If there is one thing that we have learned over the 15 years that we’ve been covering Corvettes and General Motors is that the future is always in motion. The leadership of General Motors which includes Corvette owners Mary Barra and Mark Reuss has committed the company to an “All Electric Future” by setting up a roadmap to achieve the goal of zero crashes, zero emissions, and zero congestion.
To that end, GM has launched a number of initiatives to ramp up the production of EVs that includes a new flexible EV platform powered by GM’s Ultium battery system, a joint venture with LG Chem to mass-produce the battery cells for US production, and a strategy for greatly increasing the availability of electric vehicle charging across the U.S. and Canada.
Following the successful launch of the C8 Corvette program, GM announced today a restructuring program that shifts the Corvette Engineering team from the “Global Products Program” to the “Autonomous and Electric Vehicles Program”.
From what we have gathered, Executive Corvette Chief Engineer Tadge Juechter will continue to lead the Corvette Engineering group but he will now be reporting to Ken Morris, GM Vice President of Autonomous and Electric Vehicle Programs. Ed Piatek, who was the Chief Engineer of Corvette has been moved to a new role as Chief Engineer of Future EV Product, which then opens the door for Josh Holder to be promoted to Chief Engineer of Corvette. (Yes, we know that that GM’s job titles are sometimes redundant.)
Here is a statement from Ken Morris on the Corvette move:
“General Motors is committed to an all-electric future. I’m excited to be putting the team that redefined supercar performance, design and attainability in key roles to help us integrate and execute our EVs to those same high standards.”
While we’ve seen some takes on this that assumes the Corvette team will be shifting to work exclusively on EVs, that isn’t the case as the Corvette Team will still have the same personnel like Tadge and Josh who are focused on creating the future varients of the C8 Corvette.
General Motors has made it clear that the “future is electric” with the company offering 20 new EVs for sale by 2023. GM has also committed to spending $20 billion between now and 2025 on EV Development. Earlier this month Cadillac launched their new electric luxury SUV called the Lyriq and GMC will be bringing back the Hummer as an electric vehicle that will have 1,000 horsepower and a 0-60 time of 3 seconds.
What we see happening is that the Autonomous and EV Programs will now have greater access to the “high performance” brain trust that designed and built the mid-engine Corvette, and the Corvette Engineering teams having greater access to those working with electric motors and battery storage systems.
It’s been somewhat of an open secret that the Corvette team is working to bring hybrid performance to the Corvettes, which could see electric motors installed on the front wheels to provide greater launch abilities with the application of all-wheel-drive. And with the recent renewal of the “E-Ray” trademark, there has always been the rumor of a future Corvette that is totally electric.
I do believe this will end up being a good move for the Corvette Engineering team as they are going to where the “action is” within the company. I can already hear some of the howls from the purists out there and yes, we get the fact that driving a future electric Corvette might not be the same our internal combustion-powered models of today. But what if they are better?
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