GM is already doing its homework.
The new Chevrolet Corvette Z06 hasn't even hit showrooms yet but the automaker is already thinking ahead. We're not referring to the E-Ray or even the upcoming, all-powerful ZR1 but rather the C9. Yes, the next-generation Vette. As it turns out, the automaker has very quietly been reaching out to current owners with a survey.
A member of the MidEngineCorvetteForum happened to be one of those owners and they revealed the most interesting thing GM asked: questions on an "electric sport vehicle" about options and services (such as subscriptions), and other things like stealth mode, a racetrack checklist, and battery performance optimization. Perhaps the most interesting question was whether a silent start option would be satisfactory.
As we all know, EVs make very little noise during operation. They're virtually silent when turned on. Corvettes are the exact opposite. GM must be curious whether owners want them to develop an artificial ignition sound or other start-up noises. Audi and BMW, just to name two examples, are known for pumping fake engine noises into the cabin via speakers - and that's with combustion-engined vehicles.
The carmakers' current and future EVs will keep using this technology. It makes sense GM is doing its early C9 homework but, rest assured, the next Corvette is still several years away. Don't expect it before the end of this decade.
But it will happen. GM has committed to becoming a purely EV automaker by 2035, perhaps sooner or slightly later depending on market trends. Changing from a front to a mid-engine layout was a significant leap forward, but going to an all-battery powertrain will be an even bigger and more controversial one.
Fortunately, GM has time on its side to get this right. The public, in general, also needs time to adapt to electrification. Along with the new powertrain tech, plenty of new design possibilities could be in store. In fact, the C9 could, in theory, even revert to more of a front-engine design if GM so desired.