General Motors will put an all-new Chevrolet Corvette into production in 2013 — and the firm’s top US executive says it will be “completely different” from the current C6, fuelling rumours that it might be mid-engined.

Senior executives acknowledge that the current sixth-gen model falls short of the global appeal of rival sports cars from the likes of Ferrari and Porsche.

The goal is to make the new Corvette a truly global competitor when production starts up in 2013, according to Mark Reuss, GM’s North America president, although exact details are being closely guarded.

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Adopting a mid-engined layout, rather than the long-running front-engined design, is a strong possibility, although it would be a significant engineering shift for GM. Even so, sources say this wouldn’t be entirely out of line, because the Corvette has often served as a technological testbed for the firm.

Chevrolet designers could also revive the split-window styling featured on the 1963 Corvette, today one of the most collectable versions of the two-seater.

One possibility for the C7, sources hint, will be the use of a downsized powertrain. Rather than the current big V8s — which develop as much as 638bhp in the top-line ZR1 model — GM is reportedly looking at more advanced V6 alternatives.

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Expect the interior to be much more modern in design than the current take, which GM global design chief Ed Welburn admits “is a disappointment”.

The styling boss, a long-time Corvette fan himself, says he is personally overseeing the development of the C7 interior and promises it will be “absolutely world class”.

GM is investing $131 million (£80 million) in the Bowling Green, Kentucky plant that produces the ’Vette to prepare for the C7 launch.

Paul Eisenstein

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