The Corvette rumor mill for models above the base level Stingray have been circulating again, with reports of an inbound all electric C8 Corvette E-Ray. At Muscle Cars and Trucks, we have been the most accurate source on C8 Corvette reporting ever since we launched last summer, and we’re here to tell you that the C8 will not spawn an electric variant, despite what presidential candidate Joe Biden says. It will, however, probably launch two hybrid models.
The presumptive democratic presidential nominee has many years of experience in government, but he has none in the automotive segment. So when Biden says “they” are planning an all-electric Corvette that’ll hit 200 mph, this is not accurate. We’re almost certain the old man is referring to the Genovation electric Corvette project, which is over $800,000 when including the price of the LT1-V8-powered C7 Grand Sport required for purchase to convert.
An out of touch politician advocating wildly expensive things? We expect nothing less. If you haven’t realized it yet, don’t get your automotive news from politicians.
Unsurprisingly, equally out-of-touch national news coverage ran with it, and some have even connected to GM’s recent trademark filing for E-Ray. With GM’s push and commitment to an electric future, it’s easy to jump to conclusions about this.
Let’s start with what a C8 Corvette won’t be. The Z06 will likely have a naturally aspirated flat plane crank V8 with zero electrical propulsion assistance. Above that in the hierarchy will be the C8 Corvette ZR1, which will likely have a twin-turbo 5.5L DOHC V8 with around 800 horsepower. Again, though, no dice on electrification.
Now for the Corvette E-Ray hybrid. Lots of leaks and various intel point to a 6.2L LT2 small block V8 coupled with a center-mounted battery back underneath the ‘spine’ of the chassis, with electric motors powering the front wheels in place of the frunk storage unit. This means that the E-Ray will be the first all wheel drive production Corvette, but the V8 will power the rear wheels alone, and the forward electric motor will power the front wheels solely.
Finally, GM will push the boundaries of the Corvette above the ZR1 with a range topping Corvette Zora model. It’s expected to take the electric motor of the E-Ray and twin turbo V8 of the ZR1 for a combined output of roughly 1,000 horsepower. This project remains a few years out, and will be a capstone for the C8 Corvette generation.
An electric Corvette may arrive during the C9 generation at the earliest, but GM’s all-electric vehicle strategy has to at least start paying for itself soon, as the automaker has so far attributed billions of dollars into sunken costs toward EVs, and has earmarked billions more still. Eventually, this bleeding will have to stop for the financial sake of the automaker, either by these programs actually turning a profit, or by taking a more market-driven approach.