Chevrolet’s first electrified Corvette is getting closer.
Almost three months after the automaker finally confirmed it was developing a hybrid C8, video of the car undergoing track testing at Germany’s Nürburgring has surfaced online. We’re still waiting for concrete details about what to expect from the much-anticipated model, but it’s hard not to get excited by the footage of the coupé roaring around the infamous race track.
The stirring clip was posted to YouTube on Wednesday by CarSpyMedia. The video runs just shy of three-and-a-half minutes and depicts three different mid-engine prototypes—numbered four, five and seven—circling the “Green Hell” for the first time. The cars are all wrapped in digital camouflage, so it’s hard to make out any body changes. The most telling aspect of the video, though, is the audio. You can clearly hear the electrified prototype’s V-8, which lets out more of a loud thunder than a crackle.
The roar that emanates from the prototype suggests that its hybrid-assisted powertrain will pair an electric “e-booster” motor with the 6.5-liter LT2 V-8 found in the C8 Stingray, rather than the 5.5-liter LT6 found in the Z06. Although the base model’s mill is bigger, the V-8 in the performance-oriented variant has a flat-plane crank which keeps weight down and produces more power, speed and sound. The LT2 may not be as powerful as the LT6—it produces 490 hp and 465 ft lbs of torque compared to 670 horses and 460 ft lbs of twist—but the presence of an electric motor could make up the difference.
Past reporting suggested the hybrid would produce 650 horses, but that was before the debut of the Z06, so it’s possible that output could end up being even higher. There’s also strong belief that the sports car’s “e-booster” motor will be positioned on the front axle, which, if true, would make the electrified C8 the first all-wheel-drive model in the nameplates’s history.
The Chevrolet C8 Corvette hybrid undergoing track testing at the Nürburgring
We should know the answers to all these questions soon. When General Motors President Mark Reuss confirmed the variant’s existence—insiders believe it will be called either the E-Ray or the Grand Sport—earlier this spring he said that it could make its debut as “early as next year.” A fully-electric variant will follow sometime after.