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Report: C8 Chevy Corvette ZR1 to be 900-horsepower hybrid

The Corvette's hybrid powertrain has been the subject of numerous rumors.

Rumors surrounding the next Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 have resurfaced, once again pointing to a hybrid powertrain with a huge jump in horsepower over the basic C8 that is due to enter production early next year.

The latest report posted by Motor Trend cites "a senior official at GM" who claims the upcoming Corvette Z06 will be powered by a twin-turbo dual-overhead-cam V8 derived from the C8.R race car's 5.5-liter unit. The same engine will allegedly be paired with a performance-focused hybrid system for the ZR1, with a total system output of 900 horsepower.

Rumors of the 5.5-liter engine had circulated before the company officially unveiled the C8.R. The fresh report appears to narrow down the likely horsepower figure for the hybrid variant, though it does not clarify if it will have a flat-plane-crank or 5.5-liter displacement. The source has also shot down prior rumors of a Corvette engine based on Cadillac's Blackwing V8, which had been a possibility a few years ago before General Motors allowed the Cadillac and Chevrolet teams to develop their own separate engines.

Previous speculation suggested General Motors may have been considering using the C8.R engine in its naturally-aspirated form for the Z06, then add turbocharging for the ZR1 and save the hybrid configuration for the rumored Zora flagship. Motor Trend now claims the Z06 will be turbocharged and the ZR1 will be hybrid, which leaves uncertainty surrounding the Zora. It is possible the latter variant will simply offer a more powerful version of the hybrid powertrain, perhaps fulfilling reports of a 1,000-horsepower Corvette.

In any case, the electrified Corvette is expected to benefit from an electric all-wheel drive system that could significantly improve handling via torque vectoring despite carrying the added weight of front-mounted motors and a small battery.

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