The mid-en­gine rev­o­lu­tion is nigh upon us

Automobile - - New And Future Cars -

ON SALE: Corvette

Y2: Mid-2019 Corvette

ZR1: Now

Ca­maro: Now

Blazer: Mid-2019


Y2: $60,000 (est)

ZR1: $121,800

Ca­maro: $26,000 (est) Blazer: $30,000 (est)

IT’S BE­COM­ING CLEARER NOW how Chevro­let will be able to of­fer a dou­ble-over­head-cam V-8 en­gine op­tion for its tra­di­tion-de­fy­ing, all-new mid-en­gine Corvette, code-named Y2: It ap­pears to be the old economies of scale equa­tion.

Cadil­lac just un­veiled a low-vol­ume DOHC V-8 of its own, a hand-built 4.2-liter twin-turbo mill. Although we don’t yet know ex­actly how the Cadil­lac V-8 and the Y2 ’Vette’s up­com­ing 5.5-liter V-8 are con­nected, both will come from the same en­gine shop next to the Corvette’s long­time assem­bly plant in Bowl­ing Green, Ken­tucky.

But tra­di­tion­al­ists who are less than thrilled about the new Corvette’s con­fig­u­ra­tion need not aban­don all hope for the eighth-gen­er­a­tion model. The tried and true Chevy small­block will re­main as the mid-en­gine Y2’s base en­gine, so purists will still be able to en­joy a lumpy OHV idle burst­ing into howl­ing ca­coph­ony— de­spite the noise now be­ing be­hind their heads. Bol­stered by the same gas guz­zler tax-de­fy­ing Dy­namic Fuel Man­age­ment (cylin­der de­ac­ti­va­tion) sys­tem that will also pro­pel ver­sions of

the next Sil­ver­ado into the 2020s, the mod­ern­ized small-block will help keep the Y2’s base price near the cur­rent C7 Corvette’s roughly $57,000.

That “base” LT1 is ex­pected to make around 500 horse­power, with the op­tional 5.5-liter DOHC V-8 punch­ing up to 600-plus horse­power with an 8,000-plus-rpm red­line. At the top of the range will be a twin-turbo ver­sion of the 5.5-liter mak­ing some 800 horses, as well as an E-Ray per­for­mance hy­brid that will add elec­tric mo­tors pow­er­ing the front wheels for a grand to­tal of about 1,000 Sec­re­tari­ats. If you crave three-pedal, full-man­ual con­trol, bet­ter get the C7 now, as the Y2 will be avail­able only with an eight-speed dual-clutch au­to­matic de­vel­oped in co­op­er­a­tion with Tre­mec.

Our pre­vi­ously pre­dicted un­veil date for the Y2 at the 2018 Detroit auto show proved a tad op­ti­mistic; we now ex­pect it to de­but at the 2019 Detroit show in Jan­uary.

There will be some over­lap pro­duc­tion of C7 and Y2, with the last of the C7 line be­ing the fan­tas­tic ZR1, our Au­gust 2018 is­sue cover star, which is pow­ered by a wicked 6.2-liter su­per­charged LT5 rated at 755 horse­power and 715 lb-ft of torque and mated to ei­ther a seven-speed man­ual or eight-speed au­to­matic.

On a more blue-col­lar note, the 2019 Ca­maro gets slightly more bitchin’, with a dis­tinc­tive front and rear fas­cia re­fresh and LEDs all over the place. The 1LE sus­pen­sion op­tion pack­age is now avail­able for the 275-horse­power 2.0-liter turbo-four.

Help­ing to pay for all this per­for­mance car folderol is the new Blazer sport util­ity on the short-wheel­base ver­sion of the C1XX trans­verse-en­gine uni­body plat­form. The new Blazer will not be a com­peti­tor for the new Ford Bronco, and there have even been ru­mors that Chevro­let had con­sid­ered a last-minute name change in or­der to tamp down that ex­pec­ta­tion.

In­stead, the new Blazer will es­sen­tially be a two-row ver­sion of the Tra­verse, play­ing Ford Edge to Tra­verse’s three-row Ex­plorer. Ex­pect front- or all-wheel-drive op­tions, with 2.0-liter turbo-four and 3.6-liter V-6 en­gine choices. AM

* The wait is al­most over, as Chevro­let’s much-an­tic­i­pated mid-en­gine Corvette and its new Blazer are poised to make noise in their re­spec­tive cat­e­gories.

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