The Corvette E-Ray: Coming Soon to a Charging Station Near You?

2016 Corvette Stingray

It would be considered sacrilege to change some things in the auto industry.

Specifically, I’m thinking of things like the shape of the Porsche 911, the rear-wheel-drive Mustang, and the V8 Corvette. A 911 with a boxier shape, a front-wheel-drive ‘Stang, or a 4-cylinder Corvette just might be enough to throw the earth off its orbit and disrupt the threads that hold our society together.

It’s pretty safe to say that none of those things will ever happen, but a new trademark filing by General Motors has some Corvette purists wondering if their beloved American supercar will trade its fossil fuel power for a set of recharging electrons.

If you’re one of the people who doesn’t believe Chevy would ever mess with the formula that made the Corvette an American legend, you might want to sit down for this one:

On December 16, Chevrolet filed for trademarks on the names “Corvette E-Ray” and “E-Ray.”

That’s curious timing, because the 2016 edition of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit happens next month. Could we see an electric Corvette concept at the show? It’s definitely in the realm of possibility.

Chevy has a renewed interest in electric cars. Its all-new Bolt is hotly anticipated, the second-generation Volt is already selling well, and the torque-happy Spark EV hints that Chevy may be developing a taste for electric performance.

It’s pretty obvious that the trademark filings point to an electric Corvette. What we don’t know for sure is when we’ll see a concept, if the concept will go into production, or if the electric Corvette would replace the gas-powered version.

Since rumors are also circling of a future midengine Corvette, I think it’s safe to say that an electric version would stand as a separate model. This is a tantalizing thought, because it could point to something much bigger than just an electric Corvette. It could be a precursor of Corvette becoming its own brand.

The existing Corvette doesn’t have a lot of room for battery packs. Its design and power have translated to stellar sales, and Chevy isn’t likely to mess with that formula anytime soon. An exotic midengine model would likely slot above the current ‘Vette, which would give an electric model plenty of room to exist under a Corvette sub-brand with a three-car stable.

Which Corvette would you choose: the C7, the midengine, or the E-Ray?

-tgriffith

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