If you were in any doubt over whether or not the future is electric, wonder no more.
This past week, GM hinted at a new vision of Corvette — a vision that’s already broken the mold by going mid-engine, and now appears to be adding in both all-wheel drive and electric power.
This teaser doesn’t confirm a whole lot beyond that, other than pointing out that an “electrified” Corvette is first (presumably in hybrid form), and a full electric version will follow that. The change is said to come as early as next year.
Now, if you’ve been watching some of the motor press news lately, you’ve likely seen videos of the new Hummer EV acceleration tests. Keep in mind that the Hummer EV is one heavy monster — over 9,000 lbs fully loaded — and it runs to 60 in just 3 seconds. Think about that for a second.
GM’s been working hard behind the scenes on its Ultium battery setup, and clearly, the Hummer is a pretty good proof-of-concept here. A lighter Corvette with a smaller battery will run hard, and placing a battery pack low in the chassis is only going to make it handle even better.
The only question is really one of range, and of course, acceptance.
Range with electric power has always been a tough nut to crack. But I don’t think it’s as tough as the car buying public will be on the idea of an electric Corvette. Reference all the hate that GM endured by working up an electric version of the 1957 Bel Air “Project X” at SEMA this year.
Then again, Ford has pre-sold a huge number of all-electric Lightning trucks, complete with Elana Scherr-dubbed “frunk” where the engine would normally be, so it could be the tide is turning. The proof is going to be in the daily performance of the car, so it better be good.
One thing’s for sure, GM wouldn’t bet to lose on something as important to their image as Corvette, so I think we can plan on this being a seismic change in the car world.
And if you’re in the market for a gasoline-powered Corvette — particularly the final front-engine versions or a new Z06, it might be smart to act now before prices shoot up.