Chevy Corvette Hybrid – The First AWD Vette in History - story fullscreen Fullscreen

Chevy Corvette Hybrid – The First AWD Vette in History

Chevy has finally confirmed the Corvette hybrid and Corvette EV, and they are coming sooner than you think

While Ford launched the GT supercar with an outrageous-for-a-Ford price tag, extreme rules for purchase, and very limited availability, GM was busy putting together the new mid-engined C8 Corvette. As a car that has become known as an affordable exotic with the performance credentials to match its appearance, it was only missing one thing: electrification. That’s about to change, however, as Chevy has just confirmed that the Vette Hybrid is on the way, and while that’ll be a first for the Vette nameplate, there’s an even more important first coming with it.

The First AWD Chevy Corvette

In a tweet showcasing our first look at the new C8 Corvette Hybrid undergoing winter, cold-weather testing, Chevy confirmed that an “electrified Corvette” – which is likely the hybrid – will be available “as early as next year” – as in 2023. In the teaser video, there’s a brief moment where you can actually see the front wheels moving before the rear wheels, which serves as confirmation that this is going to be the first Corvette to feature an all-wheel drive setup. We believe this is a hybrid because the video featured the C8’s V-8 engine note, though, it was poorly dubbed over, so we assume GM saved the money on video production to sink into the new C8 Hybrid. Jokes aside, this is a big deal.

The C8 Corvette Hybrid was later confirmed again by GM CEO, Mark Reuss, who said via LinkedIn that the first electrified Corvette is due to be launched in 2023. He also claims that the all-electric model will be built on GM’s new Ultium platform, which is quite interesting as the C8 Corvette EV will actually ride on completely different bones than the C8 coupe, convertible, and soon to launch hybrid.

As for the hybrid, it will likely feature the same platform that underpins the C8 Corvette that we know today. To our understanding, the C8 was designed to accommodate a hybrid powertrain from the start, so a small battery will be wedged in there somewhere and a pair of electric motors will drive the front axle. The engine in the rear will send power exclusively to the rear wheels as it always has.

There are no official names for the C8 Corvette Hybrid or the C8 Corvette EV, but it’s believed that GM’s Corvette E-Ray name (trademarked way back in 2015) will be plastered on the all-electric Vette. In all honesty, GM could just call it the C8 Corvette Hybrid and leave the standalone name for the all-electric model since it will be largely different except for the interior and exterior design because of the Ultium platform.

What about the C8 Corvette Hybrid’s performance, though? Until the E-Ray, as we’re going to call it, launches, it could be the most powerful model. The front cavity of the current C8 doesn’t allow a lot of room for electrification, so the electric motors nor the battery will be that big. The 6.2-liter V-8 engine has 490 horsepower and 465 pound-feet of torque in the base model, while the 5.5-liter V-8 in the Z06 has 670 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque.

Chevy could go with either powertrain, but it’s the 6.2-liter that was seemingly designed for hybridization so I wouldn’t expect to see the Z06’s engine make an appearance here. If Chevy hybridizes the base engine, expect the C8 corvette hybrid to offer up to 600 horsepower in short bursts (remember it will only have a small battery). But, if the brand goes with the Z06’s 5.5-liter V-8, power output could easily approach 800 horsepower in short bursts thanks to that engine’s much higher output. The former is clearly the most likely candidate if nothing else to maintain the exclusivity of the Z06’s engine and to keep pricing on the affordable side.

Robert Moore
Robert Moore
Editor-in-Chief and Automotive Expert - robert@topspeed.com
Robert has been an auto enthusiast his entire life. He started working cars at a young age, learning the basics from his father in the home garage on the weekends. As time went on, Robert became more and more interested in cars and convinced his father to teach him how to drive when he was just 13 years old. Robert continued working on cars in his free time and learned as much as he could about engines, transmissions, and car electrical systems, something that only fed his curiosity more and eventually led him to earn a bachelors degree in automotive technology with a primary focus on engine performance and transmission rebuilding.  Read full bio
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