1969 Chevrolet XP-882
Images: GM; www.shorey.net; www.corvettes.nl
XP-882 was one of three protoype Corvettes built in a very short period of time. This car was the first of these three Corvettes, all of which featured a mid-engine design. Shortly after XP-882, the second mid-engined protype was finished, the XP-895 Aerovette. It was the Aerovette that made it to the New York Autoshow and was seriously considered for production.
Not much information is known on XP-882. It was on the cover of Road & Track in January of 1971. Both XP-882 and XP-895 were ordered to be destoryed by GM headquarters. XP-895 survived the order and exists to this day, but the fate of XP-882 is unknown.
The experimental XP-882 looked production-ready, thus fueling hopes that the next new Corvette would have a similar mid-engine design. It definitely looked like a Corvette, with overtones of the 1968-vintage "Shark" model in its low vee’d nose and four-lamp tail treatment. The car would have stayed under wraps, but was shown to counter Ford’s announced sale of Italian-built DeTomaso Panteras
. GM built two XP-882 chassis for evaluation, but only the first one had the bodywork shown here.
Zora Arkus-Duntov’s solution to the XP-880’s transaxle problem was to mate a 454 V-8 to a Toronado transmission and mount it all transversely to lower the mass. A bevel gear allowed a prop-shaft to run back through the oil pan to a Chevrolet differential. It worked and paved the way for future all-wheel drive, but the powertrain weighed a significant 950 pounds.
Mario van Ginneken - www.corvettes.nl