It’s all about cables sticking out through the hood

The 2020 Chevy C8 Corvette has yet to arrive in showrooms, but Chevrolet is already working on new versions of the mid-engined sports car. We’ve seen the race-spec C8.R being tested at Sebring, as well as new prototypes driven on public roads. The most recent C8 Corvette footage includes two cars that seem to be hybrids. Is Chevrolet electrifying the Z06 or the ZR1?

What Happened?

By far the most intriguing aspect is that both vehicles have electric cables sticking through the front hood

The folks over at TFLnow stumbled across two C8 Corvette prototypes that seem to be different than the regular Stingray. Both were parked in a parking lot and featured heavy camouflage. While one C8 seemed identical to the Stingray we already know, the other one featured prototype headlamps, which suggests an earlier development stage.

But by far the most intriguing aspect is that both vehicles have electric cables sticking through the front hood.

Both C8s have cables in the same position, sticking out through the right side of the front hood, just above the right-side headlamp. There are no other features to set these prototypes apart from the C8 Corvette Stingray we’re already familiar with.

What does it mean?

Someone May Have Spotted the C8 Corvette Hybrid but We're Not So Sure
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Well, the obvious answer is that these test cars could be hybrid versions of the C8 Corvette. On the other hand, it’s doesn’t necessary mean that those cables are part of a hybrid’s plug-in outlet. They could very well be sockets that Chevy is using to measure and test the car’s electric system or to extract performance or some other kind of data from the on-board computer. But, since Chevy has confirmed that the C8 Corvette was developed with electrification in mind, I’m very tempted to believe that the company is actually testing a gasoline-hybrid drivetrain.

What do we know?

Someone May Have Spotted the C8 Corvette Hybrid but We're Not So Sure
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The hybrid V-8 Corvette could arrive with as much as 1,000 horsepower

So far we know that Chevy is indeed planning to roll out a hybrid model. We also know that it will be a higher performance version of the C8 Corvette. This means that the hybrid will have a Z06 or ZR1 badge.

Recent rumors claim that the Z06 could be powered by a twin-turbo V-8 engine based on the Blackwing mill in the Cadillac CT6. This leaves the ZR1 as the potential model for hybridization.

The ZR1 is rumored to feature a brand-new turbocharged V-8 that would develop at least 800 horsepower.

The big mystery here is whether the ZR1 will have this massive output coming from either a gas-only drivetrain or from a hybrid setup.

Someone May Have Spotted the C8 Corvette Hybrid but We're Not So Sure
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Specifically, the V-8 could crank out around 600 to 700 horsepower, with the remaining 100 to 200 horses coming from one or two electric motors. The second possibility is that the ZR1 remains a gas-only model, while a ZR1 with a "Zora" badge combines the V-8 with electric motors for an output of around 1,000 horsepower.

The really obvious information here is that Chevy isn’t electrifying the C8 Corvette to enhance fuel economy. It’s doing it to increase performance!

Further reading

2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray gallery Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2020 Chevrolet C8 Corvette Stingray.

2020 Chevrolet C8 Corvette ZR1
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Read our speculative review of the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Zora ZR1

2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray gallery Exterior
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Read our full speculative review on the 2021 Chevrolet Corvette Z06.

What do you think?
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