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Bob Lutz, Tadge and the ME

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  • Bob Lutz, Tadge and the ME

    Thanks to Fasttoys for bringing back this concise 2015 discussion Bob Lutz had with Car and Driver, with Bob reporting a conversation Tadge had earlier with the GM board.

    Originally posted by Car and Driver

    C/D: That’s interesting you mention mid-engine. We were just reporting about the mid-engine Corvette mule and had heard it was in development before GM’s bankruptcy. Care to share anything?

    BL: I have no idea whether they’re going to do a mid-engine Corvette or not, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there was one in the mill. But what happens is, this would be about the fifth time that a mid-engine Corvette has been in the mill, and then you get an economic downturn and it’s the first thing that gets cast aside.

    Actually, the C7 was going to be mid-engine. Tadge said, ‘I can’t do a good car if you don’t let me go mid-engine.’

    C/D: How good do you think the mid-engine Corvette is going to be?

    BL: I think they would unquestionably do a good job with it. Actually, the C7 was going to be mid-engine. The reason Tadge Juechter wanted to do it is because you get to a certain limit of how much power you can put down with the engine in the front, and Tadge showed us simulations to where you could go to 700 horsepower and 750 horsepower and it wasn’t going to do any good. To get the power down, a rear-mid-engine formula is really good. Tadge said, “I can’t do a good car if you don’t let me go mid-engine.” His mid-engine budget got canceled and they said, “Tadge, you’re going to have to do it and you don’t have the budget for a mid-engine car.” So after about a three-day sulk, he was told, do another front mid-engine. The issue was, to get the weight distribution we needed, the engine had to be moved back and you couldn’t do it with an X-shaped hydroformed frame. The solution, why the C7 is so good and why it is getting the power down, is because they added two inches of wheelbase and they were able to get the engine more towards the back. And it’s a lighter engine.

    Thank you Fasttoys!
    2023 Z06: Hypersonic Gray HTC, two tone blue interior, complete high wing/aero package. CCB’s, PBC, E60, and with every visible carbon fiber option including wheels. Lifetime, annual contributors, and 24 year members of National Corvette Museum. Home is the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

  • #2
    Great find!