The C8 Corvette is still in its inaugural year rollout and yet many Corvette enthusiasts are already looking to the future to see what might be in store for the Corvette lineup. We believe without a doubt that the next model to be rolled out will be the performance-oriented Z06 as prototypes of the cars have been spied testing at various locations throughout 2020. These cars are slated to receive a version of the naturally-aspirated 5.5L flat-plane crank V8 that’s currently powering the C8.R race cars.
If history were a guide, you might suggest that a “Grand Sport” model would be next on Team Corvette’s agenda. After all, we’ve had Grand Sports during the C4, C6, and C7 generations and they have always been great sellers as traditionally they combined the elements of the base and Z06 models to create a “best of both worlds” model that Corvette enthusiasts have embraced.
Yet, based on this new report from our friends at Muscle Car and Trucks, the Grand Sport moniker may be dropped for something a bit more electrifying.
According to MC&T, the E-Ray is said to be the front-runner for the name of the C8 Corvette model that will be introduced in 2023. What’s significant about the model is that it is rumored to have an electric All-Wheel-Drive configuration with the addition of an electric hybrid system that will place electric motors on the front wheels with a small battery storage system that will be located inside the C8 Corvette’s internal aluminum structure.
We’ve seen the early reports from Don Sherman and Hagerty that the 2023 Grand Sport will feature 600-hp and 500 lb-ft of torque and while these are early figures and unconfirmed, we do believe they are a good starting point for the model that is expected to follow the Z06.
GM has already announced its full support for electrification with a $20 billion investment for EVs and the company recently revealed its latest motors and drive units from the GM Ultium EV program which will be the underpinnings for its corporate-wide mandate to launch 20 EVs in the next few years. The company’s internal reshuffling of the Corvette Engineering Team to Autonomous and EVs also offers our engineers every opportunity to play with the company’s latest EV technologies.
GM first trademarked the name “E-Ray” in December 2015 and followed up with a renewal of the name in late July 2020. Changing the name of the Grand Sport model to E-Ray is mostly a pure marketing play that would allow the company to showcase hybrid technologies on the GM’s halo car with the name itself suggesting that there is electrification on the model.
While we do love the Grand Sport name which harkens back to Corvette’s first chief engineer Zora Arkus-Duntov and his secret racing program from 1963, as well as one-year-only special editions in 1996, we could be easily sold on the E-Ray name should the car live up to the expected hype that would come from being Corvette’s first hybrid model.
Muscle Cars and Trucks
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