Corvette sub-brand and SUV on the horizon?

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Thanks to the astute engineering and fetching design GM invested in the long-awaited, mid-engine, eighth-generation Corvette, it has become the automaker’s hottest property. New Stingrays are sold out. Used C8s command over-sticker prices. For a spot on the 670-horsepower Z06’s waiting list, passionate fans are begging dealers.

Credible rumors and top management projections point to even more excitement on the horizon. Half-a-dozen additions to the C8 family before the clock strikes 2030 will rouse unprecedented interest in America’s only sports car. GM President Mark Reuss recently mentioned two new editions without providing much detail. He differentiated them by referring to one as “electrified” and the other as “full electric” while touting GM’s goal of adding 30 new BEVs to its roster by 2025.


Some of this should sound familiar, especially if you read my deep-dive article from last May on the future Corvettes. “Electrified” is code for the Corvette E-Ray hybrid due in a year or so. A battery pack inside the Stingray’s hollow center spine, coupled with a 100-horsepower AC drive motor propelling each front wheel and a motor-generator within the eight-speed dual-clutch transaxle will provide improved performance and slippery road poise. Critically, it will also add the ability to drive into European urban centers that prohibit tailpipe emissions. While the 495-horsepower LT2 V-8 is the most likely engine to be tapped for the E-Ray, there’s nothing stopping GM from also adding a 670-horsepower LT6 version to the Corvette lineup for those with a thirst for additional speed.

Corvette E-Ray camo front three-quarter track

Corvette EV

While Reuss won’t expound on any details concerning the “full-electric” Corvette(s) heading our way, we and others have been busy speculating and poking around for answers. The first most likely possibility is a five-door hatchback BEV constructed atop the company’s Ultium skateboard platform. The role model here is the Porsche Taycan Sport Turismo. If the GMC Hummer is the platinum brick in GM’s BEV family, this as-yet-unnamed all-electric Corvette will be the company’s .50-caliber bullet. GM designers will have their work cut out combining sleekness and reasonable rear-seat access with a credible exterior appearance.


To balance out all of these dancing electrons, the coming Corvette ZR1 will be powered by a 5.5-liter LT7 V-8 consisting of the Z06’s LT6 engine augmented by two turbochargers. Expect a monstrous 850 horsepower, 825-850 lb-ft of torque, and enough raw speed to make Ferrari engineers weep. While this Corvette’s timing is unknown, we’d expect it to serve as the meat in the coming BEV sandwich. Pencil the ZR1 in on your 2025 calendar.

Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 badge

Corvette crossover

To continue Corvette’s growth spurt, there are rumblings (from Car and Driver, among others) that a larger BEV crossover will bow later in the decade under a more formalized sub-brand. Imagine a fully electric Porsche Macan or Cayenne. This brief for this vehicle: ample room and comfort for five adults with sufficient cargo space to support cross-country voyages. GM’s hope, one imagines, is that America will be outfitted with conveniently spaced fast charging stations by the time this Corvette SUV hits our highways.


To close out the eighth-generation Corvette’s lifetime, a remarkable model to be called “Zora” awaits. Picture the union of E-Ray and ZR1 technology, combining forces into a mega C8 good for 1000 horsepower and torque targets GM engineers are striving to meet between coffee breaks. In case you’re behind on your Corvette lore, Zora Arkus-Duntov was the Vette’s patron saint from the mid-1950s through the mid-1970s and the engineer who identified the need for a mid-engine powertrain layout.

For those who can’t afford the $200,000 price tag likely for the Corvette Zora, GM has an appropriate consolation prize in mind: the next-generation Corvette, nicknamed C9. It’s not a stretch to imagine the C9 Vette will be a more affordable BEV two-seater with no internal combustion engine in the mix. (To read our comprehensive design and engineering forecast click here.)

Chevrolet Corvette sports car logo
Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto/Getty Images

Shedding the bowtie?

The potential flurry of coming Corvettes begs one additional question—is this sporting champion about to snip its Chevy apron strings? Given the fact that today’s C8 already carries crossed flags inside and out, with absolutely no Chevrolet or bowtie identification, one could argue that ditching the “Chevrolet” in “Chevrolet Corvette” would be something of a formality at this juncture.

Three considerations are almost definitely floating around GM headquarters concerning this subject. The first is fear about rocking the Corvette boat with any break from the Chevy fleet. The second is the strategy of mimicking Genesis’ split from Hyundai dealerships, complete with its own distinct (and more high-end) sales and service facilities. The third alternative is Tesla’s successful circumvention of the entire traditional sales and service model.  Instead, the seller-to-customer dialogue would be all digital, via website and cellphones the way Polestar operates. If service is required, the vehicle is hauled off to a facility for work and a loaner if provided to avoid inconvenience.

While GM would show unprecedented courage with such a dramatic expansion of the Corvette product line, we don’t expect the automaker follow Tesla into a fully digital sales and service interface. We’d wager you’ll still purchase the next Corvette in person, perhaps in at a stand-alone showroom in which Le Mans victory décor lines the walls in place of Silverado pickup and Suburban banners.

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    I can’t say that my interest in the Corvette goes past the C3. The problem with EVs is the batteries are shot about the same time the vehicle is reaching the bottom of its resale curve and I doubt very many of them will be repaired. I really don’t care for the concept of slamming a popular name on a vehicle hoping it will translate into sales.

    Times change, unfortunately most Corvette owners minds don’t change! Why not increase the brand with an suv? Aston Martin did it and it’s one of the nicest in their line up.
    Electric technology is there, charging stations are coming and until you’ve driven electric or electric assisted- well simply you have no idea what you’re taking about.

    Aston Martin has been irrelevant for years and has not made a true net-net profit in more than a decade. Aston’s LOST $347M in the 1H2022 – I wouldn’t hold that outfit out as an example for anything but poor management….

    Chevrolet holds nothing sacred (See Impala, Malibu and Super Sport) and now they are going to ruin its last grasp at greatness; destroying the Corvette name by slapping it on an SUV.

    Zora is probably spinning @ more RPM in his grave than the next SBC V8 will redline at.

    The Mock-Me (Mach-E? Whatever it is?) cheapens the Mustang brand, but thank god Ford isn’t stupid enough to make a GT-UV.

    Take the Chevrolet out of Corvette? Never! I might not mind an electric Corvette as long as it LOOKS LIKE a Corvette, not like that ugly beast Brand X calls a a Mustang EV. Years ago, there was a kit that would convert a Corvette into a station wagon, but it still looked like a Corvette.

    Corvette is a model of Chevrolet in the GM multi-niche served company. They don’t need to sell other kinds of Corvettes (SUV) to support the making of the “real Corvette”. That was not the case for several of the high end sellouts that have gone down this road.

    You make money doing this today. I suspect you pay the price down the road when the kids aren’t putting posters up on the wall dreaming of your brand because they see it at every soccer game.

    GM has enough brands (and defunct brands they still own the rights to) to compete in any market niche they want to without slapping a Corvette badge on it. It makes far more sense to further upscale (return to its place) Cadillac which already has gone down the “separate dealerships” path. That might even give Buick a purpose in the North American market…

    The main thing I am interested in regarding the coming two decades is the pursuit of cars as a subscriptions and the associated revolt among enthusiast. Launching a sub-brand, with separate dealers, plays right into the court of the pukes pushing the west-coasts ideals of cars as software you don’t own.

    Blame the tree huggers for the intended electric Corvette, and most likely other brands as well. Sorry to say I live in California and our leaders want to outlaw all gas-powered vehicles under the zero emissions act, or whatever the hell else they can think up. My passion for the classic car hobby will soon go by way of the dinosaur.

    If they’re going this route, they should bring back the SSR and stick a corvette badge on it. Oh, and how bout a Corvette golf cart and maybe an electric scooter or bicycle? Corvette could become GM’s next Saturn.

    The waiting list for the Z06 C8 is five years long. Makes no sense to improve on a car you can’t build enough of.

    General Motors should not be introducing any new EV vehicles to the market until they take care of existing customers who have already purchased EV s that are on recall and need batter replacement (i.e. the Bolt). I know customers that have been on a waiting list for a battery for months and they keep being told that the dealer that is doing the replacement hasn’t been trained or batteries are not available.

    Take care of existing customers first before flooding the market with new products that may also eventually need a recall.

    Here’s my stance on all of it. I’m not against electric vehicles. I’m against totally transforming historical automobiles into something they just are not. Like Dodge did to the Dart. Electric vehicles should be introduced as a completely new line and new idea. Stop robbing the past of what it is. Give both options to consumers until the new idea is proven and adopted. This gives everyone time to become Ok with whatever the outcome is. Stop force-feeding us. The truth is, when all electric takes over, the cars and trucks that were made great by the combustion engine die with the combustion engine. This generation has no idea how to be creative, only how to ride the backs of others who came up with ideas and made it great. Can we not even come up with a new generation of vehicles for the electric motor, and try to make something new and great to look forward to? History is meant to be learned from, not robbed from.

    How did Hummer being it’s own stand alone brand work out? Not well as I remember. The laws of physic is in direct dispute with an all electric future. Couple this with the fact that electricity rates have increased
    at a faster pace than gasoline. Here in RI the our electric rates just went up 47% this month.

    The “beauty” of the Chevrolet corvette is that there are ~a few thousand dealers. The parts are readily available and (some) mechanics at these dealerships know them well. Each dealership doesnt sell that many cars per year, however stand alone corvette stores will be few and far between, losing a big advantage.
    I have a C5, and was not impressed with the quality of the service/knowlege of my local stealership and never went back.
    I got the impression that they were somehow uninterested in an enthusiast car and would rather work on chevy appliances. Ironically this is in direct conflict with the concept of having many dealers and service departments, but at least they are there.
    Try to get your Ferrari repaired/serviced.

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