We know General Motors has some electrification plans for the Chevrolet Corvette, but we just don’t know what they are. There have been rumors and reports citing unnamed insider sources and now there’s this recent survey sent out by Chevrolet to C8 Corvette owners in order to gauge their views regarding what the manufacturer described as an ‘electric sport vehicle.’
Chevy didn’t overtly say that it was referring to the next-gen Corvette that may go fully-electric, but according to this post from MidEngineCorvetteForum, it may, in fact, be the C9 that they are talking about. Owners described receiving an email from Chevrolet polling them about several topics like over-the-air updates, whether or not they were looking to buy a new car in the next two years or the aforementioned electric sports car.
Reactions among those who responded were the opposite of unanimous. Some seemed happy and willing to consider an electric Vette, while others shared more reserved positions not only about an EV sports car, but electric cars in general. The data gathered by GM via this survey probably contains a similar mix of answers.
What do we actually know about the electric Corvette? Well, not a whole lot right now. The scene was abuzz when Chevrolet trademarked the ‘E-Ray’ name back in 2015, prompting reactions pretty similar to the ones above; the trademark was renewed last year but this still doesn’t mean it will surely be used.
Some have also stated that this E-Ray could, in fact, be some kind of all-wheel drive hybrid (if so, most likely a PHEV), with a mid-mounted internal-combustion engine (still a V8, possibly twin-turbocharged, from the upcoming ZR1 model) driving the rear wheels and the front wheels powered by a pair of electric motors.
This could be the 1,000-horsepower Corvette Zora (named after the ‘father of the Corvette,’ Zora Arkus-Duntov) that is also said to be in the works. However, it could also be the less extreme electrified Corvette Grand Sport model, whose output is rumored to be around 600-horsepower mark (it reportedly pairs the standard C8’s 6.2-liter V8 with the same pair of electric motors up front).
But perhaps GM was gauging Corvette buyers’ opinions not for any of the electrified models mentioned above, but for an actual EV planned for even further in the future. How much further in the future? Well, given the fact that the rumors about the hybrid Vettes place their launch sometime in 2023, it’s going to have to be after that.