We know electrification is in Corvette’s future. We’ve heard all kinds of rumors, found evidence in trademark and patent applications, and we’ve caught test vehicles that could be concealing electric powertrains. The latest insight comes from SAE.org, and if accurate, it paints a C8 future of gasoline and electric-fueled power.
A little over six months ago, we reported on Chevrolet renewing its trademark for the E-Ray moniker. This has long been the expected name of the first hybrid Corvette, and this new report cites inside sources as saying it will keep the 6.2-liter V8 while adding a pair of electric motors for the front wheels. Combined output will be in the neighborhood of 600 horsepower (447 kilowatts), but perhaps the bigger news is the E-Ray replacing the Grand Sport in Corvette’s hierarchy of submodels. We could know as early as 2023, when the E-Ray is said to arrive with a price tag under $100,000.
Looking further ahead, the report validates other chatter we’ve heard. The Z06 should debut later this year with its high-revving 5.5-liter naturally aspirated V8 making 600 hp, dubbed LT6. In theory, the E-Ray would follow, with the Corvette ZR1 getting a twin-turbocharged version of the Z06 engine, dubbed LT7 and making 850 hp (634 kW). Then in 2025 comes the Corvette Zora, the one ‘Vette to rule them all with the LT7 V8 and electric motors fused to deliver a 1,000-hp (746-kW) monster. But wait, there’s more.
The report also backs up rumors that Chevrolet might expand the Corvette line with an all-electric SUV. The sporty people mover is allegedly being explored by the automaker with a codename of Project R, but it’s apparently not a done deal just yet. We suspect outcry from Corvette purists would be quite similar to that of the Mustang crowd when the Mach-E was announced. That said, we suspect Chevrolet is watching Mach-E sales very closely to see if demand outweighs the controversy of building a four-door, five-seater Corvette.
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Of course, Chevrolet can’t confirm any of the rumors, but there is some credibility with this SAE report. One thing we can say for certain is this: the near-future for the Corvette is certainly packed with horsepower. And that’s never a bad thing.