A spy photographer and friend of Autoblog Chris Doane spotted this trademark filing with the US Patent and Trademark Office, and there's not much to it: Chevy is calling dibs on the "Corvette E-Ray" name, and that raises more questions than answers. Being obsessed with this industry is an Autoblog core value, and Corvette is perennially a big deal. It's also historically, and famously, resistant to change. So what's going on here?

Unless it's a pure show car, it's unlikely the E-Ray will be a C7-based hybrid. The current Corvette is a tightly-packaged thing, and batteries are bulky. That makes a concept of some sort all the more likely, especially with the Detroit Auto Show coming up. Unconstrained by the packaging of the real-world Stingray, this E-Ray concept may be a pure EV, or a hybrid, of any configuration. GM has built mid-engined Corvette concept cars in the past, and maybe we'll see one again in a few weeks. A gutted C7 with a pure EV drivetrain is also a remote possibility, although less likely – the Stingray wasn't engineered with that in mind, and we think GM's too big to show off a hack-job at a major auto show.

Not that it is a Corvette competitor, but don't forget that the Tesla Model S P85D and it's P90D successor have taken pure EV performance into the mainstream – the upper end of the mainstream, to be sure. It has been enough to draw industry performance players into the genre. Look at Aston Martin's production-possible RapidE concept, a pure EV, and the confirmed-for-production Porsche Mission E.

We've heard rumblings in the past that Corvette may become a marque unto itself, spawning a variety of variants (including the hypothesized mid-engined production car – don't hold your breath). Perhaps the gas-powered C8, in whatever form it takes, will be complemented with a greener version.

We'll try to dig up insider information about what the E-Ray will reveal itself to be, but rest assured that if it shows up at Detroit we'll bring you analysis of every inch of it.

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