Hooniverse Asks: Would a Hybrid Corvette be Sacrilege?

Two of the most recent hyper cars—the Porsche 918 Spider and McLaren P1—are gas/plug-in electric hybrids. What was once seemingly blasphemy, the adding of electrons and the heavy batteries needed to house them, is now the latest game changer in eking out that last drop of performance when money is no object.
As hybrid drivetrains become more and more ubiquitous—as you know they will—the question arrises, when will such stalwart icons of American performance such as the Mustang and more importantly, the Corvette make the switch? Could you picture a ‘Vette, silently moving down the street strictly under electric power? Would that be the ultimate sacrilege, or would that be the next logical step in Corvette evolution? What do you think?
Image: Corvette Forum, americus.biz

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20 responses to “Hooniverse Asks: Would a Hybrid Corvette be Sacrilege?”

  1. smalleyxb122 Avatar

    As the corvette evolves from “America’s Sports Car” to “America’s Supercar”, adding motors might be welcomed (by some, at least) as hybridization becomes standard practice within the supercar game.
    As long as it still has 8 cylinders. Electric motors can supplement those cylinders, but it had better not replace any of them.

  2. Alff Avatar

    Sacrilege? No. To a misty old coot like me, it would be an unfortunate departure from tradition. I still mourn the loss of four round tail lights.

  3. Maymar Avatar

    Considering the Corvette survived the Malaise era, and having as little as 170hp (or about the same as my dad’s Hyundai Sonata), a performance hybrid really isn’t a problem.
    Also, used to be astronauts drove Corvettes, but is that still the case? Moving to a techy-er image could be just the thing to keep the Corvette relevant

  4. GTXcellent Avatar

    I wouldn’t have an issue provided it wasn’t across the whole line. If they had a Corvette Z110/220 package to go along with a Z07, and ZR1, and Zetc. no problem – in fact, DO IT! DO IT NOW!

    1. Ross Ballot Avatar
      Ross Ballot

      Exactly my thoughts, though not necessarily sure about use of those numbers.
      I’d really like to see a broader range of Corvettes. Mid-engine hybrid halo model (a la Holy Trinity), mid-engine NA, then the regular FR slew (ZR1, Z06, Grand Sport, Stingray)

  5. Sjalabais Avatar

    I wouldn’t expect anyone to go on the barricades. Yet the Corvette is meant to be cheap, brutal, proletarian. Adding complexity for extra oomp might be okay, but is it necessary? The extra weight would probably not be the biggest problem – it’s not a Lotus. And gas savings? Brake-induced recharging might raise efficiency, but who buys a Corvette with efficiency in mind?

  6. Tanshanomi Avatar

    I’d have no problem with it, as long as it is added a means to get higher performance, not an economy-enhancing move to placate the eco-nannies.

    1. ramLlama Avatar

      Why not both?
      But yes, the goal should be performance in a performance car. Added efficiency should be a nice bonus only.

    2. Tiller188 Avatar

      Agreed. A ‘Vette moving down the street silently, under pure electric power? That sounds a bit sacrilegious. A ‘Vette that can utilize electric power for a quick ~75-ish hp boost to blow the doors off a challenger? That feels more appropriate (sure, I’ll drive Buck Rogers’ Corvette!)

  7. P161911 Avatar

    No problem as long as they keep the V-8.

    1. crank_case Avatar

      This, the cheap “simple” V8 seems to be rapidly retreating stateside and the world will be a poorer place without a ready supply of LS engines on ebay. First it was regular passenger cars started dropping them (e.g. your average Impala type saloon), Cadillacs and the like getting turbo’d V6s because that was “high tech” and in line with what the Germans were doing. I am trucks, last volume source of V8s will start to move away from the format too as people realize that diesel is a better choice for anything large or for towing (and you can combine it with hybrid tech too).
      My worry is that the “business case” for continuing to develop successors to the likes of the LS or Chrysler/Ford V8s and make them emission compliant will continue to decline as CAFE standards get tighter, so you will move to a situation like Europe, were a V8 becomes a “luxury engine” for “luxury cars”, so becomes a more sophisticated, complex beast rather than the staple of small sports car manufacturers, modifiers and hot rodders the world over. Maybe this is going to sound mad, but as an outsider, the one thing I love about the US is that it’s a country where engine size and power has been “democratised” rather than the “back in your box peasant” approach of many Euro countries.
      Don’t loose it, you’ll only realize what you’ve lost when it’s gone.

  8. ramLlama Avatar

    Not an issue at all. It’s just another step on the evolution of a car. Unlike some of the others here, I am even fine with switching to twin-charged six-cylinders and other such heresy.
    However, like Tanshanomi said, it should be in pursuit of more performance. To hybridize a Corvette in order to achieve higher efficiency fundamentally redefines a Corvette away from being a performance car, which would be disastrous.

    1. Guest Avatar

      Ah, but is a six-cylinder heresy, or just honouring the past?


      1. Vairship Avatar

        Slap a turbosupercharger on that and call it good!

  9. Batshitbox Avatar

    Suuure… buuut… How are they going to get the pushrods into the electric motors?

  10. engineerd Avatar

    As long as they keep the things that make a Corvette a Corvette: pushrod V8, Skip Shift, and cheap plastics.
    In fact, they should mid-mount the electric motors to really screw with the purists.

    1. kogashiwa Avatar

      “There’s your mid-engine Corvette!”

      1. Ross Ballot Avatar
        Ross Ballot


  11. Rust-MyEnemy Avatar

    Nope. Corvette has always been about making the most of the available technology at the time. No point in deliberately slowing evolution just to please those of us who still live in 1969.
    Its appeal will simply shift towards those who want a contemporary product rather than a classic one. My money’s on the former market being the bigger one.

  12. Rick Radcliffe Avatar
    Rick Radcliffe

    One of the things I love about my Corvette is the nearly 30 mpg that I get on the highway.The Corvette can be a true daily and electric power would make it even better. If I could get 30-40 miles all electric and sneak into the carpool lanes in California and then have that power available to “supplement” the 400+ hp of my V8, that would be the best of all worlds.

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