21. Chevrolet Astro II XP-880
Despite the fact they didn’t name this concept the Corvette, everybody at the 1968 New York Auto Show knew this was a study of the next generation of America’s favorite sports car. In those days, Zora Arkus Duntov, a Chevrolet engineer and Bill Mitchell, the head of GM design lobbied hard for Corvette to go mid-engine to achieve a better weight distribution, balance, and performance. The Astro II was one of the first in a long line of mid-engine Corvette concepts. And for a while, it looked that Chevrolet would produce it. The concept was a fully functional prototype with a 390 HP big-block V8 engine sitting behind the passengers.
It would power the rear wheels and give the Astro II a seriously convincing performance. Ultimately, Chevrolet decided to abandon the mid-engine Corvette and go with the standard drivetrain layout for the third generation Corvette in 1968. Had Chevrolet decided to greenlight the Astro II, Ferrari would have had a hard time on the American market. Today, 50 years after the Astro II, Corvette fans are eagerly expecting the Corvette Zora. It will finally have a mid-engine configuration, like so many concepts before it.