Chevrolet may be planning to follow in the footsteps of Ford by expanding the use of its Corvette nameplate to more than just a sports car.
Ford this year will start selling a battery-electric crossover SUV wearing the Mustang nameplate in the form of the Mustang Mach-E, and a similar model wearing the Corvette nameplate is just one of the possibilities Chevy is considering for an expanded Corvette family, Bloomberg reported Thursday, citing people familiar with the matter.
According to the sources, the expanded Corvette family project is referred to internally as “Project R” or “Brand R,” and the leading candidate is an SUV body style. Battery-electric power is the only option reportedly being looked at—something that would be relatively easy to implement thanks to General Motors' Ultium modular electric-vehicle platform which supports outputs as high as 1,000 horsepower. Should the plan be approved, the earliest the Corvette SUV could arrive is reportedly 2025.
2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E
While a Corvette SUV would have seemed preposterous only a few years ago, the acceptance of the Mustang Mach-E, as well as SUVs from traditional performance brands like Aston Martin, Lamborghini and soon even Ferrari, makes the idea a whole lot more palatable.
It's not the first time that we've heard of an expanded Corvette family. Prior to the launch of the C8 generation, there was talk of Chevy selling both a mid-engine Corvette and a more traditional Corvette with the engine at the front. There's also been talk of Chevy adding an entry-level Corvette-branded sports car similar to the Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky twins sold in the 2000s.
While it might be a while before we see the Corvette nameplate used on another type of vehicle, new variants of the C8 Corvette are coming soon. One of these is the track-focused Z06 which is already testing as a prototype. A hybrid option is also coming soon, while further down the track we expect to see a future ZR1 variant and perhaps a new performance flagship wearing the Zora name and packing a high-performance hybrid powertrain.