Tradition is the illusion of permanence.
There's been no shortage of rumors and some interesting leaks regarding the future C8 Chevrolet Corvette lineup. In the near future, we'll be seeing more variants arrive following the C8 Stingray's launch. The next Z06 and long-rumored Zora, based on early information, sound pretty amazing. But what about the next Grand Sport, the so-called middle child slotted between the Stingray and track-focused Z06?
According to Muscle Cars and Trucks, a C8 Grand Sport may not be happening. Why? Because Chevy may launch the E-Ray instead. Like the C7 Z06, the C7 Grand Sport also boasted the wide-body treatment and, going forward, Chevy apparently does not want the C8 lineup to become too crowded. Therefore, it has to make some smart choices.
We know the E-Ray nameplate has already been trademarked and this new report claims it's the current "front runner" for the widebody C8 that'll launch after the Z06, probably for the 2023 model year. The E-Ray will not be all-electric, but rather it'll be equipped with an advanced all-wheel drive system incorporating electric motors up front in place of the frunk, which will direct power to the front wheels. Alongside the familiar 6.2-liter LT2 V8 will be GM's Ultium battery packs.
If the reports prove accurate then we're looking at a combined output of around 600 horsepower and 500 lb-ft of torque. Combined with the Z06's widebody styling, there's simply no need for another Grand Sport. What could a new Grand Sport offer the E-Ray won't? Little to nothing.
In fact, this latest report further adds its "network of sources" is claiming there are no Grand Sport prototypes test mules in development. There are, however, some E-Rays. While the E-Ray will be the first-ever hybrid Vette, the C8 Z06 will be for the true enthusiast. Instead of electrification, it's expected to come powered by GM's new LT6 V8 featuring a dual-overhead cam flat-plane crank design. No turbochargers; the LT6 will be naturally aspirated.
Expect the Z06 to arrive for the 2022 model year and the E-Ray sometime following that. Further down the road will be the rumored Zora with upwards of 1,000 hp, if not more.