It’s not every day you come across a C8 Corvette prototype but that’s exactly the kind of day that C8 Corvette facebook page member Michael Abbo had on January 3rd when he encountered a camouflaged C8 Corvette powertrain mule in a parking lot.
Michael asked the group if this was the new Z06, but we have been operating under the assumption that the prototypes we’ve previously seen with the battery cut-off switches and other various cables poking through the body panels are most likely the C8 Corvette E-Ray models which are expected as soon as 2023.
Michael captured six photos of the wrapped C8 prototype which also contains the two-into-one exhaust pipes that engineers use to hook up testing devices to the car. We do indeed spot the red shut-off switch on the driver’s side rear quarter panel as well as other connectors on each of the rear corners.
The E-Ray is expected to fill the same space in the C8 Corvette line-up as the Grand Sport did in the C6/C7 generations. The powertrain of the E-Ray will feature the LT2 V8 and the addition of an electric motor up front for driving the front wheels. The hybrid set-up would contain GM’s Ultium battery packs stashed in the center backbone and the system could have the effect of adding upwards of 200 additional horsepower to the car.
Last month it was reported that GM had abandoned the trademark for Manta Ray and many insiders believe that the E-Ray will supplant the Grand Sport as the choice of names for the model. We don’t have 100% faith in that report just yet. We actually wouldn’t be surprised to see the hybrid system morphed into an option that could be offered on multiple models of the C8 and not just the E-Ray/Grand Sport.
And since we are on the subject, we’ve noticed an uptick in interest for the hybrid model and I have heard from more than one person on a C8 Corvette Z06 list who has switched their name to their dealer’s E-Ray list. Despite the fact that the Z06 will offer more V8 power than the E-Ray, I think that the more Corvette enthusiasts hear about the hybrid powertrain, the more intrigued they are by the new technology and the potential performance capabilities of the model.
Michael Abbo / Facebook
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