Mid-Engine Design

OK…my medical imaging results were good. [WARNING: Medical jargon ahead] Through an endoscope, the doctor performed an ultrasound of my pancreas and was able to view my gall bladder, bile ducts and the left lobe of my liver. He found nothing abnormal or worrisome. <End Jargon>

Right before I was to be sedated for the procedure, I had a conversation with a young nurse about automobiles. She said she really liked the C8 Corvette because it reminds her of a mid-engine Ferrari. I expressed my view that C8 styling, particularly the rear end, was not my cup of tea. How soon before the procedure? The bite block had to be removed from my mouth so I could talk. Yes, maybe the bite block should never be removed from me…

Originally, I was going to write a post showing pictures of three or four cars and ask you to tell me what the cars had in common. The post title gives the answer away, but here are the pictures, anyway.


File:Car AC ME3000.JPG - Wikimedia Commons

2015 Ferrari 488 GTB Wallpaper | HD Car Wallpapers | ID #5116

2018 - Acura - NSX - Vehicles on Display | Chicago Auto Show

2022 Chevy Corvette Stingray To Come With Low-Profile Spoiler Option - keiiy.com


Obviously, all four of these cars are mid-engined. Yes, not all of the perspectives are the same. Still, to me the C8 Corvette (shown at the bottom) is the least attractive of the four.

Of course, engine size/displacement plays a role in the exterior design of a car with the engine behind the passenger compartment. The AC ME3000, shown at the top, could pass for a front-engine car (and a very good looking one, at that), but was equipped with a 183 cubic-inch/3-liter (hence, the 3000 designation) V-6 engine. The C8 Corvette has a 6.2 liter/376 cubic-inch V-8. (The other cars are a Ferrari 488 and Acura NSX.)

Not that anyone asked me and I understand the technical challenges of the following, but the C8 could have had a V-8 (I coulda had a V8!) with smaller bore spacing and displacement AND that engine could have been mounted transversely instead of longitudinally. The rear cargo area could have solely been for stowing the top when not in use and the front trunk (frunk) could have been larger. The Corvette would still have been a mid-engine car, but would have retained more of its traditional long hood, short deck design. Like I wrote, no one asked me.

General Motors and Chevrolet couldn’t care less about my opinion and given the success of the C8, even if they wanted to change the design it is highly doubtful they would. The recent announcement that General Motors is going to spend a nine-figure sum (reported at $800,000,000) to develop a new generation of gasoline-powered, small-block V-8 engines might be a sign the Corvette will have an ICE-powered option well into the future. Despite my reservations about C8 styling, that would be a great development. I will bet ten dollars against a bottle of cold piss that the new GM small block V8s are being built with synthetic fuels in mind. Oh, that expression is courtesy of my father’s friend and body man, the late Ransom Resby better known as Res.


Meteorology lesson: The dew point is the temperature at which the water vapor in a sample of air at constant barometric pressure condenses into liquid water at the same rate at which it evaporates. It is also referred to as a measure of the absolute amount of water vapor in the air as opposed to relative humidity, which is the amount of water vapor present in the air expressed as a percentage of the amount needed for saturation at the same temperature.

In many parts of the US, the dew point can reach uncomfortable levels above 70°. What was the dew point here yesterday? When I checked at 4 PM, it was -1°. (The relative humidity was 10%.)

All of that is a fancy way of saying that the air is very dry here right now. Combine that with the fact that the heat runs on occasion and we have space heaters on for some of the day and the air in the house is extremely dry, leading to a semi-permanent scratchy throat. Combine that with the fact that I had an endoscope down my throat for 20+ minutes yesterday and I was very uncomfortable for most of the day yesterday after the procedure. My throat feels better, although not completely, this morning.


Do any of you care about my analysis of the upcoming Super Bowl? Even if you don’t, here it is. Although I will be rooting for Kansas City, if Jalen Hurts’ shoulder is close to 100% then I don’t see how the Chiefs can win. If Hurts is obviously not himself, then I won’t be surprised if Kansas City plays a heavy box on defense (a lot of players near the line of scrimmage) to slow down Philadelphia’s excellent running game and dares Hurts to “exploit” one-on-one coverage on his star wide receivers, A.J. Brown and Devonta Smith.

The Eagles do have impressive defensive statistics, but–in my opinion–have not faced a quarterback or an offense the caliber of Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs. Although I almost never bet on football, I would not be surprised if the Super Bowl is a high-scoring game. Now watch, the final score will be 14-10. The current over/under on the game is 50 1/2 or 51 points, depending on where one places their bet.







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5 thoughts on “Mid-Engine Design

  1. I would prefer your scratchy throat to the big butt hurt I experienced after my last procedure. That said, I will suffer through my after procedure pains to have the reassuring results I received, which are basically the same as the results of the two previous biopsies. No change is good news. I trust the images are good enough for the doctor to see that there is nothing worrisome as you reported.

    Those are pretty mid-engined cars. Myself I prefer the original Ford GT-40 race car with the 427 engine. I know of the location of one of those in Mesa and have seen and touched the car. I would gladly pretzel myself into one for a ride.

    If GM is going to design their new ICE engines for synthetic fuels that will take a considerable amount to get the combustion chamber design to comply with emissions regulations and to meet the needs of the wide variety of as yet unrefined fuels. All synthetic fuels will combust, i.e. burn differently than ethanol laced unleaded gasoline. I am curious what basic layout GM will use for the engines. Ford, when they designed their new truck engine stayed with the tried and true, cam in block, pushrod design to simplify production. That is their 7.3L Godzilla, which you can buy from Ford Racing for $9,175.00 including intake manifold, oil pan and ignition coils and wiring. It does not include FEAD or control pack.


    1. Touché, Philip. I also would prefer a scratchy throat to your post-procedure pain. Having had two operations on the same body part on which you received a biopsy I can relate.

      Switching gears, I don’t know if the new small blocks will be of OHV design. I also suspect advances in electronics might enable an easier adoption of synthetic fuels.


      1. They have to be OHV design although OHC design is less complicated mechanically. OHC design complicates the production, which is why Ford went with pushrods. Obviously they will not go flathead or valve in block as the combustion gas flow is too complicated.

        Electronics won’t solve the synthetic fuel differences in combustion. Combustion chamber geometry is what matters in this case as that has the most effects on combustion flame front speed which is dictated by fuel chemistry.

        They could also be considering gaseous fuels in place of liquid fuels. The problem with gaseous fuels is you need bigger volumes for fuel storage vs. liquid. Natural gas or propane are easy to adapt to ICE engines, as even the Waste Management garbage trucks run their compression ignition engines on natural gas.


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