On Monday, General Motors President Mark Reuss used LinkedIn to confirm one of the worst-kept secrets in Detroit: There will be a hybrid Chevrolet Corvette on sale next year. Reuss also said a fully battery electric Corvette is in the pipeline, although he did not give a firm date for that version.
A hybrid Corvette has been a possibility for a while now—Chevrolet trademarked the name “Corvette E-Ray” back in 2015, while the current mid-engined Corvette was still in the early stages of its development.
Just moving the engine from in front of the driver to behind the seats was a big change for the Corvette corrals of the world, and adding an electrified option at launch might have been a bit too much. A hybrid version is logical, though; going beyond the Z06’s 670 hp (500 kW) while remaining manageable for drivers who aren’t professional racing drivers means adding all-wheel drive.
There’s even a convenient place to put the hybrid batteries: the tunnel running down the Corvette’s aluminum frame between the driver and passenger, which has always seemed otherwise out of place in a mid-engined car.
Reuss said that the BEV Corvette will use GM’s battery platform, making it the first performance application for the Ultium cell chemistry. However, no other details about the BEV Corvette were made public. If waiting for that sounds like it will take too long, Genovation in Maryland will make you a 200 mph EV based on the previous-generation Corvette, although it won’t be cheap.