Ford’s bombshell reveal of their Ford GT coming to a dealership and racetrack near you next year, brings up the inevitable question: what’s Chevy and/or Chrysler doing in response? Let’s talk about Chevy first.
Last week numerous images surfaced of a highly disguised test mule. Strategic? Probably, as news had been swirling for weeks about Ford’s intentions to debut their blockbuster GT at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show. We have an artist’s rendition of what that mule could be hiding, courtesy of our sister pub Motor Trend. As you know Chevy has been teasing a mid-engine Corvette for, oh, 40 years or more, but this at least tells us there are some teeth to persistent rumors that Chevy will have a Ford GT response in the near future. What could be hiding under the skin, and whether it would take the place of the current Corvette or be marketed alongside of it as a super-Corvette remains to be seen. Now on to Chrysler.
Back in 2003 Chrysler had plans for a mid-engine car of their own with the never forgotten ME412. Boasting a 6.0-liter V12 based on the 612 hp twin-turbo AMG engine from a Mercedes SL65, this was a real deal that got lost in the breakup of the Daimler-Chrysler fiasco.
Now Chrysler is owned by Fiat, and Fiat owns Ferrari. Could this combined with the lukewarm attention the Viper seems to be getting mean something more potent, and more important is being readied within Auburn Hills? Head honcho Sergio Marchionne has made it clear he wants to up the production of Ferraris, which has met with a resounding “No!” from many. Could a mid-engine Chrysler counterpoint to the Ford GT using some or many components from the Ferrari parts bins satisfy Marchionne’s desire to amortize Ferrari parts costs, while giving Chrysler a mid-engine fighter to both bolstering the brand and keep up with the Jones’ in the process? After all, the ME412 was a similar gambit only with parent Mercedes’s components; why not the same scenario with Ferrari?
Look, this is all just speculation--fantastic, fun, crazy speculation, but anything is possible now that Ford has taken the wraps off of their mind numbing Ford GT. Convertible Buicks, aluminum F150s, and alternative energy whatevers just become so much background noise. It’s a great time to be a car guy and gal!