2021 Corvette C8 ZR1 will have an insane amount of power

A pair of big ol’ turbos and a battery pack give the ZR1 hypercar-scaring power levels

Corvette C8 ZR1 Hybrid Twin Turbo V8 Engine

Anyone who tells you that electric powertrains are going to ruin modern cars is wrong. How do I know this? Because today we have news that the Corvette C8 ZR1 will pack a reported 671kW punch, thanks to hybrid power.

It does this with an electrified powertrain that is solely focused on power, not economy, which is fantastic news for all the Florida lawyers that will buy one to escape angry ‘gators in the bayou.

Wheels first reported that the C8 Corvette flagship would be a hybrid in 2017, and news has emerged overnight from the United States that we were bang on the money.

Motor Trend, is making the most recent claim, reporting that electric power will aid a twin-turbo flat-plane crank V8 in producing a not-insignificant 671kW - or a neat 900hp if you are talking Yank. 

Our sources told us that due to the compact nature of the new platform, the only location available for the batteries to be located was under the bonnet, paving the way for electric motors to be placed on the front axle, giving the C8 ZR1 all-wheel drive. Motor Trend claims a third motor could be placed between the engine and transmission.

2021 Corvette C8 ZR1 Hybrid Rear

This would result in a similar hybrid powertrain to that seen in the Honda NSX, and would allow the C8 ZR1 to have torque vectoring electric power up front on corner exit, while the electronically controlled limited-slip differential delivers conventional combustion power to the rear treads.

The battery pack is likely to be on the smaller side to save weight, but also because its focus is solely on short power boosts, not maintaining full-electric drive ability. There is no word on whether it will be a plug-in system allowing for overnight charging.

While a lot of focus has been placed on the hybrid aspect of the ZR1, the V8 is also very exciting, and is speculated to be a more powerful version of the all-new engine which will debut in the Z06. Motor Trend reports suggest the twin-turbo V8 will produce power figures in the ballpark of 600kW and 950Nm.

Corvette C8.R racing version

A racing version of the new Corvette, the C8.R, is fitted with a 5.5-litre twin-turbo flat-plane crank V8, which produces a BoP-restricted 373kW and 651Nm. While the road and track units will be mechanically similar, it is unclear if they will share the same displacement.

A hybrid Corvette seemed inevitable once the mid-engine project was first discovered, and with an all-new electric-ready platform, the C8 was the perfect candidate for an electrified halo.

“[Chevrolet] Bolt technology and electrification really has applications in performance cars. You see it at Le Mans … it’s going to happen,” then Chevrolet design boss John Cafaro told Wheels in 2017.


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