If there's one thing you would assume is guaranteed from any Corvette project, it's a V8 engine. For half a century the cars have used eight-cylinder motors, and they have always been a key part of the Corvette's appeal.
Not so if you're American company Genovation, which has produced a Corvette-based sports car that runs purely on electricity. Imagine what Tesla did with the Lotus Elise, only bigger, and even faster.
Genovation claims its car produces 800hp and 700lb ft, with a top speed in excess of 220mph. All well and good, you might be thinking, because anybody can say anything on the Internet now without much apparent need to prove it. Fortunately, the Genovation website features plenty of videos of its bonkers EV, including it hitting 190mph in the standing mile. Does a good burnout, too...
There's even a video explaining the manual gearbox; yes, apparently this can be driven "just like the V8", if you wish. A dual-clutch auto will be available too.
So what's the catch? Well besides the missing soundtrack, the Genovation GXE has a relatively limited range of just 130 miles - blamed on a small quantity of batteries. Add into that a purchase price of $750,000 for one of the 75 cars and it's clear that the Genovation won't be the people's performance car for the EV age. There will probably be a moan about the interior plastics as well.
But what it does demonstrate is potential and initiative. The car has been shown in its previous generation form at Pebble Beach, and the website talks of non-toxic batteries, carpet from plastic bottles and seats that can use soy-based foam. It's very far from your traditional Corvette, put it that way, and perhaps just as appealing because of it. Motor Trend believes that the production version of the GXE will be shown at CES in Las Vegas this month, so we'll hope to bring you more details as soon as possible.
At the time I started writing this there were no comments, even after a few hours of the article being live, which I find strange.
As I see it:
1. There is little doubt that the future of personal transportation will involve some sort of electric / hybrid motive power, whether we like that or not... 2. ...therefore an electric powered sports car must be good news, no? 3. It looks like a Corvette, which is also a Good Thing. 4. It goes like the clappers. 5. It has (or can have) a manual 'box.
This makes it sound like I love it. But...
For all the above, there just seems to be something wrong with the idea of building a Corvette that's not a Corvette. I mean, it should sound like the apocalypse, spit flames and make the ground shake, shouldn't it?
My point is, how much of the oily (silicon lubricant-y?) bits are still Corvette? Surely if you have the nous to build this you can make it look, well, not like a Corvette: give it its own identity.
Come back with a bespoke design, ship one over and I'll try it out for a year for you
Zetec-S03 Jan 2018
Agreed. I see no problem with EV's replacing your average runabout or rep-mobile when the technology gets there, and I'd happily own one. But if I was going to spend a decent amount of money on a car as a plaything then I'd want the drama.
Putting the price aside, if I was buying a Corvette I'd rather have the slower V8 than this.
HappyMidget03 Jan 2018
Interesting that they have retained the gearbox. That has been one of my main gripes with EV's so far in that the loss of torque at the higher rpm ranges means that while they can get off the line quickly they start to lose power right when it is needed at the higher speeds. This should mean the motor can be in the lower rpm higher torque range more of the time. Maybe a CVT box might be an even better option if it can be made strong enough to deal with the torque.
rockin03 Jan 2018
Maybe a CVT box might be an even better option if it can be made strong enough to deal with the torque.
No problem at all - the 650 bhp / 650 lb.ft Corvette Z06 already runs with an available 8-speed automatic.
However, I bet the rev range and torque curve of the electric motor means they only use some of the gears and it would be a major task to reprogram an auto to get it working properly without the standard engine & driveline management computer.
Boosted LS103 Jan 2018
Is that blue thing supposed to be the engine? Presumably it's the battery pack? Looks stunning externally.