Chevy C8 Corvette Grand Sport Replaced With Hybrid ‘E-Ray’: Report
With an electric front axle, one report says to expect 600 hp and bodywork shared with the upcoming Z06.
The Chevrolet Corvette's release strategy can typically be summed up with several variants: a base Stingray, a racier Grand Sport, a high-performance Z06 and a top-shelf ZR1. For the mid-engined C8 generation, however, it sounds like Chevy is shaking things up in regards to that second slot if a new report proves accurate.
According to "sources familiar with the matter" speaking to GM Authority, the automaker is working on a hybrid "E-Ray" variant of the Corvette in lieu of a Grand Sport. The Corvette E-Ray is said to boast the same 6.2-liter LT2 V8 found in the existing C8 Corvette albeit assisted by an all-electric front axle, eliminating the car's somewhat problematic front trunk and becoming the first 'Vette to come with factory all-wheel-drive.
Obviously a play on the Stingray nameplate, "E-Ray" had already been trademarked by GM once back in 2015 and again earlier this summer. GM Authority speculates that the Corvette E-Ray will put out a total of 600 horsepower and 500 pound-feet of torque with help from a mid-mounted Ultium battery and, like the old Grand Sport that it succeeds, rock the same widebody design as the upcoming Z06.
When contacted by The Drive, a GM spokesperson declined to comment on the report.
For reference's sake, the regular Stingray C8 makes 495 hp and 470 pound-feet of torque. The last-generation Grand Sport, meanwhile, carved a reputation as the sweet spot of the C7 range, coupling the base version's naturally aspirated, 460-horse V8 with much of the Z06's bodywork and running gear.
So, will an AWD hybrid Corvette be seen as a worthy successor to the GS or a tree-hugging heresy? We suspect the Corvette traditionalists will have some interesting thoughts about it initially but, as we saw with the Corvette's switch to mid-engined-dom, don't be surprised to see the complaints melt away once folks start getting behind the wheel.
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