Mid Engine Chevrolet Corvette C8 Spy Shots

From: https://www.motorauthority.com/news/1096198_2020-chevrolet-corvette-c8-spy-shots-and-video

Looking at the new shots and video of prototypes, we see can see that the C8 will be similar in size to the C7 but with a lower, wider stance. It won’t get vertical-lifting doors of many exotics, though it looks like there will be a short front overhang. Flanking the engine bay is a pair of chunky buttresses and we’re told designers will add a sheet of glass in the center to show off the engine (it’s concealed here). One of the biggest challenges is thought to be heat management. We can also see a rear-facing camera that feeds images to a digital rearview mirror inside (there’s also a digital instrument cluster) and what also looks to be dual-caliper brakes at the rear.

The new Corvette won’t be a pricey limited edition supercar like the modern Ford GT. We hear the basis for the car’s mid-engine platform is the C7’s aluminum spaceframe structure rather than a completely new design. As for powertrains, the base model shown here should come with the C7 Corvette Stingray’s 6.2-liter V-8 delivering about 500 horsepower. Later, a 5.5-liter V-8 with a flat-plane crank and DOHC design is expected to be dropped in, complete with about 600 hp. Then, a twin-turbocharging option for this engine could surface, seeing output rise to 800 hp.

But wait, there’s more. At the top of the heap is expected to sit a hybrid—yes, a hybrid Corvette—powertrain adding an electric motor to the front axle and utilizing the twin-turbo V-8 for the rear axle to generate a hypercar-rivaling 1,000 hp.

By now you’re probably wondering why GM would rock the boat with such a dramatic change to the Corvette formula. Apparently the front engine, rear-wheel-drive layout is reaching its limits. Also, the Alpha-based Camaro is already snapping at the heels of its big brother.

There’s also a bit of mid-engine Corvette history. Corvette father Zora Arkus-Duntov was a huge fan of the layout, especially for motorsports. He helped GM build a number of mid-engine concepts for testing purposes, the original being the first CERV (Chevrolet Engineering Research Vehicle) concept rolled out in 1960. Don’t be surprised if a Corvette ZR1 successor is named after him, since we know GM has a trademark for Zora.

Going mid-engine won’t be the only major change for the C8: another will be price. While the base C7 starts close to $60,000, the new price of entry is thought to be rising to approximately $80,000. The higher price can be justified by the more exotic layout, plus it provides a nice buffer with the Camaro. The change will also help the C8 become a semi-exotic halo model for Chevrolet worldwide, similar to what the GT-R is for Nissan and the NSX is to Acura and Honda. It will also make the C8 a better performer on the racetrack.

Production will take place at the Corvette’s home in Bowling Green, Kentucky. GM has spent over $700 million in upgrades to the plant in preparation for the new car.

Unfortunately, the news of the mid-engine Corvette means the C7 was the nameplate’s last with a front-mounted engine. The final C7, a black Z06, was sold for $2.7 million at a charity auction in June.

Employee Spotlight: Walt Grimes

It’s not very often that an employee stays with a company for 49 years, so when they do, we want to make it very special.

Sales associate Walt Grimes has been with the VanDevere Bunch since 1970! VanDevere sales was his first real job. Walt was friends with general manager’s son which got his foot in the door. During his tenure at VanDevere, Walt has seen the group sell several new makes, including, Buicks, Subarus, Jeeps, Pontiacs, Kias and his favorite, Oldsmobiles. He told us that he was Very sad when Olds went away. (He stated very sad with a capital V).

When we sat down with Walt it was before a great celebration that was held at our Buick store. You can watch the video of the event on Facebook.

Now on to the questions!

VDV: What is the best thing about your job?

Walt: The people that I have met here over the years.

VDV: What is the best thing about VanDevere?

Walt: I like that it is a family-owned company and you can go talk to the owners about anything.

VDV: What 3 words would you use to describe VanDevere?

Walt: Longevity, family-owned and community minded

VDV: What do you do when not at work?

Walt: I like to go out on my boat and go fishing!

VDV: We assume as soon as you retire you will be doing a lot more fishing! What is your
favorite fishing spot?

Walt: I like to go to Portage Lakes.

VDV: Do you live near there?

Walt: Yes, my wife Denise and I live in New Franklin with our 1 ½ year old Golden Retriever,

VDV: Awe, your dog must keep you busy! How long have you been married?

Walt: It will be 45 years this August. I met her at a bar. The funny part is that I went out to a bar
in Portage Lakes with a good friend of mine. That night we both met our wives that we have
been with since then!

VDV: Wow, that is amazing! Congrats! Do you and Denise have any favorite restaurants in the

Walt: Yes, we enjoy The Ramp, Angie’s in Barberton and the Ido Café.

VDV: Sounds like you have all the meals covered. Since you sell cars, what is your favorite car?

Walt: My favorite car is the Oldsmobile Intrigue that came out in the late 90s.

VDV: What makes it your favorite?

Walt: It was just a great sporty 4-door car!

VDV: And last question, what advice do you have for new sales associates?

Walt: I saw this quote one time and cut it out and keep it with me. “Your beliefs don’t make you a
better person, your behavior does!”

VDV: That is a great quote, I think we can all take something from that. Walt, thank you for
your time today and sharing your story. We hope you enjoy retirement! Thank you for your
time here at VanDevere! We appreciate you!

2020 Buick Encore Preview In China

From: https://www.motorauthority.com/news/1122400_2020-buick-encore-revealed-at-2019-shanghai-auto-show

Buick on Tuesday unveiled a redesigned Encore subcompact crossover SUV and a new Encore GX compact crossover at Auto Shanghai 2019.

Confusingly, the larger Encore GX is likely to be the model we see in the United States as the redesigned 2020 Encore, as this is the version spotted testing on local roads.

It’s also because the subcompact Encore shown in Shanghai is based on General Motors’ GEM platform designed for emerging markets. The platform is an evolution of the Gamma II design found in the outgoing Encore and so far has only been used in models sold in China.

The compact Encore GX meanwhile is thought to ride on GM’s next-generation modular design for unibody crossovers, known as VSS-S. The VSS-S is one of four modular platforms or “vehicle strategy sets” GM plans to use by 2025. The others include VSS-F for front-wheel-drive cars, VSS-R for rear-wheel-drive cars, and VSS-T for body-on-frame vehicles.

All Buick is willing to say is that the vehicles boast enhanced connectivity and efficiency than the outgoing Encore. A 9-speed automatic and continuously variable transmission have also been confirmed.

We should know more soon as Buick will introduce the U.S.-spec 2020 Encore later this year.