Would you be OK with the next Corvette becoming electrified? That is essentially what GM is asking current C8 owners. It has sent out a survey, or query, about what the future Corvette should be. It is obviously testing the waters for where the Corvette should go as the corporation heads into Electricland.
Is the C9 Corvette the “electric sport vehicle” in the survey?
All automakers are pretty much on the path to eliminating internal combustion-powered vehicles by the mid-2030s. GM has already announced it will have 30 new EVs between now and 2025. One of those could be what it calls an “electric sport vehicle.”
This shouldn’t be confused with the E-Ray, which is a pending hybrid version of the C8 Corvette. That will use electric motors to power the front wheels, and an LT2 V8 to spin the rears. Prototypes have already been spotted in different places, so we should be seeing these by 2023.
The electric sport vehicle could mean an EV with the Camaro moniker. However, the likelihood is that it is the next Corvette. In a world led by SUVs and pickups of many stripes, having two sports cars with two doors probably isn’t the best business plan.
It sounds like subscription services will be a big part of what might be the C9 Corvette
Some of the questions on the survey relate to subscription services GM could offer. Things like a racetrack checklist, stealth mode, and optimizing track day battery life. This ties into carmakers’ ability to update the software by utilizing that function to offer downloadable premiums. It is also an entirely new revenue stream most manufacturers are dying to tap into.
It is interesting that the entire Corvette team leadership was reassigned to EV development over a year ago. Since the Corvette team is now doing EVs, maybe the next Corvette will be guided by a team of EV engineers. In other words, the same people doing the same development wearing different hats.
On average, each generation of Corvette spans roughly seven or eight years. When 2022 arrives in a few weeks, this will put the current C8 right in the middle of its lifespan. So we’re only looking to 2025 or 2026 before we can expect an entirely new C9 Corvette.
The time is now for GM to begin developing the next generation Corvette
With development time taking about three years, all of this comes into better focus. The time is now for the first salvo toward that development. And this also ties into GM’s commitment to those 30 new EVs by 2025.
But there is nothing that says GM must replace the C8 with the next generation of Corvette. The C8 is so popular and is at the peak of GM ICE technology, that it could be produced alongside the C9. Run out the current model until sales don’t justify production, then phase it out. That way, everyone that wants a new ICE Corvette can buy one.
But with a compelling C9 EV, and with the world dominated by electric vehicles by that time, GM shouldn’t, and probably wouldn’t, be afraid to pull the wraps off of a completely electric ‘Vette. And running the two together would be great fodder for enthusiasts and marketing peeps alike.