General Motors (GM) has avoided producing an all-electric Chevrolet Corvette in its latest model, instead opting for a hybrid drivetrain due to performance, cost, proportions and more concerns.
It’s not easy to design a next-generation model for a long-lasting car. A manufacturer is often pressured to stay close to a set of design goals that guide a model while also aiming to come up with innovative new technology that could make a car an overnight sensation or pariah. And in developing the latest generation of the Chevrolet Corvette, GM decided to make a choice for a hybrid rather than an all-electric motor due to performance concerns.
According to his recent series of interviews CNBCGM managers and engineers explain the design choices made regarding the latest Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray, the first-ever plug-in hybrid, four-wheel drive. And while the car is a huge jump in performance over the gas model, which was already launching baby boomers at breakneck speeds, many wondered why the automaker hadn’t done so. Choose an all-electric option.
Image source: General Motors
One of the big hurdles was in regards to the performance of the all-electric Corvette, which some have argued was not capable of the chosen hybrid design. Mike Kogiba, GM’s chief design engineer, candidly commented on CNBC, “The mission of this car was performance, performance, performance… every kilogram or pound has to make its way from a collective standpoint. … [an all-electric platform] Hurt performance, plain and simple. “
Elaborating on his argument, Mr. Kogiba noted that an all-electric Corvette would be much heavier and could suffer from a lack of purpose-built architecture. In contrast, the hybrid design could be retrofitted to the gas Corvette, requiring relatively minor modifications.
As is often the case in vehicle development, cost was another major consideration. Not only would an all-electric Corvette require an all-new performance-oriented EV architecture, along with a new electric motor and battery design, but none of the investments in the already-released gas-powered Corvette would be viable; It would effectively mean starting from scratch.
Beyond concerns of weight, performance, and architecture, the design leaders at the General made it a point to avoid the plug-in port in the new mid-engine supercar. After ditching the Chevy Volt in 2019, the American auto giant has made it clear that it is no longer interested in PHEV technologies, opting instead for hybrid or all-electric designs.
While many are disappointed that American supercars won’t come with all-electric offerings, especially given the impressive advances GM has shown to have made with the gas version, perhaps this instead is a moment of celebration for the last of an era. . The Chevrolet Corvette has defined what American sports car technology has looked like for decades, very different from the muscle cars in terms of its powertrain, but also uniquely affordable compared to the Ford GT and Dodge Vipers of the world. Let’s hope so It’s not just an electric Corvette that’s coming soon But it will continue its legacy of engineering greatness.
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