Chevrolet and GM are planning on making the Corvette name into a standalone brand that will include a 4-Door EV and a Crossover EV.
These new EV spinoffs will reportedly aim to distill the "essence of Corvette" in terms of design and driving dynamics.
- The next move for GM with its valued Corvette nameplate will be to launch a Corvette subbrand.
- It will include a four-door "coupe" and a sporty high-performance crossover to partner the upcoming two-seater Corvette EV.
- The new Corvette lineup will be positioned well above its rivals, such as a future trio of electric Mustangs.
What's in a name? When you are a carmaker, the answer is: everything. Arguably, people buy a BMW or a Benz at least as much for the name as for the car itself, and the same goes for Corvette. In terms of brand value, Corvette is among the auto industry's most heralded and valued nameplates, and yet it currently only pulls a small percentage of the potentially huge profit. But according to those in the know, this is going to change.
We have already seen the new Z06, and there are several more versions of the C8 still to come, including a possible E-Ray hybrid, the revived ZR1 and the even more extreme Zora hybrid named after Zora Arkus-Duntov, father of the original C1. There's also a Corvette EV on the horizon slated to use GM's Ultium architecture.
Step two of GM's Corvette brand strategy is even more ambitious and far-reaching. Starting in 2025, GM plans to launch a Corvette brand that will also include a sleek four-door coupe and a brawny crossover. Both of these future new Vettes will be EVs.
Sports cars are useful image builders and sometimes very profitable, but as Porsche proved in the early 2000s with the Cayenne SUV, there's a lot of profit to be made stretching the brand into other vehicle segments. Played intelligently and with authenticity, the name Corvette should be a license to print money. At a point in time when Ferrari and Maserati and Porsche are all offering one or more SUVs—the antithesis to the hard-core sports cars that put them on the map in the first place—why shouldn't Corvette also consider building sedans, crossovers or, heaven forbid, even pickups?
Of course, these new age products can't be a half-hearted attempt like the Cadillac Cimarron or the Ford Contour–derived Jaguar X-type. Instead, the pivotal starting point is a redefined unique DNA that shouts "Corvette" in terms of design and driving dynamics. The switch to the Ultium battery platform allows the keepers of the brand to reimagine the proportions, stance, and engineering—or to adhere to the trademark elements which shaped the American sports car icon from the '50s to the present day.
A source who has seen the first proposals describes them as "copies of nothing" and as "encapsulated emotional purity." Waxing lyrical may do justice to the styling themes, but what about the bespoke content? The mechanical package apparently includes battery packs with high energy density, superfast software, a patented cooling concept, staggered Lego-like topographic packaging, miniaturized componentry, ultra-efficient inverters, high-revving electric motors, an 800-volt electrical system that provides up to 350 kW of charging power, a two-speed transmission, brake-by-wire, multi-mode four-wheel steering, and torque vectoring.
According to our friend from within the GM Tech Center: "Corvette is not just a brand. It's a constantly evolving system paired with a dramatically different user experience."
The four-door coupe (think of it as more of a liftback) and the crossover add two new values to the marque: mainstream exclusivity and overt luxury. Thanks to a delicate balance of functionality and fashion, stats and style, and limited availability fueling high desirability, all three pillars are prepared for pragmatic evolution and subsequent proliferation.
"The aim is not to beat Taycan and Cayenne at their own game but to create three American legends capable of breaking new ground by making the essence of Corvette scalable. To do so, that essence must at all times be in a state of progressive flux," our source comments. Hear, hear.