Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Concept - Is a hybrid powertrain in the Corvette's future?

Is GM really considering a hybrid Corvette? Tom Stephens says it's a possibility. Who is Tom Stephens? He's GM's vice chairman of global product development, so he should know. To be fair, he says that a hybrid would only be considered if the Corvette's very livelihood depended on it. Now that CAFE standards are ratcheting up to a corporate average 35.5 mpg by 2016 though, it might be the 'Vette's only hope.

With Porsche, Audi, Mercedes and others showing electrics and other alternatively-powered sports cars, and some companies doing nothing but plug-in hybrids or electrics (like Fisker and Tesla), it's not that hard to imagine an electrically-boosted fiberglass flyer. The question is whether or not Corvette buyers would even consider a hybrid. We think the idea will grow on them.

For now, GM thinks they have a good enough plan to keep the Corvette electron-free. Until a hybrid is the only option, expect future 'Vettes to be made lighter, and equipped with low rolling resistance tires, direct injection, variable valve timing, and cylinder deactivation to make them more fuel frugal. Even electric power steering can boost mileage by half a gallon. So, although a hybrid Corvette hasn't been ruled out, Stephens does say that we shouldn't expect a six-cylinder engine in that engine bay anytime soon.

[Source: Auomotive News - sub. req'd]

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