Once upon a time, when the Chevy Corvette still located its engine in its nose, it offered an appealing in-between performance trim. The Corvette Grand Sport brought wider fender flares, suspension upgrades, and other performance goodies—essentially marrying the format of the more powerful Z06 with the entry-level Corvette Stingray’s LT1 V-8 engine. But according to a report from GM Authority, the eight-gen Corvette will skip the Grand Sport version altogether.
Sources from within General Motors apparently told GM Authority that the blank space between the “base” Corvette (as if you could consider the entry-level C8’s spicy performance “basic”) and the expected Z06 model will instead be filled by the E-Ray hybrid. The long-expected E-Ray is anticipated to use the Corvette Stingray’s 6.2-liter V-8 engine along with a pair of electric motors powering the front axle to increase power and efficiency. And yes, the E-Ray’s layout would also upgrade the C8 from rear- to all-wheel drive.
There’s no telling at this moment how much power the Corvette E-Ray might make, but it’ll likely be more than the 495 hp of the entry-level car. Figure on somewhere between 550 to 600 horses, which would fit the E-Ray neatly between the Stingray and the 2022 Corvette Z06‘s expected 600-hp-plus output.
The Z06, by the way, will also get a special flat-plane-crankshaft V-8 that ditches pushrods for an overhead cam setup. Beyond that, the Corvette lineup will likely sprout a ZR1 with a twin-turbo version of the Z06’s engine, along with a 1,000-hp “Zora” hybrid model that combines the E-Ray’s electric motors with the ZR1’s turbocharged twin-cam, flat-plane-crank V-8. So, while the Grand Sport seemingly won’t make it back into the Corvette lineup, the E-Ray that takes its place (soon, we suspect, though the timing is hazy) will serve as the bridge between the current Stingray and the wilder models to come in the emerging C8 family.