GM is Pondering a Hybrid Corvette
Chevy’s Corvette has come a long way, engine-wise. When it was first introduced in 1953, the car came with an asthmatic 6-cylinder engine as its only option. 60 years later, in 2013, the car’s base engine is a 6.2 L V8 making over 450 hp. Corvette customers have changed, in other words. They’ve evolved. In fact, they’re still evolving, a fact that has prompted GM President Mark Reuss to talk about a future hybrid Corvette with the LA Times.
“Don’t laugh … I think it’s a very attractive idea, actually,” Reuss said. “I think it (a hybrid Corvette) would be really fun to do, I think it would build capability inside our company and I think people would love it.”
Now, the LA Times – like, maybe, most people – think Reuss and whoever is on his “hybrid corvette” engineering team are looking at something like the Porsche/Ferrari KERS system. “Adding a kinetic energy recovery system (KERS), or at least an electric motor that would supplement the power of a gas engine, presents a win-win scenario for automakers; they can add power and efficiency at the same time.”
For what it’s worth, I think the logical move for Chevy would be to build a hybrid Corvette around the same kind of “mild hybrid” system found in the last-gen Malibu and the current range of “eAssist” Buicks. The eAssist battery pack and 15 hp electric “starter” motor shown, below …
… which doesn’t sound like much, but the motor also puts down almost 80 lb-ft of torque at 0 RPM, helping the car get off the line and allowing for relatively easy implementation of stop-start technology on the big-engine Corvette. In a Buick, the system improves city MPG by over 20%, a boost that GM would love to give its halo car.
So, I’m calling it: GM is going to build an eAssist Corvette rather sooner than later, and maybe save a full-on “hybrid Corvette” for when the millennials are ready to buy a mid-life crisis car. In the meantime, check out the photo, below, to see how a GM exec. poses for online dating photos.
Source | Photos: LA Times.