Corvette could be the next iconic nameplate to be used on a crossover SUV.
Such a model would appear no sooner than 2025.
GM reportedly has designers working on a range of Corvette-branded concept vehicles targeting a broad spread of buyers. All are designed to have the rakish styling expected of a Corvette but with more spacious, practical interiors and a battery-electric powertrain.
Bloomberg says the project is being referred to internally as Project R or Brand R and the SUV will have a “similar profile” to the Lamborghini Urus and Ford Mustang Mach-E.
There’ll be an electrified Corvette before 2025, with Chevrolet expected to introduce an all-wheel drive hybrid version of the mid-engined C8 Corvette.
According to reports, it’ll take the Stingray’s 6.2-litre V8 engine with 370kW of power and 630Nm of torque and add 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.
Its crossover family member would almost certainly be built on GM’s Ultium architecture, which supports front-, rear- and all-wheel drive vehicles with up to 724km of range.
“The Ultium platform will allow Chevrolet to further expand its range of electric vehicles to full-size pickup trucks, compact crossovers and even high-performance vehicles,” said GM vice president of design Mike Simcoe at the company’s presentation at CES 2021.
The first model to use Ultium, the GMC Hummer EV, will feature three electric motors in flagship Edition 1 trim.
Total system output will be 745kW, with a 0-60mph (0-96km/h) time of approximately three seconds and an electric range of 563km.
Contrary to reports from other outlets, GM didn’t tease a Corvette SUV during its CES 2021 presentation.
Though its LED daytime running light signature resembled that of the C8 Corvette, the SUV mistaken for a Corvette appeared to in fact be one of the upcoming all-electric Buick SUVs. It was parked just next to another Buick SUV.
It’s not the first time a Corvette-badged SUV has been rumoured, though it now seems more likely than ever as GM rolls out a raft of models on its Ultium platform.
That Ford has introduced a Mustang-badged electric crossover, the Mustang Mach-E, likely hasn’t gone unnoticed by GM, while more and more sports car brands have continued to introduce SUVs in the years since Porsche shook up the market with its Cayenne.
Though devout Corvette fans would likely bristle – something which reportedly stopped GM from releasing different types of Corvette earlier – the floodgates have well and truly been opened for SUVs with sports car branding.
It’s also not the first time GM has thought to apply one of its more sporting nameplates to a more practical body.
It progressed to the full-scale mock-up stage but the project was scuttled due to cost considerations, as the Chevrolet and Pontiac would have required different doors and rear-quarter panels.