Could it drop the V8 for a V6 and an electric motor?
Update: Sorry, folks, this isn't the plug-in hybrid Chevy Corvette. A statement from Chevrolet spokesman Chris Bonelli reads: "The snowy car in your pictures is actually a very early test mule for the 2020 Stingray. The orange cable sticking out of the front hood is simply for ease of access to the 12V battery. We used this for a lot of testing that required running accessories, so this was an easy way to keep the battery charged when doing so without running the engine all the time."
Before General Motor unveiled the all-new 2020 Chevy Corvette C8 last July, rumors of a hybrid, plug-in, and electric model were already swirling. Those rumors swelled in the hours after the car's debut when a member of the Corvette team hinted that some form of electrification for the car was a possibility. In August, spy photos of a camouflaged Corvette appeared to show the car with a strange cord popping through the hood. Now, new spy photos show another Corvette with unusual hood accessories that seem to indicate some form of electric assist.
The new photos appear to show a cable jutting out from the hood next to a T-shaped button that's likely an emergency shut-down trigger. While it's unlikely this is the final position for any electric plug the Corvette may need in the future, rumors suggest that if GM electrified the Corvette, it could do so with an electric motor driving the front axle. That'd make the car all-wheel drive.
The photos show no other changes to the Corvette as it doesn't look any different than your standard 2020 Corvette Stingray with the Z51 package. It's not clear if the electric motor would pair with the car's current 6.2-liter engine. However, the photographer noted the exhaust note sounded like that of a V6 engine. Our sources indicate that this model is expected to be analogous to the Stingray model while offering hybridized power. There are rumors Chevy could pair an electric motor with a twin-turbocharged 5.5-liter V8 that'd produce a total output of nearly 1,000 horsepower (745 kilowatts).
Gallery: Chevy Corvette Plug-In Hybrid Spy Photos
It's a question of when, not if, the Corvette receives an electrical boost. In December, Corvette chief engineer Tadge Juechter was upfront about the reality facing the Corvette – GM's plan to produce only zero-emissions vehicles. That would include the Corvette if GM wants to continue selling it.
Electrifying the Corvette would take more than adding some batteries and a motor. Engineers need to guarantee the increase in power and performance capability outweighs the extra weight of an electric motor and battery pack. We'll have to wait for Chevy to reveal more about its plan for the Corvette going forward.