New Chevy Sports Car Has Fans' Imaginations Running Wild

American legacy automaker Chevrolet unveiled its all-new, eighth-generation Corvette in late 2019 with much fanfare. Not only is it the first Corvette to have a V8 engine in the rear, but it has a sub-$65,000 base price, a smashing deal for an everyday-usable, 490-horsepower supercar baiter. Chevy unveiled the hotrod Corvette Z06 model in early 2022 as a more hardcore and track-focused variant of a standard C8 Corvette. And instead of having a 6.2-liter V8 behind the rear seats, the Z06 has a naturally-aspirated 5.5-liter LT6 V8 with a flat-plane crankshaft and double overhead camshafts (DOHC) to eke out 670 horsepower.

However, Chevy has more in store for the C8 Corvette platform. It's no secret that Chevy engineers purpose-built the C8 architecture and drivetrain to accommodate an electrified powertrain (per Autocar), with company insiders adding that mild hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and all-electric powertrains could be in the works. But in April 2022, General Motors president Mark Reuss revealed on his LinkedIn page that the first electrified Corvette would arrive as early as 2023.

The more Corvettes, the merrier

A few years before unveiling the C8 Corvette and its midship architecture, General Motors filed two applications with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. According to GM Authority, the automaker filed the "Corvette E-Ray" and "E-Ray" trademarks in December 2015, hinting at the possibility of an electrified, hybrid-electric, or battery-electric Corvette. And by early 2020, GM Authority unveiled spy shots of a Corvette E-Ray prototype undergoing winter testing in a separate article. The publication adds the first production hybrid Corvette could have the standard car's 6.2-liter LT2 V8 gas engine combined with a front-mounted electric motor adding 115 horsepower and 111 lb-ft of torque.

With an expected system output above 600 horsepower, the Corvette E-Ray would likely trounce the non-hybrid Corvette's 2.9-second zero-to-60 run, highly possible with the car's standard all-wheel drivetrain. Meanwhile, a plug-in hybrid variant with a bigger battery could deliver a few miles of all-electric, zero-emissions driving. Moreover, an all-electric Corvette could use the existing C8 platform and debut with a new name. General Motors and its subsidiaries are committed to selling zero-emissions cars by 2035, and it looks like the C8 Corvette will spearhead Chevy's assault into the high-performance electric domain.

Car and Driver mentioned that the first-ever Corvette EV would likely have a three or four-motor electric powertrain with up to 1,000 horsepower upon debuting in 2024 as a 2025 model. It will be interesting to see what GM and Chevy are cooking up for the Corvette EV and how it fares against competitors like the Dodge Charger Daytona EV and Porsche 718 electric.

Chevy Corvette Zora: Flagship hybrid sports car

While the world awaits the Corvette's transition from gas to electric, the all-conquering Corvette Z06 will spawn Zora, the most potent iteration of the existing C8 platform. GM Authority claims Zora is the second Corvette (after the E-Ray) to have a hybrid drivetrain and all-wheel grip, and it will feature a twin-turbocharged 5.5-liter V8 gas engine and one or two electric motors powering the front wheels. According to Motor Trend, Corvette Zora will have at least 1,000 horsepower to play with, a fitting tribute to Zora Arkus-Duntov, widely regarded as the "Father of the Corvette." Nothing is definite yet, but more details about the range-topping Zora will follow in the coming months.

More surprising is news of a Corvette-branded four-door super sports sedan and crossover SUV circling the internet. InsideEVs reports that a Corvette electric sedan and electric SUV could debut by 2025, aiming to expand the Corvette name into an official sub-brand. If it's true, the Ford Mustang Mach-E and Porsche Taycan should watch their backs.