Corvette Prototype Burns to the Ground in Spain

·1 min read
Photo credit: Cochespias / Instagram
Photo credit: Cochespias / Instagram

GM's next C8 Corvette iteration is an important one. The car expected to be called E-Ray should feature electric assistance on the front wheels while a traditional mid-ship V-8 continues powering the rear wheels, a formula that has become tried-and-true for mid-engined supercars adding electrification. These cars have been testing since at least GM's first announcement of an upcoming hybrid in April of 2022, although prototypes that may have been E-Rays had been spotted during the development of the upcoming Z06 as well. Generally, that testing appeared to be going well. That did not appear to be the case in Spain earlier this week.

Update, August 2, 2022: Chevy told Road & Track that the prototype that burnt to the ground was not an E-Ray or an electrified Corvette of any kind. More here.

A video posted on Instagram by prototype spotters CocheSpias shows a camouflaged C8 of some sort burning down on a mountain overlook. By the time the video begins, the entire rear two-thirds of the car have already been engulfed in massive flames.

High-resolution photos obtained by GM Authority show the aftermath, with just the wheels surviving to indicate that the wreckage was ever a Corvette. They report that the fire began in the engine bay before reaching the batteries, leaving the prototype as a total loss. While certainly not an ideal result, it is sometimes what happens when a prototype built for testing in extreme conditions meets those conditions.

Development continues on the C8 Corvette hybrid, which will be the first electrified Corvette of many. While the apparent E-Ray will be available "as early as next year," General Motors has not yet put an official timeline on the first fully-electric Corvette.

Update, August 1, 2022: A representative from General Motors clarified the details of what is being referred to as a "thermal event" involving this Corvette development mule. They note that this car was a unique setup for extreme testing and does not represent any expected final product. The statement is below:

"A Corvette development vehicle undergoing extreme testing by one of our suppliers last week had a thermal incident. All who were involved are safe as this is our top priority. We are investigating the situation with the supplier... The car was a specialized testing mule with a setup that’s not indicative of what an actual customer would receive, so it is different than what many people are speculating the car might be."

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