The Chevrolet Corvette C8 is set to receive some hybrid assistance which could see it become some form of indirect successor to the soon-to-be-defunct Honda NSX
Reportedly dubbed the Corvette E-Ray, our spy photographers captured two camouflaged prototypes of this hybrid sports car during track testing around the Nurburgring ahead of a 2023 debut.
While it’s not obvious at all, our spy photographers noted these spied Corvette E-Ray prototypes have yellow stickers in the top-left corner of the rear window which denotes that it’s an electrified prototype.
Prototypes with hybridised powertrains are required to have this particular yellow sticker when lapping the Green Hell so track marshals can identify if a vehicle has high-voltage components.
It’s currently unknown whether the Corvette E-Ray will use a conventional closed-circuit hybrid powertrain, or a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) setup.
Overseas reports suggest this electrified Corvette will retain the mid-mounted 6.2-litre naturally-aspirated V8 engine from the regular Corvette, but gain at least one electric motor which will power the front wheels.
Chevrolet recently released a short teaser video of a prototype electrified Corvette undergoing snow testing with its front wheels spinning.
There’s no word on total system output figures yet but we know the 6.2-litre V8 engine in the regular Corvette produces 364kW of power and 630Nm of torque. Expect a little bit more from the Corvette E-Ray.
For context, the Honda NSX Type S swansong model produces total system outputs of 447kW and 667Nm from its 3.5-litre twin-turbo V6 engine and three electric motors.
It’s worth noting that when the Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray goes on sale it won’t really have any direct competitors within its expected price point.
For context, in Australia the regular Corvette starts at $144,990 before on-road costs for the 2LT coupe and rises to $189,990 before on-road costs for the Carbon Edition.
The Ferrari 296 GTB on the other hand starts at $568,300 before on-road costs and the McLaren Artura starts at $449,550 before on-road costs.
There’s nothing immediately obvious on the outside that differentiate these Corvette E-Ray camouflaged prototypes from the regular Corvette besides the aforementioned yellow sticker on the rear window.
General Motors (GM) has previously confirmed there will be an all-electric version of the Corvette, to follow the electrified E-Ray version.
The all-electric Corvette is going to be “Ultium based”, but it remains unclear whether this refers to GM fitting Ultium batteries on the existing Corvette platform, or using a different architecture from petrol-powered models.
It’s unclear if this so-called Corvette E-Ray will be coming Down Under but the regular model is already offered here and the Z06 is expected to arrive in either late 2022 or early 2023.
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