Report: C8 Chevrolet Corvette "Zora" to Pack 1,000-HP Hybrid Powertrain

Chevrolet is reportedly working on a 1,000-horsepower Corvette variant, according to a General Motors document leaked to Hagerty. Informally known as the “Zora” (in honor of famed Corvette engineer Zora Arkus-Duntov), the top-of-the-line Corvette trim will allegedly rely on a gasoline-electric hybrid powertrain that pairs a twin-turbocharged 5.5-liter V-8 engine with one or more electric motors, the latter of which we expect will power the car’s front wheels. 

Reputedly originally slated for the 2025 model year, the top-dog Corvette trim will likely now arrive sometime in the latter half of the decade. Blame the coronavirus pandemic, which has put a pause on the development of various General Motors vehicles. (But, also, thank that operational pause, because it’s that order that revealed these new Corvette projects that are being halted during the crisis.) A statement by the company, however, noted that it has no plans to “[cancel] any programs” and that “near-term programs like [GM’s] full-size SUVs, and our EV portfolio . . . will see little or no impact. “

The pause in development will likely affect the timing of other Corvette models, too. This includes the Corvette ZR1, which the Zora allegedly cribs its 850-hp V-8 engine from. The same leaked document notes that a naturally aspirated 650-hp variant of the ZR1’s twin-cam V-8 was due to arrive in the track-oriented Corvette Z06 for the 2022 model year. Meanwhile, a 600-hp, gasoline-electric hybrid Corvette Grand Sport—that pairs the standard Stingray’s 6.2-liter V-8 engine with one or more electric motors—was evidently set to enter the fray for the 2023 model year. We anticipate each Corvette model will now debut one or more model years later than originally planned.

While we’re certainly bummed about the likely delay of the eighth-generation Corvette’s more powerful trims, we’re glad to see even more evidence that GM isn’t holding back on its flagship sports car’s potential potency. It also helps that the entry-level Corvette Stingray is such an absolute joy to drive. After all, it’s our 2020 Car of the Year for good reason.

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