Earlier this week, GM launched a new video teaser showing the next Corvette E-Ray accelerating hard in the snow, giving us some insight into the four-wheel drive system in action. Critically, the president of GM, Mark Reuss, confirmed that The General would offer an "Ultium-based all-electric Corvette in the future." Unfortunately, that simply raises more questions – what will this new electric Corvette look like? And when can we expect to see him?
There's a lot of speculation floating around the web right now, but let's start with the facts. First, GM has already announced that will no longer sell internal combustion passenger vehicles until 2035, then an electric Corvette is already an inescapable conclusion. With that in mind, let's examine the possible scenarios of what this model could look like.
Electric Corvette C8
An all-electric motor was not part of the initial product plan for the C8 Corvette. As such, an electric Corvette C8 is highly unlikely unless GM changes its mind. If that's the case, engineers must now figure out a way to put batteries Ultium with Ultium engines in the C8 architecture, a project that would be complex and expensive.
Also, GM's Ultium batteries and motors were never designed to fit into an existing platform. Instead, GM's comprehensive approach to vehicle electrification has been to create new EV-dedicated platforms such as BEV3, which supports models such as the Cadillac Lyric, and BT1, which supports models such as the GMC Hummer EV. These new EV-centric architectures allow GM to profit from EVs, as they were developed and designed from the ground up to do just that.
On the other hand, full electrification of the C8 platform would involve filling the engine compartment with batteries, which is not ideal. Alternatively, batteries can be front and rear mounted. However, the battery no would be mounted in the passenger cell. All of this would be difficult to design without affecting the Corvette C8's ride and handling.
Also, massaging the Corvette C8 platform into a full-fledged EV wouldn't necessarily offer many benefits in terms of performance, at least compared to the current lineup. After all, the Stingray can already run at 60 mph in less than 3 seconds, while the Z06 C8 is estimated to complete the test in 2.6 seconds, and the next Zora C8 around the 2 second mark. Given the weight of the batteries, an electrified Corvette C8 is unlikely to accompany.
There is even more to play against this idea. The Corvette C8 is produced exclusively at the factory of GM Bowling Green in Kentucky, a facility that already requires retrofitting to fit hybrid components for the upcoming E-Ray and Zora variants, while an all-electric Corvette C8 would require more retrofit. And that's a lot of work for a relatively small plant that's already struggling to meet demand.
In our humble opinion, an all-electric Corvette C8 is the least likely scenario here.
Another possibility is the introduction of an all-electric Corvette for the next generation C9, which is still several years away. However, a model like this would be fully designed to incorporate Ultium components from the ground up. Incidentally, GM said an electric Corvette would "follow" the E-Ray, but declined to specify a timeframe. As such, a new C9 model could offer both electric motors and ICE, though we're only speculating at this point.
The third scenario would take a page out of the Ford manual, specifically what the Blue Oval brand did to the Mustang in creating the Mach-E. rumors of an all-electric Corvette crossover have been circulating for some time, as has the rumor that GM is working on a family of Corvette products. That said, creating a new Corvette electric crossover to rival the Mustang Mach-E seems like a bad idea, as the Corvette is marketed as a more sophisticated and expensive vehicle than the Mustang. Instead, the Chevy Camaro it would be the best combination to turn itself into a competitor to the Mustang Mach-E, at least logically.
Still, we could see a Corvette electric crossover to rival the current crop of luxury brands, performance-oriented utility vehicles like the Lamborghini Urus and Aston Martin DBX, something that would ride the BEV3 and incorporate all the usual GM Ultium tech. expected.
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