It may be famed for its roaring V8 engines, but the Chevrolet Corvette is going electric, and hybrid. It’s now been confirmed that the all-American performance car will be available as an all-wheel-drive hybrid and a purely electric model in the coming years. Chevrolet has even uploaded a video of the first Corvette prototype with four driven wheels in history.
From the video – complete with revealing slow motion footage – the front wheels can clearly be seen scrabbling for traction in the snow. It’s likely that the front axle will be powered by an electric motor, while the rear wheels will continue to be driven by a mid-mounted petrol engine.
GM President Mark Reuss made the confirmation, and suggested the hybrid Corvette should be hitting showrooms in the US from as early as 2023. The all-electric model is likely to follow on after, probably with all-wheel drive if Chevrolet chooses a dual motor layout. If rumours of around 600bhp are correct, that kind of power will probably come from more than one motor.
While details for the electric Corvette are scarce, it could serve as a halo model for Chevrolet’s forthcoming ‘Ultium’ battery technology and the brand is known to have trademarked the ‘E-Ray’ name, which could sit alongside the current Corvette’s ‘Stingray’ badging.
While serving as a rival to the Honda NSX, a hybrid Corvette would also take on the Porsche 911, which is going hybrid in future generations. An electric Corvette could also provide a cheaper alternative to models including the Tesla Roadster and Lotus Evija, while zero emissions could also make it easier to sell in regions with strict taxation, including the UK.