Audi has been prototyping an all-electric R8-inspired e-tron supercar since 2009, and Mercedes-Benz revealed the special SLS AMG E-Cell in 2011. Neither made it to production, but Porsche, Ferrari, McLaren and BMW have all found huge success in electrifying their halo sports models.
Now, the fully charged baton may have passed to Chevrolet, with a trademark appearing for the Corvette E-Ray name.
Exactly what Chevrolet is planning is unclear, of course, and it may simply be that the carmaker is securing the ‘E-Ray’ trademark before a rival carmaker does.
However, it’s also possible that GM is preparing an all-electric or hybrid version of the Corvette.
The former would likely be nothing more than a rolling laboratory for future technology development, but the latter could easily be a power-focused move inspired by the likes of Porsche’s 918 Spyder, McLaren’s P1 and Ferrari’s LaFerrari.
That would mean an electric-assisted hybrid arrangement rather than an all-electric setup, matching batteries and electric motors to the Corvette’s conventional petrol engine for additional power and improved efficiency.
It’s unlikely that the E-Ray badge would appear on any version of the current C7 Corvette, however. This sort of project would be a ground-up undertaking, meaning that any plug-in hybrid Corvette E-Ray would be more likely to appear in the next generation.
Of course, by that time, the E-Ray would also be battling with the hotly anticipated hybrid-powered Nissan GT-R, and likely a plethora of other electrified hero cars.