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Latest E-Ray News - Corvette Hybrid Development Defies GM’s All-Electric Mantra

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  • Latest E-Ray News - Corvette Hybrid Development Defies GM’s All-Electric Mantra

    Nothing really earth-shatteringly new here, just an affirmation that the E-Ray and Zora are on track. And while I completely respect Mr. Sherman, and he is infinitely more connected to GM than I am, I take exceptions to two points. I still believe the E-Ray will utilize a single Ultium front-assist motor, not two motors. And to have an EV-only mode, there would have to be four of those 1.94 kWh Ultium battery modules in the tunnel, not a single unit.


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    While Honda plans to end production of its Acura NSX (shown at right) in 2022, GM is developing hybrid-electric propulsion for the Corvette C8.
    (Lindsay Brooke)

    Corvette hybrid development defies GM’s all-electric mantra

    2021-09-17 DON SHERMAN
    Hybridization aims to bring even more punch to the C8 platform.

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    General Motors’ leadership has advised the world that the company is going battery-electric, full stop. Investments topping $35 billion during the first half of this decade prep GM for 30 EVs by 2025, two-thirds of which are intended for sale in the U.S. By 2035, GM hopes its conversion to a battery-electric-only fleet will be complete – and a key to achieving carbon neutrality for all GM operations by 2040.

    “If I had a dollar more to invest, would I spend it on a hybrid? Or would I spend it on the answer that we all know is going to happen, and get there faster and better than anybody else?” GM president Mark Reuss told The Wall St. Journal in 2019. GM’s last hybrid was the 2019 Chevrolet Volt, but apparently the Corvette development group missed Reuss’s full-electric memo. According to GM engineering sources, two gas-electric hybrid sports cars are under development for introduction by the time GM’s coming wave of pure EVs hits the streets.

    In 2015, GM filed a patent for the name “E-Ray” and renewed that trademark just last year. Expectations are that this badge will adorn the first hybrid Corvette expected in the 2024 model year, one step after the 600+ hp 2023 Z06. Supplanting the Grand Sport in the lineup, E-Ray will combine today’s 495-hp (369 kW) 6.2-L LT2 V8 driving the rear wheels with a pair of 50 hp (37 kW) electric motors driving the front wheels, according to sources.

    The 1.94-kWh battery pack energizing the AC motors will be housed in a rectangular-section center cavity available in C8’s aluminum space frame. The Corvette’s 12.6 ft3 (0.36 m3) front trunk (frunk) will be reduced in volume but not eliminated. E-Ray’s Michelin tires and wheels will both be larger than the base Corvette and wider fenders will be shared with the Z06.

    Later in C8’s product cycle, the hottest Corvette in history will reach dealers with a spectacular 1000+ hp (~750 kW). Two years ago, GM filed for and received a patent for the trademark “Zora.” That nameplate is expected to adorn the ultimate C8 which will combine the twin-turbocharged LT7 5.5-L V8 with the electric motors. Combining four-digit horsepower with all-wheel drive will potentially hike the price over $150,000. This should give Ferrari engineers in Maranello something to ponder between espresso breaks.

    The Zora name pays homage to Zora Arkus-Duntov, the Corvette’s chief engineer from 1967 until his 1975 retirement. Starting in the mid-1950s, Arkus-Duntov advanced the Corvette’s cause by developing fuel injection, independent rear suspension and other chassis improvements. The unanswered question is what lies beyond the Zora hybrid? To sustain the Corvette, GM’s hottest-selling car line, and to honor the company’s all-BEV commitment, the company surely has plans to promote it to full-electric status.

    How exactly that might be achieved is still speculative. Fortunately, the coming Ultium battery system is sufficiently flexible that it doesn’t have to live in the typical underfloor ‘skateboard’ configuration which would lift the Corvette’s cockpit awkwardly high. With today’s V8 engine, 8-speed transaxle, exhaust system, and fuel tank dispatched to the retirement home, batteries could reside behind the cockpit as well as inside the center tunnel. Of course, a fresh C9 platform with a chassis optimized for electric propulsion could also be engineered and implemented before GM’s 2035 ‘zero emissions’ target date. Watch this site for evidence that such a program is underway.

    https://www.sae.org/news/2021/09/cor...lectric-mantra
    Last edited by Shepherd777; 09-18-2021, 08:20 AM.
    Bob Sliwa
    "I was cruising in my E-Ray, late one night, when a Tesla Model S, pulled up on the right......."
    Currently Building an All-Electric,1963 Split-Window Coupe Ludicrous Speed Restomod.
    Ludicrous Speed - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NAWL8ejf2nM

    2020 C8 ELB - Event Status 666 - Completely destroyed at the race track due to year 2020! Insured!!!
    2022-2023? E-Ray - Number 4 on the List at MacMulkin!

  • #2
    WHile I doubt Ill be around for the c9...I am fascinated with the choice between c8 z06 and c8 E ray.

    who here is on the list for both ? Or just the E ray?


    Hope that e ray has a jet turbine sound a little louder than my current e tron. That sound cracks me up.

    i feel a little like Im watching a sci fi flick or maybe even the jetsons as I did as a kid.
    Last edited by JB; 09-18-2021, 10:16 AM.

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    • #3
      I would not be surprised if GM switched figurative gears (if it already hasn't and we don't yet know it) and built an all-electric Corvette sooner than we think. The current C8 platform likely wouldn't support the Ultium platform, but what if the Zora ended up being that... being developed in secret? Seems like the all-electric sports car world is coming to fruition now.
      TPW Nov 15 2020, CMG 3LT, Z51, Mag ride, Front Lift, Edge Red calipers and engine cover, red interior w/ 2-tone black/red GT2 seats, transparent roof, engine appearance pkg, carbon flash 5 spoke wheels.

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      • #4
        Good idea though as you mentioned the C8 world is not an all electric platform. Every birdie that has whispered has said that ZORA will be over 1,000 HP, a like amount of torque and will be based on a twin turbo V8 enhanced by hybrid.
        GBA Black; HTO Twilight/Tension interior; Z51 & Mag Ride; E60 lift; 5VM visible carbon fiber package; 5ZZ high wing; FA5 interior vis CF; ZZ3 engine appearance; 3LT; Q8T Spectra Gray Tridents; J6N Edge Red Calipers; SNG Edge Red Hashmarks; VQK Splash Guards; RCC Edge Red engine cover; VJR illuminated sill plates. Lifetime, annual contributors, and 23 year members of National Corvette Museum. Home is the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

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        • #5
          Will certainly be glad when we here something definitive. Although now that my 2022 C8 was built last Monday I am less anxious. But as I have said before 100 hp only and a 1.94kWh battery would be a COMPLETE failure that should cause heads to role. Sorry for the hyperbole but I did not want an ambiguous answer.🙂

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          • #6
            I'm ready for the Z06 and E-Ray! Front wheel traction with torque vectoring will make the E-Ray and Zora extremely impressive machines.

            The C9 will be BEV and could use the C8 as a starting point. Note with the Rimac Nevera, the most advanced tech out, how the battery is arranged. To keep the driver low, they arranged it mainly in a T with a shallow 'I' section below the footwell.

            Here is a great video that they produced discussing the challenges.



            Last edited by smoove7410; 09-18-2021, 01:50 PM.

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