The great American sports car is going electric. General Motors President Mark Reuss shared the news this morning, and released the first images of the upcoming electric Chevrolet Corvette. He says the vehicle could be available for sale as soon as "early next year." And the electrification of the Corvette is the least exciting part of the announcement: The video clearly shows the front tires are powered, meaning only one thing: The Corvette is going all-wheel drive.
Chevy appears to be building for an AWD future. Automotive rumors peg the unannounced, high-performance Corvette C8 Z06 to sport AWD, and the video here all but confirms the arrangement in the EV version, too. It appears that the EV Corvette will be based on the existing mid-engine Corvette platform, which leaves plenty of room in the front and back for motors on each axle. With internal combustion affairs, vehicles require significant retrofitting to make room for all-wheel drive's extra driveshafts and differentials. With EVs, it just takes another motor and some computer programming.
According to Reuss, the electric Corvette utilizes GM's Ultium platform, which is underpinning numerous upcoming GM EVs, including the Hummer EV, Silverado EV and Blazer EV.
General Motors has been quiet about replacing the Corvette's small block with batteries and motors. The first murmurs of the vehicle came several years back when GM moved the Corvette team into EV building in Warren, Michigan. And today's announcement doesn't shed a lot of light onto the subject either. GM did not release expected price point, battery range or 0-60 mph times.
Corvette faithful knew this day was coming. The Corvette is the quintessential American sports car, and since nearly the beginning, a small block Chevy V8 has been its beating heart. An electric Corvette will, of course, lack the comforting rumble of a V8, but the electric motors will no doubt make up for it with explosive performance -- especially if it comes equipped with motors on each axle.