The C8 Corvette ZR1 will go hybrid and make 900 HP
About a year ago we heard the Chevy's upcoming ZR1 might feature a hybrid powertrain. Now, as you might imagine all of the V8 loving amongst us are up a tree. However, in August we heard that same car will also feature a twin-turbo flat-plane-crank dual-overhead-cam V-8 based on the C8.R race car's engine.
Now, this made us all scratch our heads, because there is now way that a Production Corvette would feature a twin-turbo race car engine, and technology from the Toyota Prius. Because, aside from the enraged anti-electric masses, that car would be obscenely powerful.
However, an new report from Motor Trend says that: "we have exclusive confirmation from a senior official at GM. The ZR1 will build on the Z06's all-new engine with a performance- (not fuel economy-) oriented hybrid system to fill in torque gaps and increase total output to an even 900 hp."
900 HP!!!! That's 13 horsepower MORE than a Porsche 918 Spyder!! Not to mention that if you were to buy a 918 it would probably cost you well over $1 million.
In theory the new hybrid-system would work much like the one in the Porsche 918. The new ZR1 may employ two front-mounted electric motors which can both increase performance and, above all, enable true torque vectoring to work in tandem with the rear axle's limited-slip differential.
However, this does raise an issue, batteries and electric motors are heavy. It will be interesting to see how the Corvette will handle its extra weight. The most logical thing to do would be to mount the batteries near the bottom of the vehicle to lower the center of gravity, while at the same time benefiting handling.
This would then be the first AWD, hybrid corvette, something which many purists may scream bloody murder because of. However, the Corvette's mission has always been to provide supercar-level performance to the everyday-man, and if this brings them closer to that goal it's fine by me.