Photo: Courtesy of Chevrolet Division of General Motors Company.
The shift to a mid-engine layout may not be the only seismic change Chevrolet has in store for the C8 Corvette. A recent report suggests that the brand may replace the sports car’s long-running Grand Sport variant with a hybrid, all-wheel-drive model called the E-Ray.
Earlier this week, GM Authority ran a story claiming that the Detroit carmaker was giving serious consideration to swapping out the Grand Sport, a Corvette variant that dates back to the 1960s, and replacing it with the nameplate’s first electrified model. And while some purists are sure to be disappointed by the news, there’s no denying that the idea of a hybrid ‘Vette is intriguing.
“Sources familiar with the matter” told the website that Chevy has no plans for a Grand Sport model for this generation of the Corvette. Instead, its place in the C8 lineup will be indirectly taken by the brand’s first electrified sports car, the E-Ray. While details are spotty, GM Authority says the Stringray’s 6.2-liter LT2 V-8 will be joined by two electric motors on the front axle. Not only would that effectively make the car an all-wheel-drive model, it would also boost its power from 490 hp and 465 lb ft of torque to 600 horses and 500 lb ft of twist. That’s pretty impressive for a call that would also produce lower emissions. The car would also be expected to get the same wide-body treatment as the upcoming high-performance Z06 variant.
Of course, it should be noted Chevrolet has yet to confirm that a hybrid Corvette is on the way. Robb Report reached out to the automaker for comment and was told that the brand does not “engage in rumor and speculation on potential future product.”
Despite having been unveiled in summer 2019, we’re still waiting on the first C8 Corvette variant. Fortunately, that should be changing soon. Earlier this year it was reported that the Z06 model, which will feature a 600 hp, DOHC 32-valve 5.5-liter V-8 could arrive as soon as next year. Hopefully, the E-Ray will follow soon after.