Royce didn’t say when the electric Corvette would come, but hinted that a hybrid model might come relatively soon. “We will introduce an electrified Corvette early next year,” he wrote. An accompanying video posted by the company Twitter
He showed what appeared to be a hybrid Corvette, and on the first time, he showed the front wheels spinning and casting snow as if they were powered. Previously all Corvettes produced by the company were rear-wheel drive only.
While Royce’s post notes that the Corvette Hybrid will be based on the current generation of the car, it’s not clear if the all-electric version will be a different version of this car or a completely different futuristic model.
“Electrified” is a term in the auto industry that includes everything from hybrid cars to fully electric cars, and anything with an electric motor can be considered “electrified.” It has long been rumored that the current generation of Corvette, the first with a gasoline engine installed behind the seats rather than the front, could be built with a hybrid system. Royce has also previously hinted that there will be electrified alternatives to the car.
Various companies are working on electric sports cars. Most electric vehicles in production to date have been four-door sedans and SUVs, as the need for batteries matches larger and heavier vehicles. Tesla’s first car, the Lotus Elise-based Tesla Roadster, was an electric sports car, but the second-generation Tesla Roadster, which was originally revealed as a prototype in 2017, has yet to go into production.
Some manufacturers, such as Lamborghini, have said that current battery technology does not allow the sports car to perform optimally from a purely electric car. Lamborghini is working on plug-in hybrid sports cars.
So far, Corvette is only available in the base Stingray version with a 6.2-liter V8 that produces up to 495 horsepower. The Corvette Z06 with 670 horsepower and a 5.5-liter V8 was revealed last fall. The previous generation Corvette featured a ZR1 version with 755 horsepower. Nothing of the sort has been announced for the current model, but GM engineers said the main reason for putting the engine in the rear was to allow better performance at extremely high horsepower levels.
Besides saving gas, hybrid systems can also be used in high-performance cars to add extra power and to provide faster acceleration because electric motors can deliver power to the wheels more quickly than gas-powered engines. Ferrari’s most powerful sports cars are hybrids, for example.
General Motors has said it plans to produce zero-emissions vehicles only, that is, all-electric or hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles, by 2035.