Chevrolet has joined the rising numbers of automakers pledging to kill off their internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles over the next decade or so… but will that even include the Corvette? GM has confirmed that an electric Corvette is coming in the near future, and a gas-electric hybrid Corvette is coming even sooner—sometime next year. What does this mean for the classic, gas-powered sports car that we know and love?
Chevy might be discontinuing the Corvette as we know it
Let me reassure you now: the Corvette nameplate isn’t going away. That would be the poorest of poor decisions on Chevy’s part. However, the ‘Vette as we know it—powered by a massive internal-combustion V8 engine and roaring at the top of its lungs—may be dead by the end of the decade.
After a long history of powerful V8 engines and insane performance, it may feel strange or even painful to see the Corvette go the way of the Subaru WRX STI. But, this is the 21st century. Electrification has becoming normalized and, more and more, the only way to continue to compete with supercars.
Consumer Reports writes that GM President Mark Reuss “indicated that the gas-only Corvette would remain in production,” but didn’t say for how long. Within the next few years, we may see the end of ICE-only Chevy sports cars.
A new hybrid Corvette is on the way
In November of 2021, GM surveyed 8th-gen Corvette owners to test the waters on electrifying the iconic muscle car. At the time, nobody could have guessed that the changes would have come so quickly or so aggressively. While the news of a new hybrid Corvette isn’t necessarily surprising, the speed and willingness by the brand to embrace the change is.
In January of 2021, rumors and releases about a new hybrid-electric Corvette were met with mixed reactions, much the same as the latest news about an electrified model. Many fans are horrified that Chevy would ever consider this—others argue that hybrids are the future of performance.
“An electric motor may not match the traditional V8 sound the Corvette is known for, but it’s very hard for a gasoline engine to match the performance of an EV. With instant torque and a low center of gravity, an electric powertrain is quickly proving the best choice for performance cars. In fact, even with roomy seating for five, the Tesla Model S out-accelerated the latest Chevrolet Corvette in our tests.”Jake Fisher, Consumer Reports
Is there an electric version of the Corvette?
Not yet. A future for an electric Corvette has been confirmed by GM, but we have very few details at this time. Rumors about the Chevy e-Ray have been swirling around as far back as 2015. This may be the hybrid model that emerges in 2023, or it may simply be used to set the foundations for a future all-electric Corvette.
All of this does give weight to specific rumors about a 900-horsepower Chevy ZR1, though.
The future of the iconic Corvette is uncertain
Slowly, the automotive world—most of it, at least—is coming to terms with the fact that we’re losing internal-combustion-engine-only vehicles left and right. Tesla, and now the Lucid Air, have set aggressive new standards for the performance-car market. The electrification of this iconic muscle car brings us some big feelings. But, it’s not hard to admit that some of today’s most powerful sports cars are relying on electricity.
The good news is that the gas-powered Corvette likely isn’t going anywhere for another few years. So, if you want the roaring, gas-guzzling icon of old, you can still get one for a little while.