The 2020 Chevrolet Corvette debuted last week with a naturally aspirated 6.2-litre V8 and 490 bhp out of the box (or, 495 bhp with the optional Z51 package). What didn't show was the long-rumoured hybrid model – though, internet rumours are already swirling. But even without battery power on the stand, Chevy suggests Corvette development will aid in the production of more hybrids and electric vehicles down the line.
John Wilkinson, General Motors' lead performance engineer, says that some of the technology used in developing Corvette could trickle down to hybrids and EVs. The most significant piece of which being the Driver-in-the-Loop simulator.
Gallery: 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray
"I am very passionate about bringing our future EV portfolio to market," notes Wilkinson. "Leveraging the Driver-in-the-Loop technology and applying what we have learned from testing dynamics on other vehicles, like the Corvette, will maximise the capabilities of our EV products. This will make the next few years extraordinarily challenging and exciting for me."
The Driver-in-the-Loop simulator combines a real-time computer (replete with vehicle hardware) with a driving simulator. It allows the user – in this case, Wilkinson – to monitor things like springs, dampers, stabiliser bars, and chassis control systems, among others, all without having to risk the secrecy of prototypes on road.
"With an even bolder corporate vision of Zero Crashes, Zero Emissions, and Zero Congestion," says Wilkinson, "I see the team building off the simulation capability we've delivered for Corvette applied to our future EV portfolio. It's a monumental challenge, with an equal amount of empowerment."
As for the possibility for a hybrid Corvette, rumours from earlier in the year suggest Chevy could place an electric motor up front and send power to all four wheels. In 2015, GM registered the "E-Ray" trademark and again renewed it for 2019. So, a hybrid (or fully electric) Corvette could be a thing of the near future.