2011 Chevrolet Corvette Z06Enlarge Photo
Yes Virginia, there really is a hybrid Corvette. But it wasn't built by Chevrolet.
The Quanta Corvette QHP770 features an aftermarket hybrid powertrain that's good for 773 horsepower, according to Gizmag.
Quanta--a maker of replacement parts like fuel tanks and radiators--started with a previous-generation C6 Corvette Z06, which already sports a 7.0-liter V-8 gasoline engine with 505 hp.
To make the Z06 into a hybrid, Quanta added two 100-kilowatt (134 hp) electric motors, which are integrated into the car's rear differential. They're fed electricity from an 11.3-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack.
Quanta estimates that the Corvette QHP770 will do 0 to 60 mph in 3.3 seconds, and run the quarter mile in 11.3 seconds.
In this case, those numbers are more important than fuel economy estimates.
Quanta Corvette QHP770Enlarge Photo
The company hopes to put the hybrid conversion kit on sale if it can find enough willing customers.
Quanta exhibited the QHP770 at the SEMA show this past week in Las Vegas to gauge customer interest in a production version, and may build "hy performance" versions of other cars as well.
A production Corvette hybrid might seem like a sign of the apocalypse to hardcore fans, but the idea has piqued some interest within General Motors.
Earlier this year, GM president Mark Reuss called the concept "a very attractive idea," and GM vice president of vehicle engineering Karl-Friedrich Stracke expressed similar sentiments back in 2010.
Four years ago, we mused about a 750-hp Corvette hybrid featuring GM's (now-defunct) Two-Mode Hybrid system.
While it might be hard for traditionalists to stomach, that car would have a few advantages, such as the ability to add power without adding displacement to the gasoline engine, and the prodigious low-end torque of the electric motors.