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2021 Chevrolet Corvette hybrid details leaked

Good ol’ pushrod power meets hybrid high-tech in a new Corvette to slot under the bahn-storming ZR1, according to Jalopnik.
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The C8 series of Chevrolet Corvette is already a quantum shift from its predecessor with its mid-engine layout and the promise of twin-turbocharged DOHC V8s, all-wheel-drive and hybrid power.

Nevertheless, it still has that small-block Chevy V8 goodness that appeals to loyal Corvette buyers.

Jalopnik reports an upcoming C8 variant will blend the best of the new and old Corvette worlds. According to documents obtained by the outlet, hybrid power and all-wheel-drive won’t just be available in the range-topping ZR1 variant with its all-new, twin-turbocharged, double-overhead cam V8.

Chevrolet is reportedly working on a C8 variant that weds the standard Corvette Stingray’s mid-mounted LT2 pushrod V8 with an electric drive unit, allowing power to be delivered to all four wheels. It’ll be available in both coupe and convertible body styles.

The documents reveal an electric drive unit with a peak output of 85kW and 150kW. Due to differing power peaks, those numbers can’t directly be added to the regular Corvette’s 370kW and 637Nm.

They'll sit comfortably below the upcoming ZR1 variant however, which Jalopnik says will produce 671kW from its twin-turbo hybrid V8.

Expect the hybrid Corvette to use electric power predominantly during low-speed driving, much like the conceptually similar Honda NSX. The electric motor should also fill in gaps in power delivery.

For comparison, the mid-engine, hybrid NSX’s V6 engine produces 373kW and 550Nm, augmented by two electric motors that produce 27kW and 73Nm each and a 35kW direct-drive motor assisting the rear wheels.

The NSX also weighs 104kg more than the regular Corvette. It’s possible that even with the addition of this electric hardware, the Corvette will be little heavier, though the documents Jalopnik obtained suggest the Corvette won’t use individual motors for each front wheel like its Japanese rival.

Power generated by the electric motor will be controlled with a mechanical actuator-driven pawl clutch. This will allow for the Corvette’s front wheels to be disconnected when the electric motor isn’t required.

The electric components, including the battery, will sit in what Chevrolet calls the Rechargeable Energy Storage System (RESS), a rectangular case sitting neatly within the tunnel of the car. The battery has a total capacity of 1.94kWh, more than the NSX’s 1.3kWh.

The electric drive unit will sit at the front of the car, though the Corvette will reportedly retain its “frunk” as some components will be mounted down low.

While “more weight” isn’t something sports car enthusiasts usually ask for, the front-mounted electric drive unit will allow Chevrolet engineers to better distribute weight in the Corvette.

The regular Corvette’s weight distribution is 39.4/60.6 front and rear, where cars like the Honda NSX, Ferrari 458 and McLaren 570S have a more desirable 42/58 weight distribution. The extra weight up front will help bring the Corvette closer to those cars’ figures.

Other changes for the hybrid model include a custom strut brace and unique cradle. It appears hybrid models will feature an electronic limited-slip differential with a 3.797 final drive, carbon-ceramic brakes, and an FE5 suspension tune that suggests the use of GM’s Magnetic Ride Control.

GM has remained mum on future C8 variants and hasn’t commented on Jalopnik’s report – and Jalopnik says there's a chance the details will change before launch.