Yep - NOT a mid engine, so sort of out of place, but this will finish up the CERV stories - to date. So don't read this is you are only interested in the mid engine vettes.
There was a lot of collective head scratching when Cadillac Engineer Dave Hill was picked to succeed Dave McLellan as Corvette Chief Engineer. What was GM management thinking? The BOD kept turning down budgets to develop C4 replacements. Did they want Hill to turn Corvette into a 4-5 passenger T--bird? Did they want Hill to just keep tweaking the C4 until Corvette died in the show room? If anything like that was the catalyst for Hill's appointment, no one told HIM...or Jim Perkins. If Zora is the Father of Corvette, Hill with Perkins's support, is the Father of the World Class Corvette.
Read "All Corvettes are Red," and you will see that Hill steadfastly fought ounces and mediocrity every minute of every day after Jim Perkins gave him a covert budget to develop a C5. They used every covert trick in the book and even named it CERV IV to further hide the intent: Develop a world class replacement for the good, but far from perfect C4.
Was the the CERV IV really an "Engineering Research Vehicle?" Well...not in the same sence as the prior CERVs but it was used to develop a rear transmission, C4 successor that conformed to all of the newest safety requirements, but would actually be LIGHTER than the C4.
This is what the C4 Mule looked like. Good disguise but not the best test results given the anti-aero fitments.
So for the C5, they went deep cover James Bond-like. As stated above, this was a covert project in which everything possible would be done to hide it from the GM BOD until it was ready to impress and get approval.
VERV IV-A: WHAT HAPPENED TO MY CLAMSHELL!!?