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Auto blogSun, 17 Feb 2013 13:03:00 EST
It seems to be commonplace that when a new Corvette is in development, rumors swirl about a possible mid-engine layout. As is the case of Chevy's most recent C7 Corvette, these rumors never pan out.
In any case, the idea for a 'Vette with an engine mounted behind the driver can probably all be traced back to a single car, the 1964 XP-819 prototype. Built as an "engineering exercise" back in 1964, the prototype was designed with a rear-mounted engine. History tells us that the idea of a rear-engine Corvette fizzled, and the XP-819 was eventually cut up into pieces and stored at a shop in Daytona Beach, FL.
After sitting for untold years, a restoration project started on the car, and while it isn't yet fully completed, the current owner of the car, Mid America Motorworks, will have the car on display at the 2013 Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance as a "driveable chassis" with hopes of having a fully completed car ready to bring to next year's show.
American servicemen and women interested in a new vehicle from Chevrolet, Buick or GMC now have a bit more incentive to head down to their local dealer, as General Motors has announced plans to improve its military discount program.
The new GM Military Discount Program offers eligible consumers a new Chevy, Buick or GMC at invoice pricing, which in some cases can take very large chunks out of a car's retail price. When factored in with other incentives, most of which are available with the Military Discount, the bargains are thick on the ground for members of the US armed forces.
GM's Retail Sales and Marketing Support general manager, Chuck Thomson, said, "GM has long supported the military and military families, and we hope this simplified and enhanced discount will show our appreciation for their service and help make it easier for them to own one of our great new vehicles." The program is open to all active duty and reserve members in the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, National Guard and Coast Guard, as well as veterans that have been out of the service for less than a year. Military retirees and their spouses are also eligible for the discount.
A couple weeks ago, we watched a Chevrolet Silverado get dominated by a Dodge Ram Heavy Duty in a fullsize pickup tug-of-war, but in that truck's defense, Chevy's Vortec gas engine was no match for the torquey Cummins turbo diesel. For our next round of vehicular tug-of-war, a Duramax-powered Silverado HD takes on Volkswagen Touareg V10 TDI.
Now, on paper, putting the Duramax V8's 365 horsepower and 660 pound-feet of torque up against the V10's 310 hp and 553 lb-ft looks like an easy win for the Bowtie, but unfortunately, this battle has a similar result as the Dodge versus Chevy video, with the Silverado smoking its tires trying to move forward as it gets pulled backwards. Put another way: YouTube 2, Chevy Silverado 0.
It just goes to show, though, that big tires, bolt-on fender flares and goofy smoke stacks don't improve your towing abilities. Besides, what did the Silverado driver expect when the Touareg V10 TDI has towed a Boeing 747 in the past?