We’ve been talking about the possibility of a ‘hybrid’ C8 Corvette ever since the mid-engine Corvettes hit the road, but things got interesting back in September when an enthusiast came across a group of prototypes testing at 10,000 feet in Colorado. The prototypes were still wrapped in camouflage despite the car being revealed over a month previously, and more importantly, what the heck are those connectors and switches protruding from the car’s bodywork?
These unique prototypes were branded by us and other Corvette watchers on the forums as potential ‘hybrid’ Corvettes due to the large 12v battery connector up front. (Editor’s note: We use scare quotes around the word ‘hybrid’ because we know our audience is somewhat skeptical of a ‘hybrid’ Corvette.)
We obviously got the attention of Chevrolet with these posts as a Chevrolet spokesperson reached out to us yesterday with an explanation of sorts. Our friends at Chevy tell us that these are not hybrids, and are only early testing mules that have a battery connection outside the frunk which allows the engineers to run the electronics of the car without the vehicle’s engine running.
Sounds legit to us!
We know that the early prototypes can be identified based on whether they have the production headlights which came showed up on pre-production models this year and these cars all have the early pre-production versions. Because many of the early builds don’t have the same fit and finish as the pre-production models that were assembled at the Bowling Green Assembly Plant, perhaps it’s best to leave the camo on these cars to hide those early-build imperfections.
But that doesn’t mean the automaker isn’t testing a hybrid Corvette somewhere as there are plenty of indications that the team is working towards the goal of combining electrical motors to assist the gasoline-powered engines. The Corvette team has already shown they are willing to work outside their comfort areas which include dropping the supercharger and moving to a naturally-aspirated DOHC flat-plane crank V8 for a future upper-level performance model.
Via @atlc8corvette on Instagram:
Another hybrid C8 spotted in Ann Arbor by @mleighto31 | Possibly the next Z06 or ZR1 test mule. Some reports believe the C8Z will have AWD with assisting electric motors in the front. We shall see. Comment below and tell us what you think 🤔.
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Another hybrid C8 spotted in Ann Arbor by @mleighto31 | Possibly the next Z06 or ZR1 test mule. Some reports believe the C8Z will have AWD with assisting electric motors in the front. We shall see. Comment below and tell us what you think 🤔. _________________________________________________ #c8corvette #c8vette #corvette #corvettestingray #corvettec8 #corvettes #corvettez06 #corvettez51 #z51 #chevy #chevrolet #bowtie #gm #camaro #camaross #chevyss #gmc
@atlc8Corvette / Instagram
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