoNews that he and his team have managed to pile up millions of miles in testing the new rear-engine Corvette. These tests were conducted in Detroit and southeast Michigan for a couple of years already.

GM has yet to confirm this new 2020 Chevrolet Corvette officially. However, from the sound of it, the carmaker may have finally solved this puzzle.

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