We just captured a rather peculiar Corvette C8 prototype undergoing testing, and our sources tell us that this is yet another mule for the upcoming Corvette E-Ray, also known as the plug-in hybrid Corvette.
What we see is a vehicle that looks nearly identical, if not fully identical, to the all-new, mid-engine 2020 Corvette Stingray, except for a rather curious exhaust configuration mated to a device attached to the sport coupe’s rear end. A closer look reveals a stock exhaust system that’s routed through a set of new outboard piping that connects to the aforementioned device, which we’ve come to learn is an exhaust flow measurement tool from Semtech.
In addition, this plug-in hybrid Corvette C8 prototype features orange cabling that we have seen various times before. As GM Authority exclusively explained, the orange cables have kill switches on the outside of the vehicle, allowing engineers to disable power flow to whatever they’re connected to. In this case, one of the cables on this prototype is providing power to the emissions testing device out back.
Now, the 2020 Corvette C8 has been shipping to dealers since the beginning of March, and customers are beginning to take delivery of the very first C8 units. In that regard, it’s simply too late at this point for GM to be performing exhaust and emissions testing for the C8 Stingray. As such, what we’re looking at here is a prototype for a future electrified C8 model variant expected to be called Corvette E-Ray, with this particular mule being configured for emissions testing.
When it does come to market, the E-Ray is expected to be analogous to the C8 Stingray, but with added performance and fuel economy benefits. An electric drive unit located in the front cargo area will draw power from four 1.94 kWh batteries placed in the car’s midship to generate around slightly north of 100 horsepower and 100 pound-feet of torque. That electric configuration will be paired with the familiar 6.2L V8 LT2 gasoline engine from the C8 Stingray, which makes 490 horsepower. The result will be that the PHEV hybrid Corvette will make a total system power in the vicinity 600 horsepower.
As GM Authority was first to report, General Motors filed two applications to register “Corvette E-Ray” and “E-Ray” as trademarks with the United States Patent and Trademark Office as far back as 2015.
We’ll have more on this Corvette hybrid in the very near future, so be sure to subscribe to GM Authority for more Corvette E-Ray news, Corvette news and mid-engine Corvette news, Chevrolet news, and around-the-clock GM news coverage.