Chevrolet’s decision to relocate the Corvette’s engine has caused not a small amount of controversy. While the enthusiasts on the previous few pages seem accepting, others are loudly pondering whether the C8 can really be a ’Vette after abandoning seven decades of front-engined tradition. Yet the US firm isn’t the first to mess with a tried and tested formula in the pursuit of greater performance or profit – or both. Here are 10 examples that have travelled a similarly contentious path with varying levels of success.
When a car maker revives a famous name, it usually does so with a healthy dose of respect for its history. Not so Lotus when it relaunched the Elan in 1989, 14 years after Colin Chapman’s lithe version last appeared. Out went the classic front-engined (naturally aspirated, obviously) and rear-wheel-drive layout and in came front-wheel drive and turbocharging. The new Elan was actually cracking to drive, but Lotus loyalists were less than impressed. Plus, there was the Mazda MX-5: launched at the same time, it was cheaper and, ironically, almost a carbon copy of the original Elan.