Utilizing the past to promote the future, Chevrolet showed off the three CERV mid-engine Corvette prototypes at last weekend's Concours D’elegance of America. CERV stands for Chevrolet Engineering Research Vehicles and three mid-engine CERVs were built: CERV I in 1960, CERV II in 1964 and CERV III came in 1990.

We believe that these historical concepts and prototypes are being shown to help educate the casual Corvette/Chevrolet enthusiast to not be afraid of the change that is coming in 2020 with the C8 Corvette.

Car and Driver's Don Sherman says the Corvette Team has code-named the current ME as ZERV, which could be their way of paying homage to Zora and his dream of a production mid-engine Corvette and the CERVs that came before.

Here is an excerpt of my post from CorvetteBlogger where we shared the photos of these historic mid-engine concepts:

Click image for larger version

Name:	080318_1b.jpg
Views:	3
Size:	62.7 KB
ID:	3441

CERV 1 was Zora’s personal Corvette engineering test bed and it was used to develop the 1963 Sting Ray’s independent suspension and a host of other features. The transverse leaf-spring is the predecessor of the same design still being used on Corvettes today. With its 377 cubic inch OHV aluminum V8 engine, Zora drove the car to 206 mph at GM’s Milford Proving Grounds.

Click image for larger version

Name:	080318_2b.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	58.4 KB
ID:	3442

CERV II was also built by Zora and his engineering team during 1963-64 and would incorporate the ability to switch between two-wheel and four-wheel drive while aiming for a target weight of just 1,400 pounds. Outfitted with the same 377-ci aluminum small blocks found in the Grand Sport, CERV II was capable of 212 mph with high-speed gearing and could run a 2.8 second 0-60 mph quarter-mile when geared for a sprint. CERV II also was let go from GM back in and today it resides in a collection based in Florida.

Click image for larger version

Name:	080318_3b.jpg
Views:	3
Size:	58.5 KB
ID:	3443

Several decades after CERV I and CERV II were built, tested and then let go, Chevrolet engineers produced the third CERV in the series in 1990, this time utilizing the design of the Corvette Indy Show Car. As this would be a real-life working R&D version of the Corvette Indy, engineers and designers utilized carbon fiber and other lightweight materials for the vehicle. CERV III was powered by a transverse-mounted LT5 DOHC V8 engine with twin turbochargers that upped the horsepower to 650 and 655 lb-ft of torque and a unique brake system with fixed calipers and dual rotors were utilized for stopping power. It was calculated that CERV III had a top speed of 225 mph and 1.1g of lateral acceleration, on-par with the performance of today’s ZR1.

Also on display was the1968 Astro II concept and the front-engined 1959 Corvette Stingray Racer behind it:

Click image for larger version

Name:	080318_4b.jpg
Views:	2
Size:	86.1 KB
ID:	3444