Chevrolet just confirmed suspicions that the C8 Mid-Engine Corvette will soon be electrified, per Chevy:
“In addition to the amazing new Chevrolet Corvette Z06 coming this year, an electrified Corvette will be available as early as next year and a fully electric version to follow. Stay tuned for more.”
While we figured that this news would eventually arrive, given GM’s announcement to eliminate tailpipe emissions by 2035, our jaws did drop a bit when heard that a hybrid electric Corvette was coming so quickly—as in, maybe next year.
So let’s dissect that announcement (and accompanying video) a bit, shall we?
C8 Chevy Corvette Hybrid & Full-Electric Powertrains
For starters, it potentially indicates that the Corvette will exist as both a hybrid gas/electric vehicle and a fully electric vehicle. Does that mean that an internal combustion engine-only option will disappear? And if so, when?
Signs point to a gas-only Corvette enduring for a while longer. Chevy is well aware of the heritage and legacy of the Corvette, yet it was certainly mum about any long-term ICE plans for the sports car—in this announcement anyway.
We also don’t know what engine will rest inside the Hybrid C8. Since the announcement was made in tandem with the Z06’s eminent arrival, does this mean the Hybrid will get the new, flat-plane crank 5.5L LT6? Or will it keep the 6.2L in the base model? Again, it’s likely anyone’s guess given Chevrolet’s purposely-vague teaser video.
What we do know is that the new drivetrains likely mean that the Hybrid and (probably) the Electric Corvettes will be all-wheel drive.
And the video Chevy released confirms this, as we can clearly see the Vette’s front wheels spinning with anger as they claw for traction on a snowy surface.
Was that just for the hybrid? Maybe. But given the performance potential of AWD electric platforms, we wouldn’t be surprised if the full EV Corvette was AWD too.
What’s the New Hybrid Electric Corvette Called?
Well, again, we don’t know for sure. But Chevy’s trademarked the name E-Ray, so we’re guessing that’ll appear somewhere along this lineage. Whether E-Ray is reserved for the all-electric version, or the entire Hybrid/Electric family is still to be seen.
The name Zora has been volleyed about for a while now too, as the appropriate moniker for the top-dog performance Corvette. An AWD EV Vette with a potential two-second zero-to-sixty might certainly be deserving of that nameplate.
Ok, so When Will We See It?
While “as early as next year” for the Hybrid is a good hedge by the Chevy folks, given the supply chain turmoil, they’ve clearly got at least one test mule to throw around.
And experts who’ve had a chance to inspect the Corvette C8 have said that it was designed with potential electrification plans already in mind, so there was perhaps some EV foresight built into the C8 platform anyway.
All those aspects point to a sooner-than-later scenario here, provided the chips and supply chain hold up, of course.
Watch The Corvette Electrification Teaser Video
Want to see that Corvette sneak-peek video we’ve been alluding to? The one with a presumably Hybrid Corvette ripping across a snow-covered landscape?
Of course you do: