The shifting of its engine midship for the eighth-generation was arguably the biggest change for the Corvette to date, but even more dramatically different changes are coming for the flagship Chevrolet nameplate.
Car and Driver reports General Motors will spin Corvette off into its own sub-brand, with the C8 Corvette to be joined in 2025 by a four-door coupe and a high-performance crossover – both of them electric.
As previously confirmed, the C8 range will also be supplemented with both hybrid and electric variants.
The moves will see GM offer a wider range of vehicles to tackle Porsche head-on and leverage the potential profitability of the vaunted Corvette nameplate.
The four-door coupe and crossover will reportedly boast the “essence of Corvette” in their design and dynamics, and will be underpinned by GM’s Ultium architecture used by, among other vehicles, the Cadillac Lyriq and Celestiq.
“The aim is not to beat Taycan and Cayenne at their own game but to create three American legends capable of breaking new ground by making the essence of Corvette scalable. To do so, that essence must at all times be in a state of progressive flux,” a source within GM told Car & Driver, noting the design proposals reveal the vehicles as “copies of nothing”.
The new Corvette-branded vehicles will reportedly boast “battery packs with high energy density, superfast software, a patented cooling concept, staggered Lego-like topographic packaging, miniaturised componentry, ultra-efficient inverters, [and] high-revving electric motors”.
They’ll also reportedly use an 800V electrical system that supports DC fast-charging at up to 350kW, as well as brake-by wire, four-wheel steering, and torque vectoring.
Power will be sent through a two-speed transmission, though it’ll certainly be a world away from Chevrolet’s old Powerglide.
It’s unclear how much power and torque the models will produce, though GM’s upcoming flagship EV, the Cadillac Celestiq, will use a dual-motor all-wheel drive powertrain and an 111kWh battery pack, with total system outputs of 447kW of power and 868Nm of torque.
The ultra-luxury fastback, which will be priced up against the likes of the Bentley Flying Spur, has a claimed 0-60mph (0-96km/h) time of 3.8 seconds and a range of 483km.
Chevrolet confirmed earlier this year an electrified Corvette will appear as early as 2023, with a full-electric model to follow.
General Motors president Mark Reuss referred to the latter as being “Ultium-based”, though it’s unclear if this means GM will pack its Ultium batteries into the current Corvette’s mid-engine architecture or if the electric Corvette will use the automaker’s Ultium passenger car architecture.
The company has teased the electrified model drifting in the snow, and it appears it could feature an electric motor up front in addition to a V8 mounted midship.
Mr Reuss revealed at his company’s Investor Day presentation that two new Chevrolet sports cars will launch in 2024, one of which he referred to as the “next version of the C8” that “you won’t be able to imagine from a performance standpoint”.
Additionally, he said the other vehicle – which Fox News reports he didn’t explicitly call a Corvette, but said would use the C8 architecture – would be an “incredible performance car” that should “set the standard of the world for performance for Chevrolet”.
Chevrolet has been rumoured to be working on a flagship Corvette called the Zora, after the “father of the Corvette”, Zora Arkus-Duntov. It could use an electrified, twin-turbo V8 powertrain and all-wheel drive.