General Motors created several experimental Corvettes, exploring alternative engine placements and chassis layouts. One such vehicle was the XP-895, featuring a 400 cubic-inch small-block V8 mounted transversely in a mid-engine position. It had a Turbo Hydra-Matic transmission via a bevel gearbox.
Originally known as XP-895, the Reynolds Aluminum Corvette was designed by Henry Haga and Allen Young as a mid-engine Corvette for the 1970s. Fitted to a chassis supplied by Zora Arkus-Duntov, their new design featured rounded coupe lines, conventional doors, pronounced air-scoops on the front deck, hidden headlamps and detailing which rivaled that of a production car. The interior was sumptuously fitted with high-backed bucket seats and a padded cowl over the instrument panel.
Completed in 1972 and originally clad in steel, the car was significantly heavier than a production Corvette. To lighten the vehicle, Chevrolet entered into an agreement with Reynolds Metal Company to fabricate a new aluminum body. Although widely used in powertrain components, aluminum had not been seriously considered as a body material. The body delivered by Reynolds reduced weight by almost 40 percent. The 'Reynolds Aluminum Corvette' was introduced publicly in 1974 and touted as 'an important milestone in the application of aluminum in auto-body construction.By Daniel Vaughan | Jan 2011