Chevrolet's Corvette Hybrid Plans Just Became Way More Interesting

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It was late last month when details about the next Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 were first exposed. In short, the C8 ZR1, due in a few years' time, will supposedly utilize a performance hybrid system for a total output of around 900 horsepower. The choice of V8 still remains a mystery, but sources claim it could range from 4.2- to 5.5-liters. Another report, this time coming from the folks at Jalopnik, says Chevrolet has yet another C8 Corvette hybrid in development, though it could use a very familiar engine.

Jalopnik claims to have seen engineering documents that indicate this second Corvette hybrid's powertrain will feature an electric front axle combined with the naturally aspirated LT2 6.2-liter V8 – the very same engine now available on the 2020 Corvette Stingray Coupe and Convertible. Assuming the documents are accurate, this hybridized Corvette Stingray will be available as both a coupe and convertible and will produce somewhere between 550 and 600 horsepower. The electric front axle will provide about 114 hp of the combined output.

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Meanwhile, a 1.94-kWh lithium-ion battery pack will be mounted in the central tunnel. This is actually a fairly large and powerful battery, which indicates the hybrid system's main goal is improving performance rather than fuel economy. This electric motor will also achieve a torque-vectoring effect on the front axle, meaning it will provide a torque boost to the wheel that needs it most at precisely the right time. This Corvette variant will also have a "High Mounted Damper" front suspension design, which is capable of shifting the location of the front suspension dampers upwards to make room for the front-mounted electric motor.

Not surprisingly, this layout will also be used on the ZR1. Chances are, this second hybrid Vette will be placed in the lineup between the Stingray and the also upcoming Z06. Other features it's set to include are carbon-ceramic brakes, staggered wheel and tire sizes, and an electronic limited-slip differential at the rear.

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What could this new Corvette variant be called? A few years ago, Chevrolet trademarked the Corvette E-Ray nameplate, which would make perfect sense considering it shares the same V8 with the Stingray. Lastly, the report claims Chevrolet benchmarked the Acura NSX for this specific Corvette. Another mid-engined hybrid high-performance sports car with supercar levels of power is always welcomed.

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