General Motors is preparing a dizzying array of Corvette variants, culminating with a twin-turbocharged hybrid V8 variant with all-wheel drive that’s expected to be named for the “father” of the Corvette.
GM Authority has compiled information on all the upcoming variants that’ll join the regular Stingray.
As we already know, the Stingray uses a naturally-aspirated, midship-mounted 6.2-litre V8 engine – known as the LT2 – producing 370kW of power and 630Nm of torque.
The Grand Sport will see those outputs bumped up to 380kW and 664Nm.
It’ll be wider to accommodate bigger wheels and tyres and will feature beefier brakes and a revised suspension.
As in the outgoing C7 Corvette, the Grand Sport’s launch is expected to be preceded by that of the Z06.
Instead of offering a supercharged version of the base V8 as before, this fiercer Corvette will replace the 6.2-litre pushrod V8 with a new, naturally-aspirated, double-overhead cam 5.5-litre V8 engine.
Sources have told GM Authority it uses a flat-plane crank and is expected to put out 447kW of power and 677Nm of torque.
Like the Stingray and Grand Sport, it’ll be rear-wheel drive and use the same eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.
As in the Grand Sport, it’ll be wider overall due to the use of larger wheels and tyres and feature a revised suspension and different brakes.
Arriving just after the Z06 will be the first all-wheel drive and first hybrid Corvette, the E-Ray.
It takes the Stingray and Grand Sport’s 6.2-litre V8 and adds a hybrid system with a peak output of around 115kW and 155Nm.
The electric motor will be mounted at the front, with battery packs running down the middle of the car.
The E-Ray won’t have the same wide-body look as the Z06 and Grand Sport.
Chevrolet will again use the ZR1 nameplate for a wilder Corvette but it mightn’t be the wildest one.
The ZR1 will take the Z06 and turn everything up a notch. That includes boosting the new 5.5-litre V8 with two turbochargers, surging power to 633kW and torque to 1016Nm.
There’s usually a significant gap between when a Corvette launches and when its ZR1 follows. For the C7, it took around three years.
ZR1 has been the top dog Corvette for three generations now but now there’ll be a new name to look out for.
The mightiest Corvette is expected to wear the name Zora, in tribute to Zora Arkus-Duntov.
Affectionately referred to as the father of the Corvette, Arkus-Duntov was a GM engineer who helped turn the Corvette from the placid, six-cylinder cruiser it was in its first generation into a bona fide performance machine.
He died in 1999 and his ashes were interred at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
Until his retirement, he actively lobbied GM to turn the Corvette into a mid-engined sports car. It’s only fitting, then, that his name be used on the flagship C8.
Like the ZR1, the Corvette Zora will use a twin-turbocharged version of the new 5.5-litre V8 engine. However, it’ll use all-wheel drive and a hybrid system, similar to the E-Ray’s, that’s expected to take the Corvette to lofty new heights.
GM Authority reports the Zora will have 1000 horsepower and 1000 pound-feet of torque, or 745kW and 1355Nm.
The current record holder for most powerful production Corvette is the outgoing C7 ZR-1 (above), which produces 563kW and 969Nm from its supercharged 6.2-litre V8.
It’s not yet known when each of these additional Corvette variants will be introduced.
The regular Corvette Stingray had already been beset with delays due to industrial action and GM has since had to suspend production at its US plants due to COVID-19.
We also don’t know which variants will come here, if the Corvette is even still coming here.
Corvette Zora rendering by Thanos Pappas.