From Bentley to BMW, the future of automotive ingenuity is sharply steering towards electric vehicle territory, even it seems, for the staunchly traditional players. In an announcement that has divided fans across the auto spectrum, General Motors (GM) president Mark Reuss confirmed on Monday that the iconic Chevrolet C8 Corvette would be going electric. No more rib-tickling revs or explosive combustion-engine performance, the new Corvette lineup will bank on battery power, and it will come sooner than you think.
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Speaking with CNBC’s Squawk Box, Reuss stopped short of announcing when the new all-electric model would arrive, however, he did confirm that a hybrid version would hit roads next year. The shock announcement was immediately followed up with a LinkedIn post that gave further insights into the vehicle, which many anticipate will be named the E-Ray.
“Some time ago we moved the Corvette team into the EV space in Warren, Michigan, and when we revealed the new mid-engine Corvette, I said there would be more to come,” Reuss wrote. “In addition to the amazing new Chevrolet Corvette Z06 and other gas-powered variants coming, we will offer an electrified and a fully electric, Ultium-based Corvette in the future. In fact, we will offer an electrified (hybrid) Corvette as early as next year. Details and names to come at a later date.”
From the initial announcement and accompanying video, there isn’t a whole lot to go off, but that hasn’t stopped the hype train from rolling. Chevrolet’s teaser shows the new electric C8 Corvette taking to the snow, spinning all four tires during takeoff, giving some indication that while it will be gentler on the environment, it will be anything but on the road.
As for the engine, speculation is rife, with GM Authority reporting that the E-Ray will cop the Stingray’s naturally aspirated 6.2L LT2 V8 engine with a front axle-mounted electric motor and four 1.94 kWh batteries. While that has yet to be confirmed, it does pose an enticing prospect, dishing out well over 600HP. Throw in the advantages of hybrid technology, including improved acceleration and fuel economy, and all of a sudden, the E-Ray starts to feel like it could be a winner. On the outside, the electric C8 Corvette does appear to follow the same aesthetic as the 2023 Corvette Z06, with familiar widebody exterior styling.
While many expect Reuss to announce a sub-brand as part of the new launch, it will still be some time before we learn too much more about Chevrolet’s plans for the electric future. The hybrid Corvette is anticipated to arrive next year and the all-electric model currently has no timeline for construction. What we do know, however, is that Chevrolet isn’t letting itself be left in the dust when it comes to EVs, and that could very well be a defining stance from the American icon.