Red C7 loses V8 power for a high-performance electric setup, brings 800 horses and 700 lb-ft to battle Tesla.
With the C7 era of the Corvette drawing to a close this summer, the C8 era presents a path where, down the road, an all-electric take on America’s sports car could throw hands against whatever Tesla and other companies may drop in the years to come.
But what would such a thing feel like? Motor Trend recently met up at the Thermal Club track in Thermal, California, with electric-car converter Genovation to give the company’s new C7 GXE a go.
“In a nutshell, Genovation starts with your new or lightly used Corvette Grand Sport,” says Motor Trend, “removes front/rear fascia, hood, side-view mirrors, the engine, transverse-leaf-spring suspension, wheels, gas tank, and interior. What comes next is nothing short of a complete rebuild to convert it into an electric supercar.”
Power for the GXE includes five nickel-cobalt-aluminum/nickel-cobalt-manganese batteries linked to a set of F1-spec inverters, which deliver the energy to a pair of 300-kW electric motors to generate 800 horsepower and 700 lb-ft of torque to the rear wheels. The power is managed either through a seven-speed manual or an eight-speed automatic.
How is it to drive, then? In the brief, four-lap run (which had dropped remaining charge from 95 percent to 65 percent), Motor Trend proclaimed the electric Corvette was like “driving in the future,” with “very little motor whine” and the linear acceleration electric vehicles in general are known for. The active coil-over dampers kept the body in control around the corners, while the eight-speed shifted too quietly for the magazine’s liking.
For the price of $750,000 plus a Corvette Grand Sport, you can have Genovation turn your C7 into a GXE, which also nets you a 3D-printed grill, a big rear carbon fiber diffuser, and an equally big programmable rear wing. That’s a steep price to pay for such a big leap, especially when the C8 itself likely won’t come anywhere near that price when it drops, but it’s likely worth it for those who want an electric supercar without having to give Tesla any of their money.