The words ‘Corvette’ and ‘hybrid’ just don’t seem to go together, but aftermarket supplier Quanta is trying to change that. At this years SEMA show Quanta is unveiling a 770-horsepower hybrid Corvette unimaginatively dubbed the QHP770.
The car that Quanta started with wasn’t exactly a slouch, because their engineers went straight for the penultimate version: the Z06. The car’s LS7 V8 began with 505 hp, and then Quanta squeezed in two 134 hp electric motors that are attached to the rear differential. That makes for a lot of horsepower, but what is really mind-shattering is the torque.
With the V8 roaring, and both electric motors screaming, the car will put out a black hole creating 1500 pound-feet of torque. Just for reference – and I am not kidding – that’s more torque than you get in a 54-ton M60 Patton tank.
Performance estimates are good, but maybe not quite as staggering as the power. The car can get to 60 mph in 3.3 seconds and manage a standing quarter in 11.3 seconds. I know that I have no right to be disappointed with times like that, but with 1500 torques I was kind of hoping it would do 0-60 in negative time, like Superman turning back time. Unfortunately, the laws of traction are harsh and unforgiving.
The battery pack is lithium-polymer and is capable of being externally recharged, technically making this a plug-in hybrid. My guess, though, is that this feature was not designed for eco-friendliness so much as drag racing.
Right now the QHP770 is a one-off, but Quanta told gizmag.com that it is at least exploring the possibility of marketing an upgrade kit for the Z06.
Don’t be surprised if GM monitors this situation closely, as Chevy brass has already hinted at the idea of a factory hybrid Corvette. Undoubtedly, that’s going to be very upsetting to some traditionalists. I, however, think it’s great.
The Corvette began its life as a very high tech car, being one of the very first to use fiberglass and mechanical fuel injection – even though that system was unreliable and didn’t last. The new Corvette Stingray already has impressive mileage, and with a new turbocharged small displacement V8 possibly on the horizon, the ‘Vette could regain its former glory as a high-tech and now eco-friendly sports car.