Cars

Aria Concept Car Imagines the Mid-Engined Corvette that Chevrolet Hasn’t Built Yet

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Have you ever asked yourself, “gee, what would ‘Fast Eddy’ drive?” Probably not, unless you’re a Corvette fanatic and/or fan of GM’s late designer Ed Taylor, known by many as “Fast Eddy.” But the folks at the Aria Group, a 21-year-old design firm and fabrication company that builds concept cars for major automakers and helps Singer restore its gorgeous 911s in Irvine, California, are fans of the man. As an homage to Mr. Taylor (who, not at all incidentally, is the father of Aria co-founder Charles Taylor), Aria decided to design and build the car it thinks Fast Eddy would drive today—the “elusive mid-engine Corvette.”

A real Chevrolet-built mid-engined Corvette won’t be elusive for long, but that didn’t stop Aria from building its dream car, which we have to say is absolutely gorgeous. Nor did Chevrolet seek to stop Aria, either. “We’re great friends with the folks at GM, and they know that we are doing this,” said Aria’s other co-founder, Clive Hawkins. When asked about trademark infringement, Hawkins said that Aria looked into styling and other aspects of how its car might step on Corvette’s toes, and that he doesn’t believe the car does that. If it does, though, GM’s lawyers will be in touch. Note that the crossed flags on the car’s nose have the letters “F” and “E,” not a checkered flag and a bow tie.

At this point, the car is a concept only, with no engine and no interior. The front end has a bit of late-1970s Trans Am going on; in back, the car is highly evocative of the C2 Corvette’s trademark tapering greenhouse and fender blisters. Other nice details include overhead outboard air intakes, headlamps and taillamps that are utterly invisible until illuminated, and lovely HRE wheels.

Hawkins and design chief Nicholas David said that they would consider building copies of the car in low volume if the concept generates sufficient interest. David said it would use a carbon-fiber monocoque and a carbon-fiber body, and be powered by a Corvette-derived engine, though he did not specify which one. Pricing could be anywhere between $200,000 and $1,000,000, depending on the actual hardware specifications and, especially, the total number to be built. Hawkins went on to say that Aria could produce as many as 100 of the cars, though the soonest the first could appear would be 18 months to two years from now, given the hoops the company would have to jump through to make such a dream come true. By then, the actual mid-engined Corvette should be out, so whatever Aria produces—if GM’s lawyers don’t ultimately shoot the project down—will have to reconcile with the General in one way or another.

At the very least, the concept is a promotional tool for Aria as it engages automakers and other boutique builders and restoration groups like Singer. “It shows that we can design as a company, a reminder of our quality, and shows that we are in the position that we can do the design, the engineering, and build, even in limited production.”

If this car moves forward in any form, you can bet we will let you know. In any case, it’s gorgeous from every angle, many of which we have captured in our photo gallery.

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