CarAdvice has spotted a Corvette undergoing construction within General Motors’ 85,000ft battery lab in Warren, Michigan, suggesting the next Corvette will be partially battery powered.
Rumours of a mid-engined Corvette started circulating after images of a Holden Commodore ute kitted out with a giant aero kit and wide body hit the internet. This was further bolstered by images of a heavily disguised prototype sporting the hallmarks of a mid-engined vehicle.
During a tour of General Motors’ impressive battery laboratory located at the GM Campus in Warren, Michigan, CarAdvice spotted a shell of a Corvette within the battery lab.
This is the same lab used to test battery cells, evaluate their performance and fit them to prototype vehicles. The shell on the hoist was labelled ‘Y1BC’, which is the code name given to the current C7 Corvette.
Internet rumours suggest that the C8 Corvette will be mid-engined and is likely to feature a hybrid system that offers 5kWh of battery power and around 20km of driving range. While it won’t be an electric cross-country cruiser, it will be enough to offer added performance from the V8 engine.
While the Bolt and Volt both use flat cells arranged upright in a pack that sits beneath the floor pan, we did see engineers looking at more flexible options, such as the cylindrical cells used in the Tesla range. While more of them are required for similar power density, they are more compact and offer greater placement flexibility, which would be critical in a tight package like a Corvette.
Despite there being every chance the body shell was coincidentally within the battery lab, we didn’t see any other non-electric vehicles parked within the building – and would expect to see any, given it’s dedicated to GM’s electric vehicles.
Unfortunately we weren’t able to take any photographs of the shell, but can assure you that portions of the body frame matched a shell we had seen earlier in the day and the stamped body code read ‘Y1BC’.
Do you think an electrically-assisted Corvette would take it up a notch against the supercars in this segment?