Things you may not know about Memorial Day

Memorial Day and its traditions may have ancient roots.

While the first commemorative Memorial Day events weren’t held in the United States until the late 19th century, the practice of honoring those who have fallen in battle dates back thousands of years. The ancient Greeks and Romans held annual days of remembrance for loved ones (including soldiers) each year, festooning their graves with flowers and holding public festivals and feasts in their honor. In Athens, public funerals for fallen soldiers were held after each battle, with the remains of the dead on display for public mourning before a funeral procession took them to their internment in the Kerameikos, one of the city’s most prestigious cemeteries. One of the first known public tributes to war dead was in 431 B.C., when the Athenian general and statesman Pericles delivered a funeral oration praising the sacrifice and valor of those killed in the Peloponnesian War—a speech that some have compared in tone to Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.

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One of the earliest commemorations was organized by recently freed slaves.

As the Civil War neared its end, thousands of Union soldiers, held as prisoners of war, were herded into a series of hastily assembled camps in Charleston, South Carolina. Conditions at one camp, a former racetrack near the city’s Citadel, were so bad that more than 250 prisoners died from disease or exposure, and were buried in a mass grave behind the track’s grandstand.

The holiday’s “founder” had a long and distinguished career.

In May 1868, General John A. Logan, the commander-in-chief of the Union veterans’ group known as the Grand Army of the Republic, issued a decree that May 30 should become a nationwide day of commemoration for the more than 620,000 soldiers killed in the recently ended Civil War. On Decoration Day, as Logan dubbed it, Americans should lay flowers and decorate the graves of the war dead “whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land.”

According to legend, Logan chose May 30 because it was a rare day that didn’t fall on the anniversary of a Civil War battle, though some historians believe the date was selected to ensure that flowers across the country would be in full bloom.

After the war Logan, who had served as a U.S. congressman before resigning to rejoin the army, returned to his political career, eventually serving in both the House and Senate and was the unsuccessful Republican candidate for vice president in 1884. When he died two years later, Logan’s body laid in state in the rotunda of the United States Capitol, making him one of just 33 people to have received the honor. Today, Washington, D.C.’s Logan Circle and several townships across the country are named in honor of this champion of veterans and those killed in battle.

Even before the war ended, women’s groups across much of the South were gathering informally to decorate the graves of Confederate dead. In April 1886, the Ladies Memorial Association of Columbus, Georgia resolved to commemorate the fallen once a year—a decision that seems to have influenced John Logan to follow suit, according to his own wife. However, southern commemorations were rarely held on one standard day, with observations differing by state and spread out across much of the spring and early summer. It’s a tradition that continues today: Nine southern states officially recognize a Confederate Memorial Day, with events held on Confederate President Jefferson Davis’ birthday, the day on which General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson was killed, or to commemorate other symbolic events.

It didn’t become a federal holiday until 1971.

American’s embraced the notion of “Decoration Day” immediately. That first year, more than 27 states held some sort of ceremony, with more than 5,000 people in attendance at a ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery. By 1890, every former state of the Union had adopted it as an official holiday. But for more than 50 years, the holiday was used to commemorate those killed just in the Civil War, not in any other American conflict. It wasn’t until America’s entry into World War I that the tradition was expanded to include those killed in all wars, and Memorial Day was not officially recognized nationwide until the 1970s, with America deeply embroiled in the Vietnam War.

It was a long road from Decoration Day to an official Memorial Day.

Although the term Memorial Day was used beginning in the 1880s, the holiday was officially known as Decoration Day for more than a century, when it was changed by federal law. Four years later, the Uniform Monday Holiday Act of 1968 finally went into effect, moving Memorial Day from its traditional observance on May 30 (regardless of the day of the week), to a set day—the last Monday in May. The move has not been without controversy, though. Veterans groups, concerned that more Americans associate the holiday with first long weekend of the summer and not its intended purpose to honor the nation’s war dead, continue to lobby for a return to the May 30 observances. For more than 20 years, their cause was championed by Hawaiian Senator—and decorated World War II veteran—Daniel Inouye, who until his 2012 death reintroduced legislation in support of the change at the start of every Congressional term.

Image result for memorial day 2019More than 20 towns claim to be the holiday’s “birthplace”—but only one has federal recognition.

For almost as long as there’s been a holiday, there’s been a rivalry about who celebrated it first. Boalsburg, Pennsylvania, bases its claim on an 1864 gathering of women to mourn those recently killed at Gettysburg. In Carbondale, Illinois, they’re certain that they were first, thanks to an 1866 parade led, in part, by John Logan who two years later would lead the charge for an official holiday. There are even two dueling Columbus challengers (one in Mississippi, the other in Georgia) who have battled it out for Memorial Day supremacy for decades. Only one town, however, has received the official seal of approval from the U.S. government. In 1966, 100 years after the town of Waterloo, New York, shuttered its businesses and took to the streets for the first of many continuous, community-wide celebrations, President Lyndon Johnson signed legislation, recently passed by the U.S. Congress, declaring the tiny upstate village the “official” birthplace of Memorial Day.

Wearing a red poppy on Memorial Day began with a World War I poem.

In the spring of 1915, bright red flowers began poking through the battle-ravaged land across northern France and Flanders (northern Belgium). Canadian Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, who served as a brigade surgeon for an Allied artillery unit, spotted a cluster of the poppies shortly after serving as a brigade surgeon during the bloody Second Battle of Ypres. The sight of the bright red flowers against the dreary backdrop of war inspired McCrae to pen the poem, “In Flanders Field,” in which he gives voice to the soldiers who had been killed in battle and lay buried beneath the poppy-covered grounds. Later that year, a Georgia teacher and volunteer war worker named Moina Michael read the poem in Ladies’ Home Journal and wrote her own poem, “We Shall Keep the Faith” to begin a campaign to make the poppy a symbol of tribute to all who died in war. The poppy remains a symbol of remembrance to this day.

READ MORE: How the Poppy Became a Remembrance Symbol

Memorial Day traditions have evolved over the years.

Despite the increasing celebration of the holiday as a summer rite of passage, there are some formal rituals still on the books: The American flag should be hung at half-staff until noon on Memorial Day, then raised to the top of the staff. And since 2000, when the U.S. Congress passed legislation, all Americans are encouraged to pause for a National Moment of Remembrance at 3 p.m. local time. The federal government has also used the holiday to honor non-veterans—the Lincoln Memorial was dedicated on Memorial Day 1922. And, while its origins have little to do with fallen soldiers, the Indianapolis 500 has certainly become a Memorial Day tradition of its own–this year marks the 103rd time the race will be run to coincide with the holiday.

Chevy Camaro V-6 versus Toyota Supra

Camaro v-6© Car and Driver How the new Supra stacks up against the Camaro V-6 1LE at the track and in price.

  • Both have two doors, six cylinders, and the same objective, but the Chevrolet Camaro costs nearly $20,000 less.
  • The Camaro’s V-6 is rated at 335 horsepower and 284 lb-ft of torque, while the Toyota Supra has a turbocharged inline-six that makes 335 horsepower and a significant 365 lb-ft of torque.
  • Can America’s high-value track-day superstar keep pace with an exotic multicultural hybrid?

Pitting cars head to head on numbers alone may not compare to the adrenaline rush of genuine competition, but it is a great way to have fun and make enemies without the hassle of leaving your sofa. Okay, we’re being a little facetious, but, although we’ve already driven the new 2020 Toyota Supra, it’s going to be a minute before we get the opportunity to enjoy it in the company of its contemporaries in a back-to-back environment. To fill the interim void, we thought we’d engage in the time-honored tradition of bench racing and pit the new Supra against an unlikely competitor, the Chevrolet Camaro V-6 1LE, a.k.a. America’s high-value V-6 track-day superstar.

Like most American icons, the Camaro is defined by its dimensions. Measuring 188.3 inches in overall length, the Camaro is 15.8 inches longer than the 172.5-inch-long Supra, and its 110.7-inch wheelbase extends a full 13.5 inches past the Supra’s comparatively stubby 97.2-inch wheelbase. Width is less critical, but the Camaro’s 74.7-inch width is still 1.7 inches girthier than the Supra’s 73-inch width. Interior volume measures up accordingly, the Camaro offering 85 cubic feet of passenger volume while the Supra has significantly less at 51; although it should be of little concern to buyers of either car, cargo (trunk) space works out to 9 cubic feet for the Camaro and 10 cubic feet for the Supra. Speaking of matters of little concern, we’ll mention that the Camaro has a back seat and then forget about it forever, as it’s comically tiny. Both cars are beautiful and charming, but they exude two very different personalities and elicit dramatically different reactions.

a car parked in a parking lot: 2020-toyota-supra Camaro v-6© Toyota 2020-toyota-supraSo, now that we’ve confirmed the obvious, effectively that the Camaro is the Rebel Wilson and the Supra is the Anne Hathaway in this matchup, let’s look at their internals-by which I mean not those actresses’ spleens, but the powertrains found underneath the hoods of the cars in question. The naturally aspirated V-6 in the Chevrolet Camaro 1LE is rated at 335 horsepower and 284 lb-ft of twist at a rev-friendly 5300 rpm. The turbocharged and intercooled inline six-cylinder in the 2020 Toyota Supra matches the Camaro’s 335 horsepower but offers 365 lb-ft of torque at a very low 1600 rpm. (That’s an additional 81 lb-ft.) That means you don’t have to be revving the hell out of it to get the grunt needed to exit a corner with authority. The other side of the coin is that the last Camaro V-6 1LE we tested, a 2017 model, was equipped with a six-speed manual transmission (an eight-speed automatic is available), and some of us actually like revving the piss out of an engine and downshifting gears. The Supra’s ZF-sourced automatic with manual shifting can do the downshift trick, but your left foot is likely to get very bored.

No matter how philosophical or emotional the arguments may be, all good bench racing comes down to the numbers. Our Camaro V-6 1LE made the zero-to-60-mph run in 5.2 seconds and cleared the quarter-mile in 13.8 seconds with a trap speed of 101 mph. Top speed is limited to a governed 155 mph. The Supra fairly demolishes these numbers, requiring just 3.8 seconds to achieve 60 mph and blasting through the quarter a full second quicker, at 12.3 seconds, with a trap speed of 113 mph.

a car parked in front of a brick building: 2017-Chevrolet-camaro-1le  camaro v-6© Chris Doane Automotive – Car and Driver 2017-Chevrolet-camaro-1leStopping the Camaro from 70 mph required just 146 feet, and pushed on our 300-foot skidpad it held on for 0.98 g of grip, a figure that would have been earth-shaking for a V-6 daily driver–hell, any daily-driven street car–just a decade ago. In terms of arresting forward motion, the Camaro betters the Supra’s 148-foot measurement by two feet. The Supra, however, proved to be more tenacious on the skidpad, hanging on for a remarkable 1.07 g of grip.

We’ve saved arguably the most important number of all for last: the price. While it’s possible to get a 2019 Chevrolet Camaro V-6 1LE for a base MSRP of $32,490, the base Supra starts with an MSRP of $50,920. That’s a difference of $18,430, which is more than enough to buy and install any one of the several forced-induction kits made for the Camaro (ProCharger claims a horsepower increase of 45 percent for a total of approximately 485 ponies with its $6099 base kit, but adventurous and careless types can tune it for more) with enough left over for tires and tacos.

The Supratsi will likely quote the Supra’s German-Japanese engineering pedigree, ostensibly more refined and detailed interior, and, for now anyway, exclusivity factor. Not to mention, its factory-supplied and fully warranted horsepower is ready from the box, whereas mounting power adders to the Camaro will likely void your warranty. Still, $18,430 is a significant amount, and it means plenty of cash is left over for Van Halen tickets.

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And the winner is the Chevy Colorado!

Memorial Day Offers

Memorial Day Offers

Memorial Day has come early at Ron Westphal Chevrolet.  Ask about GM’s Military Discount Program.

Just announced:  $1000 Memorial Day Cash Back on new 2019 Malibu, Traverse and Colorado models.  Plus, 0% financing for up to 72 months is available on new 2019 Tahoe and Suburbans.  If you’ve always wanted a full size SUV, now is definitely the time to buy.

Check out savings as high as $7,469 on this new Traverse model.

In addition, many models offer additional GM Loyalty cash back if you (or a resident in your household) owns/leases a 2005 or newer GM passenger car or truck.

We are also offering a variety of lease specials on our most popular models.  New Blazer Specials as low as 238 per month and payments as low as $165 on new Trax or $265 per month for a brand new Traverse are being advertised right now!

Visit our showroom today.  The Memorial Day Special Offers end 5.31.19.

Memorial Day is an American holiday, observed on the last Monday of May, honoring the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. Memorial Day 2019 occurs on Monday, May 27. 

Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971. Many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings and participating in parades. Unofficially, it marks the beginning of the summer season.

It’s Camaro weather!

Fresh Arrival!
2012 Camaro SS Convertible
Only 47,534 Miles!

Ok, so it’s not quite Camaro top-down weather but it will be within a few short days.  And, in the meantime, just put the power top up.  It’s easy to do with just a push of a button and the whole process is completed in under 20 seconds.

Feel free to check out all our GM Certified pre-owned vehicles. We have a large variety of used vehicles in stock with something for every budget.  See all our Fresh Trade-Ins on our Facebook Page!

If you are considering a Camaro be prepared for the attention that comes with the car.  You may notice long, lingering stares from your neighbors or waves & winks from complete strangers.  The Chevrolet Camaro is a real head-turner so if you get a convertible model, you are guaranteed to be the center of attention nearly everywhere you go.

View this beautiful used Camaro Convertible for sale at Ron Westphal Chevrolet.  Our dealership is conveniently located on the corner of Routes 30 and 34 where Aurora meets Oswego, IL.  So, even if you are a Chicago, IL resident, the odds are you’ll get here in under an hour.

If you can’t make it to our showroom but still have questions or concerns, feel free to call Rick Jacobsen or our Customer Care Team at 630-898-9630.

Thanks for reading about our Used Camaro convertible for sale.

Get More Than 18 Percent Off the Chevrolet Volt in May 2019 at Ron Westphal Chevrolet

2019 Chevrolet Volt

The Chevrolet Volt was GM’s first major hybrid vehicle. Despite its impressive efficiency and wealth of features, GM decided to pull the plug on this electrified vehicle. While the last Volt rolled off the assembly line in February, you can still get one at a whopping 18 percent discount throughout May 2019.

About the discount

This nationwide discount knocks 18 percent off the MSRP on 2019 Volt models and gives $3,000 in customer cash.  Ron Westphal Chevrolet offers a generous discount in addition to the $3,000 customer cash!  Call our Customer Care Team now at 630-898-9630 for details.

2018 Volts qualify for $3,000 in customer cash, along with $1,000 APR cash, plus interest-free financing for 72 months. However, the interest-free financing offer doesn’t apply for the base trim level.

Here’s a look at the base MSRP for both 2019 and 2018 Volt models:

  • 2019 Volt LT — $34,395
  • 2019 Volt Premier — $38,995
  • 2018 Volt LT — $34,095
  • 2018 Volt Premier — $38,445

This incentive is only valid in the U.S., unless otherwise specified. Some customers may not qualify, and the offer isn’t valid with any other special finance or lease deal. Visit a dealership for details.

About the Volt

The 2019 Volt LT comes standard with ambient LED-based interior lighting, an HD Rear Vision Camera, Keyless Open and Start, a SiriusXM® Radio trial, a built-in 4G LTE Wi-Fi® hotspot, OnStar® and Chevrolet Connected Services capabilities, and LED Daytime Running Lamps.

For even more luxury and technology, get the 2019 Volt Premier. It boasts an automatic heated leather-wrapped steering wheel, leather-appointed seats, automatic heated front seats, heated rear outboard seats, a leather-wrapped shift knob, Automatic Parking Assist, and a Bose® premium eight-speaker audio system.

Both models are powered by a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine with an electric drive unit. It nets 106 MPGe, or 53 miles of electric range. With the range extender, it gets 42 mpg highway — and on a single charge, Chevrolet estimates the Volt can go 1,100 miles between fill-ups.

The 2019 Volt boasts a significant number of upgrades compared to the 2018 model. For instance, the 2019 Volt has a faster charging system, a cold-weather optimized battery pack, new driving modes, an energy management app, and a newly updated pedestrian alert system. Whichever model you choose, you’re still getting a great deal on a sporty, efficient hybrid.

GM’s Owner Center Explained

What can you and your Owner Center do?

Sign Up Here

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Service History

A comprehensive service history allows you to get the most out of your vehicle — while you’re driving it and at resale. By creating an account, you can:

  • Keep track of maintenance
  • Know when you’re due for service
  • Keep records organized and easy to find
  • Have peace of mind that you and your vehicle are safe on the road


Need to know if your vehicle is still eligible for warranty coverage? View your vehicle’s warranty status to stay informed about its warranty coverage.

Interested in detailed warranty information?

If your vehicle and its VIN are already saved in the GM Owner Center, you can access your vehicle’s specific warranty information whenever you need.

What else can you do with Owner Center?

  • Review and track your vehicle’s warranty
  • Manage your vehicle’s service history – including self-entered and dealer service records
  • Download Owner’s Manuals and other vehicle-specific information
  • View helpful videos and get to know your vehicle inside and out


If a recall has been issued for your GM vehicle, including Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Cadillac, Pontiac, Oldsmobile, Saturn, HUMMER or SAAB, find it here.  GM provides information on this website for recalls announced on or after August 20, 1999. This information is available for vehicles in which repairs have not been completed. 

Vehicle diagnostics

Get Monthly Reports On Your Vehicle’s Key Operating Systems

Every month, we can give you an automatic check of your vehicle and send you a diagnostics report.1 You can view this information—and much more—on the Vehicle Diagnostics section of your Owner Center, but only if you log in and link your Connected Services account.

1 Capabilities vary by model and service plan. Visit for details and system limitations. Message and data rates may apply. Requires active service, email address on file and enrollment in Vehicle Diagnostics. Not all issues will deliver alerts. On-Demand Diagnostics requires a paid service plan.

Plus you can view owner’s manuals and how to videos!

Thanks for reading about GM’s Owner Center explained.  If you have additional questions please call our Customer Care Team at 630-898-9630.

Chevy Blazer

With the Honda Passport and Nissan Murano giving it strong competition, the Chevrolet Blazer puts forth the strongest argument to consider a Chevy SUV in years.

2019 Chevrolet Blazer Vehicle Photo in Aurora, IL 60503Shop New Chevy Blazers on our website now!

The differences between the Blazer and the Trax, Equinox, Traverse, Suburban, and Tahoe start at the vehicle’s nose and continue to its tail. The Blazer’s narrow, squinty headlamps and grille are reminiscent of the Camaro, drawing your eyes to the edges of the SUV, which has a wide and beefy stance.

Call our Customer Care Team at 630-898-9630 now for the best offers on new Chevrolet Blazers!

With its very vibrant Red Hot paint job, the Blazer RS borrowed as a tester is a magnet for second looks, including some from the local authorities. Its shiny 21-inch gloss black wheels replaced the standard 20-inch “Dark Android” machined-face aluminum wheels as part of an options package. They played well off the red, combining with black badging and roof rails for a thoroughly modern, Mark Rothko art-like appearance.

For as much effort as was put into making the Blazer fierce up front, there’s little to show from the effort at the rear. There, it takes on a rather generic appearance that plays into the design aesthetic of the Equinox and Traverse. It’s a shame.

The Blazer RS trim is powered by a 3.6-liter V6 engine that is paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission. It achieves 308 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque that make it feel rather zippy compared to the average SUV. The SUV’s acceleration is more satisfying in this configuration than the drive experience in the Murano and Passport.

2019 Chevrolet Blazer Vehicle Photo in Aurora, IL 60503This engine comes with either the front- or all-wheel drivetrain. As tested, the Blazer RS all-wheel drive which helped it stick to the road well with much less body sway than the Murano delivers. Despite handling well, the Blazer’s drive experience isn’t as sporty as the Acura RDX but is a step up from the Murano and Passport.

A 2.5-liter four-cylinder power plant is standard on the Blazer but is only available on the base L and Blazer 2.5 Cloth grades. It achieves 193 horsepower and 188 pound-feet of torque. The smaller engine is, unsurprisingly, more fuel efficient than its 3.6-liter counterpart, though not by much, getting 22/27 mpg city/highway.

The Blazer’s cabin is filled with modern design elements that are unlike everything else in the Chevy lineup (in a very good way) including the circular air vents with climate controls on their exterior rings. Small buttons for other controls, like airflow and heated seats, string across the center stack below the standard 8-inch touch screen display emphasizing how spacious the SUV’s cabin is.

The infotainment touch screen is more solidly anchored to the dashboard than it is in other GM SUV’s, where is seemingly floats in a Mazda-like manner. Behind that screen is a not-so-secret-anymore storage compartment.

The centrally-located air vents do a good job circulating air throughout the cabin and are easy to maneuver. Despite their low positioning, they keep the heat from the sun pouring through the windscreen at bay.

Unlike in other Chevy SUVs, the Blazer isn’t rich with an abundance of cabin materials. Its interior is filled with a solid selection that are similar in quality to what you’ll find in the Passport and Murano. The Chevrolet tester had good fit and finish.

2019 Chevrolet Blazer Vehicle Photo in Aurora, IL 60503Chevrolet, a division of General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM), has installed comfortable seating for adults in both rows of the Blazer. Unless you’re especially tall, you won’t have a problem being comfortable in the back seat.

Cargo space is perfectly fine as well. As a midsize SUV, its short on cargo space, but the average daily driver likely won’t notice that it falls behind its closest competitors and it shouldn’t be a deciding factor for Blazer shoppers.

2019 Chevrolet Blazer Vehicle Photo in Aurora, IL 60503 cargo spaceThe Blazer RS tester came equipped with a cargo management system had a moveable rail that locks into place at various points throughout the cabin. The idea is good in theory, but the rail is flimsy and, in the tester Blazer, it rattled frequently. Still, it can easily hold a group of grocery bags or a few potted plants in place for the ride home. If the rail wasn’t there, the floor well of the back seat would have worked just as well for storage.

The Blazer starts just over $29,000 but the Blazer RS (which isn’t a top-tier model) has a starting MSRP of $43,500. For that price isn’t not a bad deal. However, for the features buyers will want like adaptive cruise control, a sunroof, wireless charging pad, forward collision alert, a power tilting and telescoping wheel, heated rear outboard seats, and lane keep assist, customers have to add on over $6,000 in options packaging bringing the total cost up to over $50,000 when the $1,195 destination and delivery charge is added in.

Buyers can get a top of the line Passport or Murano for thousands less. The three-row Subaru Ascent in its most premium build is also less than the Blazer RS with those options packages.

If you’re in the market for a zippy two-row SUV with a high-tech premium interior, and don’t mind spending around $50,000, you should cross-shop the RDX, which has also been redesigned for the 2019 model year and delivers a more engaging drive experience than the Blazer, combined with equally aggressive styling.

Still, the Blazer makes a compelling argument to be the two-row SUV for empty nesters. Its interior shows what Chevrolet can do, and hopefully what they will do in the future.

What mid-engines means and why it matters

Mid Engined Explained

Since its inception, the Chevrolet Corvette—in production form, at least—has never deviated from three core attributes: front engine, rear-wheel drive, fiberglass bodywork. From its 1953 debut with the Blue Flame inline six-cylinder to the thundering 755-hp 2019 Corvette ZR1, the basic formula has been set in stone.

Want a new mid engined Corvette?  Call our Customer Care Team now at 630-898-9630.  Or, visit our website at

That all changes now. Chevy is officially moving the engine to the middle, behind the passenger seats.

With this move, Chevrolet is shooting a flare into international waters, putting on notice the major players in the mid-engine-performance space including the Ferrari 488Lamborghini Huracánand Audi R8 as well as its crosstown rival, the Ford GT, and letting them know that the General can still cut and run when the accountants provide a long enough leash.

So what does “mid-engined” mean? Technically, it means that a car’s engine is located in the middle of the vehicle, somewhere between the front and rear axles. But the typical location in a sports car or supercar is behind the driver and in front of the rear axle.

mid engined explained

Engine placement matters for many reasons when it comes to high-performance cars, but mainly it’s all about braking and handling. Shifting the engine rearward puts more weight on the rear axle, which means more rear-end traction and the ability to put down more power and accelerate more quickly. A mid-engine layout also improves braking, because the additional weight lets the rear brakes do more of the stopping. Mid-engined cars have a lower polar moment of inertia, which is a technical term that means that the mass of a mid-engined car is more centralized in the vehicle. This allows the car to change direction more easily and therefore more rapidly. (To experience this phenomenon, get someone to spin you in an office chair and compare the speed you feel with your legs fully extended versus tucked in.) The downside is that, should the rear end break loose and swing wide at speed, it’s much harder for a novice driver to recover.

Aside from performance, a mid-engined car looks different because of not having to package an engine up front. It can have a much steeper hoodline and improved forward visibility. The proportions of a mid-engined car can give it an exotic look—but then, the short list of mid-engined vehicles is made up of one exceptional name after another.

It’s not that GM hasn’t kicked around the mid-engine layout before; the company’s archives are filled with drawings and concepts utilizing the engine-behind-the-driver layout. But its realization in the 2020 Corvette validates the efforts and fulfills the promises made by in-house Corvette gurus such as Bill Mitchell, Larry Shinoda, Pete Brock, Zora Arkus-Duntov, and Tadge Juechter, both now and back in the day when automobiles were an agent of progress and the future seemed limitless. Critically, it also serves as a rolling indicator that GM still has a pulse and wishes to wring every last drop of potential and excitement from the automobile as we currently know it. In changing times, that’s the kind of reassurance we need.

Want to know more about mid engined Corvettes?  You may also enjoy this article:


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