We know electrification is in the future of Corvette. We’ve heard all kinds of rumors, found evidence in trademark and patent applications, and we’ve caught test vehicles that may conceal electric powertrains. The latest information comes from SAE.org, and if it is precise, it paints a future C8 of gasoline and electric power.
Just over six months ago, we reported that Chevrolet had re-branded for the E-Ray moniker. It’s a long-awaited name for the first hybrid Corvette, and this new report cites internal sources as saying it will keep the 6.2-liter V8 while adding a pair of electric motors for the front wheels. Combined horsepower will be in the order of 600 horsepower (447 kilowatts), but perhaps the biggest news is the E-Ray replacing the Grand Sport in the Corvette sub-model hierarchy. We could know as early as 2023, when the E-Ray would arrive with a price below $ 100,000.
Looking further, the report validates the other chatter we have heard. The Z06 is slated to debut later this year with its naturally aspirated, high-revving, 600-horsepower V8, dubbed the LT6. In theory, the E-Ray would follow, with the Corvette ZR1 getting a twin-turbocharged version of the Z06 engine, dubbed the LT7 and producing 850 hp (634 kW). Then, in 2025, arrives the Corvette Zora, the only Vette that will rule them all with the LT7 V8 and electric motors fused to deliver a monster of 1000 horsepower (746 kW). But wait, there is more.
The report also confirms rumors that Chevrolet may expand the Corvette lineup with a fully electric SUV. The sporty mover is reportedly being explored by the automaker under the code name Project R, but that is apparently not yet concluded. We suspect the outcry from Corvette purists would be quite similar to that from the Mustang crowd when the Mach-E was announced. That said, we suspect that Chevrolet is watching sales of the Mach-E very closely to see if demand outweighs the controversy over building a four-door, five-seat 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 sure is this: the Corvette’s near future is certainly rich in horsepower. And that’s never a bad thing.