AWD Chevy Corvette Hybrid Is Coming Next Year, Full EV After
It’s going to be an exciting couple of years for the Chevy Corvette. There’s an all-new Chevy Corvette Z06 just hitting the market, but now we have confirmation that the wilder stuff we’d heard whispers of is actually happening. GM has released a new teaser video of a prototype Corvette model with hybrid power and all-wheel drive, and the description notes that we can expect a new, fully electric Corvette sometime after that.
If you were worried that the future of the Corvette might parallel the arc of the Mustang, which in Mach-E guise has become a compact electric crossover, don’t be—this is still a mid-engined, two-seat, pure sports car. Today’s teaser promises a diverse powertrain lineup, starting with the introduction of an “electrified” Corvette “as early as next year,” with a “fully electric version to follow.” It’s also possible either the hybrid and fully-electric Corvette takes on the “E-Ray” name we’ve heard floated around, but we’ll have to wait for confirmation.
GM President Mark Reuss announced the vehicle on CNBC and LinkedIn this morning, confirming his earlier teases that there would be “more to come” for the Corvette’s powertrain development. The upcoming electrified Corvette models will utilize GM’s Ultium battery technology which is manufactured in the U.S., as well as introduce a new heat-capturing technology. Here’s how the new tech was explained by Reuss:
“In addition, we also announced today Ultium Platform’s energy recovery system, a patented onboard system that takes the heat generated by EV batteries and uses it to warm the cabin, create more efficient charging conditions, and even increase vehicle acceleration. And it can boost the vehicle’s range by about 10%. It’s a perfect example of how developing a ground-up EV platform like Ultium enables unique features not easily done with a retrofit.”
The video clip itself shows this future electrified Corvette apparently torture testing in snowy track conditions. The all-wheel drive is somewhat of a dead giveaway about 8 seconds into the video, when the car’s front wheels start spinning in the snow before the back wheels start rotating, making it obvious that (for the first time in production Corvette history) the front axle is powered.
The current C8 generation of Corvette is quite a hit, and it’s one of the best sports cars we think we’ve ever tested. The base 6.2-liter V-8 makes 490 horsepower and 465 lb-ft of torque before Chevy goes in and electrifies anything, so we anticipate some mega performance out of the future electrified models. The recently-revealed Z06 makes up to 670 hp; a new hybrid model could offer a performance level between the base and Z06, and we imagine the fully-electric Corvette will likely top the model range once it shows up in a couple years.
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