Update: A new Bloomberg report claims GM is indeed working on a plan to expand the Corvette brand into a range of cars, with an electric crossover the most likely first result. Bloomberg's sources say the Corvette crossover could go on sale as soon as 2025.
On Tuesday, General Motors made a splash at this year's CES by dropping a cluster bomb of electric mobility news onto the automotive world through their virtual presentations. Cadillac was the star the show, revealing everything from an autonomous party bus to a flying luxury coupe; on a more practical note, Chevrolet gave us a taste of the new Bolt crossover revealing a potential range of nearly 280 miles; and in the background of one presentation, GM showed off a host of upcoming EV projects, only one of which — the Hummer EV — we'd seen before.
One of those shadowy vehicles wound up grabbing more attention than the rest, however. Can we zoom and enhance on the center-right side of the image?
A little closer, on the SUV in the very back:
Why...that crossover kind of looks like it might be related to the Corvette, doesn't it?
Here's what we know so far.
The hidden SUV has Corvette-like design cues
Granted, there's never been a Corvette SUV before, so we have no idea what one should look like — but this vehicle would seem to fit the bill. Apparent allusions to the C8 'Vette abound: the LED running lights have a similar angle and shape, while the little we can make out of the front fascia — which seems to feature a wide mouth-like grille mounted low and smaller air intakes on either side — are distinctly C8-like, as is the textured hood.
General Motors seems to say it's a Buick
As Roadshow pointed out, however, GM vice president of global design Michael Simcoe (the man seen in front of the phalanx of EVs in the image above) suggested both of the non-Cadillac crossovers over his right shoulder were Buicks.
Of course, we have no idea what the future of Buick's design language will be, but it's safe to say that this vehicle doesn't share much of a visual resemblance to the brand's current lineup, as seen below.
Indeed, the only detail of the design we can make out that doesn't look particularly 'Vette-y is the kink in the window trim between the C- and D-pillars, which reminds us of nothing so much as the treatment in that area on the Bolt...which is, of course, a Chevy.
There's a lot of evidence an electric Corvette (of some sort) is coming
GM's CES presentation made it clear that the brand sees electric vehicles as the future; if there was any doubt about that, the advertising campaign they simultaneously launched, dubbed "Everybody In," suggests that the General aims to build an EV to satisfy the needs of every type of customer — or at least, every type of customer they currently cater to.
And the rumors would seem to suggest that would include Corvette customers, too. Chevrolet has already copyrighted the name E-Ray, which seems ideally suited to an electric version of the Corvette Stingray. (The new eighth-generation Corvette's frunk seems ideally suited to hold an electric motor, as well, though such tech seems likely to show up in a super-hybrid 'Vette first.) Plus, president-elect Joe Biden made a casual mention of an electric Corvette in one of his campaign spots.
The time seems right for an electric Corvette SUV
The idea of slapping the Corvette moniker onto a performance crossover has been floating around for a while, but little has come of it. While such a car seems like it would sell like mad, nothing has come of it — yet, at least.
But with Corvette sales not what they once were and untold millions of dollars and years of research dumped into building an all-new version of the iconic sports car that allegedly sells for a loss in lower-trim forms, GM is no doubt under pressure to commoditize the name by turning it into its own brand.
And these days, GM wouldn't be going into the space blind, either. After all, Ford has already launched an electric crossover bearing the name of its most iconic performance car, and is branching "Mustang" out into its very own sub-brand. Assuming that doesn't turn into a disaster — and let's face it, it likely won't — there'll be even more pressure for the General to do the same with its most-valuable nameplate if it wants to keep that stock price climbing.