Ever since the all-new C8 Corvette Stingray was revealed, there’s been a steady stream of murmurs, leaks, and spy shots of the next iteration of the mid-engined American sports car. What we can say with certainty is that the next variant of the C8 is going to be the mighty Z06. Following that, traditionally, has been the Grand Sport model. This trim level has its origins as a bootleg race car that Zora Arkus Duntov snuck through the back door without official approval in the 1960’s. It’s then appeared on the C4, C6, and C7 generations. The latter two were comprised of the Z06 body at the time, but with more standard power. Unfortunately, a C8 Corvette Grand Sport may not be coming.
Here’s what we know. The “E-Ray” is the front runner name for the widebody C8 Corvette that will follow the Z06 for the 2023 model year. This variant will in fact have all-wheel-drive, and will incorporate electric motors in place of the current frunk to send power to the front wheels. In the “spine” of the E-Ray will be a cluster of the GM Ultium battery packs. In the engine bay will be the 6.2L LT2 V8 engine currently found in the C8 Stingray. If early reports are proven accurate, the C8 Corvette E-Ray will produce around 600 horsepower and 500 lb-ft of torque, although we’re unable to fully confirm these numbers as of now. It will also feature the widebody design of the 2022 Corvette Z06.
The entry-level engine of the Stingray and the widened shape of the high-shelf Z06 that the E-Ray would feature would indeed prove to be the optimal formula for a C8 Corvette Grand Sport. It could still happen, but all signs point to this vehicle wearing the E-Ray badge. There’s otherwise not enough breathing room between what the E-Ray will be and what is normally expected of the Corvette Grand Sport. Although, to us, the Grand Sport has more name recognition, and nobody is saying it can’t/shouldn’t be a hybrid, either. According to our network of sources, there are currently no “Grand Sport” test mules in development, but there are some E-Rays.
Maybe Chevrolet will go back to roots with the Grand Sport name, and put together a track-only package as an homage to the original race cars. But we’re just thinking out loud in this regard.
Recently, some internet confusion emerged about whether or not the C8 Corvette E-Ray was recently spotted testing in the Rockies. Our sources tell us that no hybrid Corvettes were out testing in the mountains out west, where several sleuth witnesses and professional spy photographers captured the Z06 shaking itself down out on public roads. Some folks were confused by the images of a C8 Corvette Z06 testing with a standard exhaust system, leading them to think that the upcoming Corvette E-Ray (so-called) joined the C8 Z06 on its mountain adventure.
The 2022 Corvette Z06 will have a center-mounted exhaust, incredible tires, carbon fiber wheels, and aggressive, unique aerodynamics. The centerpiece of all of it will be GM’s new LT6 V8 engine; a dual overhead cam (DOHC) flat plane crank V8 engine that will spin to nearly 9,000 RPM, and will not feature forced induction.