2010 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1
That leaves GM's only other rear-wheel-drive cars: the 2010 Chevrolet Camaro, and of course the 'Vette. Hmmmmmm.
CTS-V + lithium-ion + 2 e-motors?
If you get past the nerdy hybrid hatchback image, let's imagine for awhile. Remember the purpose of hybrids is to capture and recycle energy that would otherwise be wasted as heat from your brake pads.
And remember that the Two-Mode has a pair of 40-kilowatt electric motors. For those of us who only think in horses, that's a total of 108 more horsepower, along with far more torque than that increase would suggest.
Suppose you mated those extra horses--all of them with max torque from 0 rpm, remember--to a direct-injected V8 like the 556-horsepower, 6.2-liter mill fitted to the 2010 Cadillac CTS-V, as our Motor Authority counterparts suggested yesterday.
And then added in a lightweight lithium-ion battery pack, using some of the knowledge gained from the 2011 Chevrolet Volt project, which will produce an extended-range electric vehicle (with pretty good acceleration of its own, we should add).
The 750-hp Vette
And that's assuming a Vette hybrid would use the exact same electric motors that the big trucks do. Which seems kinda unlikely, since it doesn't use the same engines. So, how about maybe another 200 horsepower? How's that sound?
Gee, that'd give you 750-plus horses and better fuel economy. Sounds good to us. (For the record, the current 2010 Chevrolet Corvette is rated by the EPA at 16 miles per gallon city / 24 mpg highway.)
And it might just end some of the ranting, raving, and railing at the "Pious" reputation of hybrids made famous by South Park and others.
Even Ferrari is planning to launch a hybrid by 2015, and you can bet that one won't be any Prius-with-a-prancing-horse. If Maranello does a hybrid, you know it'll maintain the traditions of the world's best-known sports car brand.
Only if required
But listen, Corvette fans, not to worry. Tom Stephens, who's the GM vice chairman of global product development, told Automotive News GM would do a hybrid Corvette only "if that is what is required to maintain the vehicle."
Translation: If our only other alternative is killing the Vette entirely, then we'd do a hybrid. And grit our teeth while doing it.
Then Stephens hastened to reassure the faithful. "I think we have a pretty good plan right now that probably will not require a hybrid in the near term." He also nixed the chance of a six-cylinder engine "at this time," so the V8s are safe.
Be still, the beating hearts of Corvette fans worldwide. Relax in the knowledge that tradition is being maintained. Why, the new 2012 Corvette will even have a split rear-window to evoke the classic 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray.
But then, think about it ... what would a hybrid 'Vette mean to you? Tell us in the comments.