Image source: General Motors Co.
When General Motors finally decided to do a real study of the possibility of building a mid-engine Corvette, the company needed to do it in a vehicle that didn’t announce to the world “Here’s the new mid-engine Corvette!”
The company’s solution was to build a mid-engine engineering prototype disguised so it didn’t look like a sports car. Instead, “Blackjack,” as the matte black prototype was dubbed, looked like one of the Chevrolet El Camino-style Holden ute car-based pickup trucks that GM sold in Australia until recently.
So Chevy’s Corvette engineers built Blackjack in 2014 to start the process of creating the 2020 Corvette Stingray mid-engine sports car. “We needed to validate the structure and explore what we were going to do with the suspension,” said vehicle dynamics development engineer Steve Padilla. The chunky black development mule carried the load of testing work for two years before they moved on to more production-ready sports car-looking prototypes.