The Upcoming Hybrid Corvette Is the First AWD Corvette
Chevrolet’s upcoming hybridized C8 Corvette will be fast; that’s not up for debate. The naturally aspirated Stingray is already very swift, and the hybrid version will likely outrun it with ease. However, it is also a significant first for the marque and its beloved sports car. The forthcoming hybrid Corvette will be the first all-wheel drive (AWD) Chevrolet Corvette.
Will there be a hybrid Corvette?
Chevrolet will produce a hybrid C8 Corvette soon. The marque’s CEO, Mark Reuss, confirmed an all-electric Corvette based on the General Motors (GM) Ultium battery platform in addition to a hybrid variant. However, the hybrid will arrive first, and Car and Driver believes the most powerful variant may produce 1,000 horsepower or more. Still, the hybrid version that isn’t a range-topping Zora will likely have around 600 horsepower.
Better yet, the top-performing model will likely carry the name “Zora,” after Zora Arkus-Duntov, one of the undisputed fathers of the Corvette. However, the hybrid Corvette has to deliver with a name like Zora. It will likely utilize the sensational flat-plane-crank 5.5L V8 from the C8 Z06, with the addition of two turbochargers. Then, Chevrolet will probably use an electric motor to power the car’s front wheels, making for a hybrid, AWD twin-turbo V8 Corvette.
What’s so unique about the hybrid Corvette?
First, the upcoming hybrid Corvettes will be the first Corvette ever to feature hybrid power. Nearly every model since the sports car’s release in 1953 has been a V8, rear-wheel drive (RWD) application. In addition to adding an electric motor, the upcoming Corvette will use it to power the front wheels, making it the first Corvette ever to use AWD. Of course, the Zora won’t be using its AWD system to climb icy hills; it’ll use it to conquer tracks and launches.
Why hasn’t there been an AWD Corvette before?
Chevrolet worked to get the most out of its front-engine RWD application before unveiling the mid-engine C8 Corvette Stingray. The automaker arguably hit that mark with the 2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1. The aero-infused, 755-horsepower track-ready Corvette smashed a lap of the Nürburgring in just 7:04, making it one of the fastest American cars ever to attack the track. Up to that point, there was no need to produce a Corvette with AWD.
Following that achievement, Chevrolet’s engineers were convinced that a mid-engine layout was the only way to move forward. However, as impressive as the naturally aspirated, 6.2L V8-powered C8 Corvette Stingray is, the Zora will pack two turbos, a flat-plane-crank V8, and a hybrid AWD system.
When does the hybrid Corvette come out?
The first AWD Chevrolet Corvettes are not a distant fantasy. Instead, MotorTrend reports that the first Corvettes to get electric AWD (e-AWD) should be a part of the 2023 model year. Furthermore, the fully-electric Corvette with Ultium power will follow the hybrid Corvette. These are huge updates for the 70-year-old sports car.
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