The C8 Corvette has finally started shipping to buyers this week, but with that comes the feeling of what’s next from America’s sports car. While the mid-engined sports car is only now reaching customers, enthusiasts and potential buyers alike have had their eyes on the hopped-up variants of the Corvette that should arrive in the coming months. As it turns out, Chevrolet made the C8’s vehicle owner’s manual available for download, and they might have just confirmed the existence of an upcoming C8 Corvette E-Ray hybrid.
The idea of a Corvette hybrid isn’t a new one, as it has been rumored since before the sports car ever launched, and likely leaked via an engine document. MC&T understands that there will be at least two C8 hybrids; the soon-to-come E-Ray, and the mighty Zora, which will essentially be a hypercar for small fraction of the price.
Presently, General Motors won’t admit to such projects in the works. However, thanks to some keen eyes over at CorvetteBlogger, we can see that the C8 comes equipped with very interesting fuses. Page 244 of the owner’s manual details a secondary fuse box that is located behind the car’s controversial center waterfall, which separates the occupants. Fuses #7 and #12 are of particular interest to us here.
The #7 fuse is labeled as a Power Sounder Module (an intrusion alarm), but it also helps to control a Pedestrian Friendly Alert Function. For those who are unfamiliar, these Pedestrian Friendly Alert systems are placed into electric vehicles so that they produce a sound that is audible to pedestrians walking by. The all-electric Chevrolet Bolt actually uses this same fuse to produce its pedestrian alert sound. And the C8 Corvette E-Ray will likely use it to produce a low speed UFO sound effect, as well.
Things get even more interesting when you look at the fuse in position 12, which is for a lithium-ion battery module. This component is absent in the fully-electric Bolt’s fusebox, but the Corvette is also missing the Bolt’s fuse for a rechargeable energy system. What this likely means is that the Hybrid Corvette C8 will use its electric motors for short increases in performance rather than for range, such as the LaFerrari.
Unlike the LaFerrari however, all the rumors point to hybrid Corvettes using electric motors to power the front wheels. The center tunnel of the Corvette appears to be sizable enough to contain a battery pack, and the motor could easily be placed in the car’s frunk. This wouldn’t be unlike how Honda have packaged the NSX, nor would we be disappointed in such a car.
With a number of electric models in the works at GM, such as the GMC Hummer and newly teased electric Camaro-like thing, the idea of a battery assisted Corvette seems more and more likely. Now we have our first piece of concrete evidence that GM has already laid the groundwork. Theoretically this setup could be featured on all models of the C8, but it is more likely that the added tech will be saved for the range topping supercars.