Tonight is finally the night that the public will see a real-deal mid-engine Corvette. Chevrolet has teased the idea of a mid-engine Corvette for decades but it’s never been more than an idea on paper. Now, it’s finally for real and tonight is the night the public will see it.

When it finally makes its long-awaited debut at 9:30 EST (6:30 PST), the mid-engine Corvette will begin its attempt to throw a huge monkey wrench into the plans of European brands. There’s little known about the specs of this upcoming American supercar but it’s not going to be slow, that’s for sure. We know it will have a V8; what sort, what size and how powerful are all yet to be seen. But we do know it will back a good ole fashioned American V8.

In fact, there could even be two different V8s offered. It’s been rumored that the base model C8-generation ‘Vette will get an old-school 6.2 liter pushrod V8, just like the current front-engine car. If true, it’s said to make around 500 hp. However, there’s a rumor that a second, much more powerful V8 will be offered in the top-of-the-line ‘Vette. That second V8 is said to be a very high-tech, twin-turbocharged flat-plane crank V8. To be honest, we doubt this is true and find it more likely that it will just pack a very powerful version of the old-school 6.2 liter V8. But never say never.

We’re unsure if it will be available with a manual gearbox, also. We know a dual-clutch gearbox will be offered, especially after Chevy revealed the new steering wheel, which sports paddle shifters. However, there’s been no word on a three-pedal ‘box. Corvette fans are already up in arms about their favorite American icon switching to mid-engine like the rest of those “Euro-Trash” sports cars. If it ditches the manual gearbox, they might have a collective, cheeseburger-assisted heart attack.

BMW M2 Competition takes on the Porsche Cayman GT4

This new mid-engine ‘Vette will be very interesting when it makes its debut. The current C7 car is already a sort of budget performance car icon. Even the most expensive Corvette ZR1 actually about $20,000 cheaper than a BMW i8 and packs over 350 more ponies and is significantly faster. The only other car that BMW will have to take on the new Corvette, in terms of performance, is the BMW M8 Coupe but that’s heavier, more luxurious and all-wheel drive. So it will be very interesting to see how European brands compete.

Most BMW fans won’t be too inclined to visit a Chevy dealer for a performance car but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t. We’re very intrigued by this new mid-engine Corvette and are going to keep a close eye on it tonight.