Hybrid version of new C8 Chevrolet Corvette allegedly spied

New camouflaged Corvette boosts rumours that Chevrolet is planning to electrify its iconic muscle car

A camouflaged C8 Corvette development mule has been spotted in the wild, fuelling speculation that Chevrolet is well under way with the creation of a hybrid version of the latest version of its iconic muscle car.

Now mid-engined in its latest ‘C8’ iteration, the current Corvette was revealed last summer and is beginning to hit the roads in its native United States.

It has long been speculated that General Motors - which plans to spend $20 billion on electrifying its various brands up until 2025 - has wrriten a plug-in hybrid version of the Corvette into that process.And these latest spy shots could be key evidence of such a move. 

There are a couple of kill switches located on the vehicle’s bodywork, suggesting new powertrain developments lie beneath the metal, and this Corvette mule is undergoing emissions testing, again suggesting that it could be hiding a new, as-yet-unhomologated source of propulsion.

Rumours from American car news media suggest that Corvette is planning an expansive C8 Corvette line-up, with Gran Sport, Z06 and ZR1 variants of the car joining the basic coupe and convertible versions, all with different power outputs. The current car’s 6.2-litre naturally aspirated V8 lives an unstressed life at 495bhp and 637Nm torque, and a supercharged version of this engine will almost certainly be developed for higher performance models like the Z06.

It is strongly speculated that the ZR1 version of the C8 Corvette could feature a hybrid version of this powertrain, with an electrically driven front axle. That would make it not only the first hybrid Corvette, but also the first all-wheel-drive one. Those in the know in the US suggest that the hybrid ZR1 could develop up to 900bhp and make its debut in 2023. 

This mule lacks any additional aerodynamic modification compared with the regular C8, however. It’s possible that it’s a very early ZR1 mule developed purely for powertrain testing, or something entirely different, such as a hybrid version of the base car with much less power. 

Would a hybrid Corvette appeal to you? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below...

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