News roundup: Mid-engine Corvette teased, Jeep Gladiator heads to dealers

News roundup: Mid-engine Corvette teased, Jeep Gladiator heads to dealers

Upcoming vehicles from General Motors and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles have rabid fans waiting.

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Cleveland, Ohio – General Motors and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) took steps last week to please some of the most fervent fan bases in the auto industry.

Mid-engine Corvette

Rumors that the next-generation of the Corvette would move its engine behind its passengers (as Ferrari, Lamborghini, and other supercar manufacturers do) have been floating around for more than a year, and the company showed off a heavily disguised version of the vehicle in advance of this week’s New York International Auto Show (NYIAS).

GM CEO Mary Barra and Corvette Chief Engineer Tadge Juechter showed up in New York to announce a charity auction of the last seventh-generation Corvette to benefit the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation. They arrived in a camouflaged version of the upcoming vehicles.

“GM, GMC, and Chevrolet support the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation and its commitment to injured and fallen military members, first responders, and their families,” Barra said. “The sale of this iconic Corvette will help the foundation continue its good work and pave the way for the Next Generation Corvette that we will introduce on July 18.”

The final version of the current Corvette line, a black 2019 Z06 model, will go for sale at the Barrett-Jackson Northeast sale in Connecticut June 28.

Though disguised, GM photos of the new model show a clear change in the vehicle’s layout. The passenger compartment is closer to the front of the vehicle, allowing an almost straight line from the roof to the front bumper instead of a sharper angle needed for a long engine, a telltale visual cue of mid-engine layouts. The slope from the passenger compartment to the rear is also more pronounced than in older Corvette models, likely making the new model more aerodynamic.

Jeep Gladiator

The first shipment of 2020 Jeep Gladiator pickup models left FCA’s Toledo, Ohio, factory late last week. On sale in the coming weeks, the Gladiator required a $273 million upgrade at the plant and 329 new workers.

credit | FCA US LLC
Jeep Gladiator models leave FCA US LLC's plant in Toldeo, Ohio.

Earlier this month, FCA offered fans the opportunity to order limited-production Launch Editions of the Gladiator. The 4,190 models (419 is the area code for the Toledo plant) sold within a few hours.

“There has been significant interest in the all-new Jeep Gladiator since it was first revealed late last year,” said Tim Kuniskis, Head of Jeep Brand – North America.