Skip to main content

Digital Trends may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site. Why trust us?

Chevrolet could make the mid-engined, eighth-generation Corvette a hybrid

Chevrolet made the Corvette mid-engined for the first time in the nameplate’s 66-year history when it released the eighth-generation model in 2019, and the transformation might not be done yet. The latest Corvette will gain all-wheel drive and a gasoline-electric hybrid powertrain — two more firsts — later in its production run, according to a recent report.

It’s no secret that the Corvette range will grow in the coming years with the addition of higher-performance models, like the Z06 and the ZR1. Motor Trend learned from anonymous insiders with accurate knowledge of Chevrolet’s plans that the latter model will arrive with some form of electrification and a total output in the vicinity of 900 horsepower. The hybrid powertrain is being designed with an unabashed emphasis on performance; this isn’t a Toyota Prius.

Jalopnik added to the report by speculating the hybrid system will consist of a small electric motor mounted under the frunk. It will draw power from a lithium-ion battery pack shoehorned inside the transmission tunnel. There will be no mechanical link between the front and rear axles, so the system will deliver through-the-road all-wheel drive, and the driver will have the option to turn the hybrid system off when the extra power it delivers isn’t needed.

What’s interesting is that the report suggests Chevrolet will ultimately offer two hybrid, all-wheel-drive versions of the Corvette. The first will be an electrified variant of the regular car. Its 550-plus-hp hybrid powertrain will be built around the 495-hp, 6.2-liter V8 that powers the standard model priced at $60,000. There’s no telling how much it will cost, but it will be positioned as an alternative to the Acura NSX, which is only offered as a hybrid. The second will be the aforementioned, 900-hp ZR1 developed with a bigger focus on performance. It will be V8-powered, but which engine it will receive remains a mystery. It likely won’t be Cadillac’s new 4.2-liter Blackwing, though.

Engineers are keeping weight in check by using relatively small components. The hybrid Corvette won’t have a jaw-dropping electric-only range, though it will be capable of driving at low speeds with its V8 off. And, the weight added by the electric motor will even out its weight distribution, which is heavily skewed towards the rear, to give it more neutral handling.

Chevrolet hasn’t commented on the rumors, and it hasn’t announced plans to take the Corvette into hybrid territory. If the reports are accurate, we expect to see the first all-wheel-drive, gasoline-electric ‘Vette by the end of 2020.

Editors' Recommendations

Ronan Glon
Ronan Glon is an American automotive and tech journalist based in southern France. As a long-time contributor to Digital…
2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV first drive review: Maintaining momentum
A blue Chevy Bolt against a snowy backdrop.

With a range of more than 200 miles, and a base price under $40,000, the first-generation Chevrolet Bolt EV was an electric-car game-changer, but where does Chevy go from there?

For the Bolt EV’s first major update, Chevy redesigned the exterior and interior, and added a second model to the lineup. The 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV was meant to be a more SUV-like alternative to the standard Bolt EV, with a more upright profile and more rear-seat space. The EUV is also the first non-Cadillac model to get General Motors’ Super Cruise driver-assist system.

Read more
DeLorean could could make a comeback as an electric car

The DeLorean DMC-12 sports car made famous by the Back to the Future franchise could make a comeback as an electric vehicle. A Texas-based company currently owns the rights to the stainless-steel sports car, and has been working for years to bring it back. The original plan was to use a conventional gasoline engine, but now an electric DeLorean is a real possibility, the company said in a blog post.

DeLorean production ended in 1982, and bringing back a car from that period would normally be impossible, because it wouldn't meet current safety and emissions standards. However, the new DeLorean Motor Company has lobbied for the Low Volume Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Act — which is part of the  Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act — which allows boutique companies to build limited numbers of replica vehicles. The rules were just finalized, but that still left the revived DeLorean firm with a problem.

Read more
2021 Ford F-150 hybrid first drive review: Tech can be tough
2021 ford f 150 review front three quarter

People talk about “car shopping” but, statistically speaking, most Americans drive off the dealership lot in a pickup truck. The Ford F-150 is the bestselling vehicle in the United States — and has been for decades. Its main rivals, the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and Ram 1500, aren’t far behind on the sales charts.

The F-150 has maintained its dominance in part because it has changed with the times. The modern F-150 is no spartan work vehicle. It has the same level of infotainment and driver-assist tech as most passenger cars, with good-enough road manners to serve as a daily driver.

Read more