Corvette enthusiast and current President Joe Biden recently outlined a non-binding target of 50% of new-vehicle sales to be plug-in hybrid, battery-electric or hydrogen-electric by 2030. Ambitious, to be sure, but considering how many billions of dollars (and billions more) automakers like General Motors, Ford Motor Company and Stellantis have earmarked for electric vehicle development and production, Biden’s targets seem to be in synchronization with the future plans of America’s biggest car companies, as they are also bending to the will of other large governing entities overseeing major markets, such as the EU and China.
“I’ve got a commitment from (GM CEO Mary Barra), when they make the first electric Corvette, I get to drive it,” Biden said while flanked by a Jeep Wrangler and GMC Hummer EV prototype in a video below, tweeted by The Hill. “You think I’m kidding, I’m not kidding.”
President Biden: “I’ve got a commitment from [GM CEO Mary Barra], when they make the first electric Corvette, I get to drive it… You think I’m kidding, I’m not kidding.” pic.twitter.com/sypl9G7a5U
— The Hill (@thehill) August 5, 2021
As far as we know, the lifecycle of the C8 Corvette won’t introduce a full-on electric variant in production form. So President Biden will have to wait a while before there’s anything of the sort. Perhaps GM will introduce an electric Corvette with the C9 generation, likely debuting closer to 2030.
No Electric Corvette In Sight
The C8 Corvette is, however, expected to sell a pair of hybrid variants. The first one will be the Corvette E-Ray, which is set to be similar to the Acura NSX in that it will have a rearward engine, working in tandem with a battery pack and a set of motors to send power to all four wheels. Ironically, the NSX is on its way out (due to poor sales), and it’s likely that the ideal magazine cover story comparison test between the NSX and E-Ray will never happen (heaven forbid a magazine go out of its way to test a car no longer on sale).
The second C8 Corvette hybrid is expected to be call the Zora, and will boast hypercar levels of specifications. We’re talking output numbers of around 1,000 horsepower, all-wheel drive, and absurd lap times. We’re thinking it as GM’s answer to the Porsche 918, for roughly a tenth of the price. In other words, the C8 Corvette Zora is expected to be an unprecedented democratization of performance. But it’s going to take more than just Joe Biden’s seal of approval for the hypercar to sell, when the time comes.