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Official Announcement of The C8’s 7.18.19 Reveal; Video of The C8’s Ride; C7 Production Ending This Year

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XP-897 GT ME Corvette Prototype: ust Came Across This.........................

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  • XP-897 GT ME Corvette Prototype: ust Came Across This.........................

    [Quote=CorvetteOnline] Could The C8 Be Revealed At Amelia Island?


    By NIGEL DOBBIE JANUARY 31, 2019
    Browsing Facebook last night, I spotted an intriguing post from Tom Falconer. Tom is a fellow Brit who has always been intertwined with my personal Corvette story. We became friends when at the age of 21, I received one of his books as a birthday present from a thoughtful friend. Tom has put me in touch with his contact for all of the cars he’s imported into the UK from the States. I subsequently went to Tom whenever I was looking for a Corvette when I lived in the UK. We are both authors of Corvette-related books and see each other most years at Le Mans. We are friends on Facebook and this post popped up on my Facebook feed last night.

    Click image for larger version  Name:	A0AAE92B-33C7-4421-B87D-5F4EBC0D0E04.jpeg Views:	1 Size:	1,005.2 KB ID:	31793
    Pictures thanks to Tom Falconer’s FB page.

    My immediate thought was, ‘why would Amelia Island be putting on a display of mid-engined Corvettes in 2019?’ My immediate answer was that perhaps GM asked Amelia Island to gather the prototype mid-engined Corvettes to form part of a display with the all-new mid-engined C8. Amelia Island Concours D’Elegance takes place this year on Sunday, March 10th. It also coincides with one of the world’s biggest and most important motor shows in Geneva Switzerland. My assumption is that they will launch the C8 at the Geneva International Motor Show. The show begins on Thursday March 7th. I suspect they’ll probably introduce the new car on Friday and have the C8 on display along with its two predecessors that Sunday at Amelia Island. The XP987 History


    The mid-engined concept mounted a 266ci, 180 hp, GM-developed ****el engine (called RC2-266) transversely. It was mounted to a new automatic transaxle being developed for the forthcoming X-body Citation. Designed by GM’s Experimental Studio, it was built in six months on a modified Porsche 914 chassis by Italian styling house Pininfarina (the car was ready by April of 1972). The Two-Rotor made its debut at the 1973 Frankfurt show. Like the original XP-882, it was widely believed to be a precursor of the next-generation Vette.

    The development of the Corvette replacement – the Two Rotor – went in parallel with the Vega and it was to be a “European-friendly” size. It was intended to perform on the available power but also to meet GM President Cole’s new space-saving initiative. The stylists chose a mid-engine layout mainly because it could use the engine and transmission package destined for the front-wheel-drive, high-volume models.
    Tom Falconer and the XP897


    In 1982, Tom received a phone call from Geoff Lawson, the late Jaguar design chief, who was working as head of styling for the Bedford Truck company near Luton in the UK. Geoff knew Tom was passionate about Corvettes and called to tell him the next day they were scheduled to crush a Corvette that had a steel body. Tom instantly knew this had to be the mythical two-rotor show car which was supposedly lost in a fire in California in 1977.

    XP987 On display at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in England in 2003.

    Tom begged Lawson not to crush the car. Meanwhile, Tom called the head of GM Styling, Chuck Jordan, who he had come to know while writing a book about the Cadillac Seville. A meeting was arranged at the GM Tech Center in Detroit to discuss the future of the orphan prototype. Jordan soon explained the reason for the two-rotor Corvette’s death sentence: it was a shameful embarrassment, a painful reminder of the expensive ****el interlude and an ideological dead end. As far as he was concerned, no Corvette would ever have a steel body or a mid-mounted engine.
    My immediate thought was, “why would Amelia Island be putting on a display of mid-engined Corvettes in 2019?”




    Tom pleaded for the car’s life and convinced Jordan he should be allowed to take it into protective custody. Tom won the argument and it’s been in his possession ever since. The twin-rotor and transaxle were not in the car when Tom acquired the prototype body. Given the likelihood of him being able to locate the correct engine was virtually zero, Tom decided to fit the car with a suitable replacement from a Mazda. The Mazda 13B rotary engine was eventually fitted in 1997 and mated to a Cadillac front-wheel drive automatic gearbox as per the original design. The car was resprayed in its original Candy Apple Red (the paint in the door jambs is original). Tom “relaunched” the two-rotor at the National Corvette Restorers Society Flight 2000 event.

    GM and the Rotary


    In 1970, GM President, Ed Cole, agreed to pay $50 million for the production rights to the ****el rotary engine. It was a bargain in GM terms, and his grand plan was the GM of the future would be all-****el. Cole had enough power to see his rotary plan become reality. The problems he and his engineers knew about (and took Mazda so long to fix) would surely be easy for a giant like GM. The Vega model would be the first recipient of what became known as GM’s Rotary Combustion Engine, since the ****el name was taboo. It featured two rotors, each with three combustion chambers equivalent to a total chamber volume of 6,538cc, according to the way GM measured it. Power was 180bhp – low for such capacity, but in line with what the European ****els were achieving, even if their nominal volumes were a lot smaller. In the end, GM declared the capacity as 266ci, or 4,362cc.

    The 1973 GM-RCE266 ****el Rotary Engine Photos: Tom Falconer
    Tom Falconer has recently found one of the original GM RCE266 engines. It will be on display alongside the XP987 at Amelia Island. At some point in the future, Tom plans to reunite the engine with the car. Once Amelia Island is over, the XP987 will be heading to its spiritual home, the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Hopefully, it will be on display for a while, as this car is a crucial missing part of the Corvette storyline and with the imminent introduction of the mid-engined C8 Corvette, it is hugely relevant.

    https://www.corvetteonline.com/news/...amelia-island/
    Last edited by John; 04-08-2019, 10:00 PM. Reason: Thanks foreignbishop for this great thread; thanks Tom Falconer for preserving this major part of Corvette mid engine prototype history.

  • #2
    Great information, and further supporting that GM is going to use the reveal of the car to show that the mid engine Corvette is not some new, hairbrained scheme, but instead part of a six decades long tradition of mid engine Corvette prototypes. True, none before this year’s revealed ME would have been production ready, either engineering or financially feasible, but nevertheless part of a extremely long GM Corvette prototype lineakage.

    To see the remaining previous Corvette and other GM mid engine sports cars prototypes:

    https://www.midenginecorvetteforum.c...-to-production

    My visualization of the reveal of the 2020/21 ME Corvette, is that on stage with it, will be at least two of those Corvette ME prototypes, and if the reveal location is big enough perhaps surrounded by every one of them. Hint, hint GM!

    How’s this for a fantasy reveal, that it is a two location, two part event, first every GM sports car prototype in the immense lobby of the GM Renaissance Center (its headquarters building) — where a series of GM leaders, and also top Corvette team members give us prsentations and walkarounds of each one, explaining their engineering introductions/enhancements, then Provost buses taking folks acorss town to the site of the C7 reveal, the Russell Indsutrial Center — also GM owned. Or maybe do both within the RenCen?

    So many questions about the ME right now, but the answers are nicely, though slowly, coming out.

    Excited owners of a 2015 Z06. Lifetime, annual contributors, and 20 year members of NCM. Our 2020 ME C8 Corvette is next.

    Comment


    • #3
      The facebook post says that the former prototypes will be on display from March 8th-March 10th. The Geneva show starts on the 7th, so maybe a reveal on the 7th at Geneva and another car will be at Concours d'Elegance to be displayed with the others? Just speculation but I think that would be pretty cool.

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      • #4
        Great story...that made me smile as i remember as a teenager marvelling at both the two rotor and four rotor rotary engine corvette concept cars.

        i remember staring and reading and re reading the magazine articles of these two concept cars as they were released into the automotive journalist Hyperbole.

        if i remember it was motor trend that had the two rotory engine corvette stories...

        it was a few hear later after the c3 carried on and the rear mid engine rotary engine corvettes re,ained as concept cars that i had gotten a 1976 rear mid engine lancia scorpion turbocharged and a fully built forged motor...

        as cool as i thought the scorion was..both the two and the four rotor corvette concepts were years anead in smooth style...

        if i re,ember correctly the gm rotory was supposed to go into the Monza as well as the buick skyhawk? And oldsmobile starfire...gm was also scheduled to sell the rotary to AMC Pacer...all of which were produced with existing four and six cylinders those models had already in their lineup.

        that little red two rotor corvette was quite the looker back in the day and in many ways is still attractive...

        believe it or not back in the day I never realized it had the underpinnings of a porsche 914...

        learn something new everyday.

        would be cool if we did get a march 10th c8 reveal...

        it sounded as logical as anything else we have surmised to date...so as of right now...march 10 th it is...or so we can hope.

        with gm out of europe..li dont see much point of showing the corvette at geneva though..

        Comment


        • #5
          Thanks foreignbishop , This is extremely interesting and gives us something else to think about. Awesome articles.
          Rocket City Florida

          Comment


          • #6
            Looks like I'm going to Amelia Island this year lol!

            Comment


            • #7
              I'm with you on the two rotor JB .. I always liked that look and thought for sure that it was going to go into production ... WRONG again

              It would be cool to have a double reveal ... I'm not holding my breath however.

              Comment


              • #8
                awesome thread.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Awesome story, good to see it returning home.
                  Proud owner of
                  1966 Ermine White/White Blue Interior L72 Coupe
                  2013 Artic White/Diamond Blue Interior LS7 Convertible

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Not Amelia Island reveal It is terrific that the ME is coming home. However, for those excited about an Amelia Island reveal, sorry but the car will not be ready to be revealed by mid March. Regrettably, the reveal will be sometime after that. But as to when, I still feel that GM has not yet decided, and they are waiting for more definitive testing and development progress before they set a reveal date and location.
                    So many questions about the ME right now, but the answers are nicely, though slowly, coming out.

                    Excited owners of a 2015 Z06. Lifetime, annual contributors, and 20 year members of NCM. Our 2020 ME C8 Corvette is next.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      For a moment I thought they were gonna unveil it on a container ship. Lol. Here’s hoping this all ends soon.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Courtesy of "fla-buckeye" on "the other forum"
                        That would be a "NO". Bill Warner who runs this concourse, was told he could have the C8 on display for the event, that was back in September of 2018. As of Thanksgiving he was told it would not be available for the Amelia Event, because the reveal had been delayed. Bill asked if it might be possible to have a frame/engine display of the C8, that was also a big NO!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Thanks for putting definitive info out. Jibes with exactly what I was told by another person but told not to flesh out how we knew that Amelia Island was out (at least not until it was otherwise “outed”). Bingo,
                          So many questions about the ME right now, but the answers are nicely, though slowly, coming out.

                          Excited owners of a 2015 Z06. Lifetime, annual contributors, and 20 year members of NCM. Our 2020 ME C8 Corvette is next.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Another round of hopes dashed by reality ... Sigh

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              It has been location after location of dashed reality. The elation later when we finally hear the official GM announcment that the next generation Corvette will be revealed on a specific date at a specific location. Dashed reality now but excitement then.

                              Comment

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