Genovation GXE Electric Corvette Grand Sport Conversion: The Replacement For Displacement
by Martin Green
There’s no replacement for displacement: that’s the general mantra of American muscle car aficionados.
And the concept does hold truth, as larger displacement is a factor in allowing engines to develop larger amounts of horsepower at relatively low rpms with plenty of torque – perfect for large, heavy cars in an era when gas was cheap and abundant.
However, that era has passed. Environmental laws combined with new technologies have resulted in lighter cars with smaller engines, which, often with the help of a turbo or two, are still very potent. Even Cadillac retired the V8 for its largest sedan, the CT6, now offering it only with a V6 or . . . a four-cylinder engine!
Only the beginning
Regarding cars, we are living on the threshold of a new era. If you are middle-aged right now, or perhaps even younger, you will probably need to explain to your children what a gasoline car is as you point one out in a museum. The electrification of the car industry is really going that fast.
Ian Callum, Jaguar’s director of design, recently announced that with the F-Pace he is convinced that he has drawn his last car that is solely powered by a gasoline engine.
While this is no problem for the day-to-day commuter, car enthusiasts might not look upon this trend as favorable when it comes to their sports cars, especially not their American sports cars!
In that light, few are as iconic as the Chevrolet Corvette. It is by far the all-around steadiest performer of the American car industry, winning endurance races as easily as the hearts of car enthusiasts, many who love enjoying the power and performance of Porsches and Ferraris at about a third of the price.
But the main ingredient is a mighty V8 engine, and that might be obsolete sooner rather than later.
While Chevrolet is making steps into the world of electric cars with the Bolt and Volt models, but also with many hybrid versions of the rest of its lineup, it gave up a steady lead in this field when it retired the EV1 project in 1996 amid great controversy.
While we can expect more electric Chevrolets in the near future, the Corvette will be one of the last to go that route. However, the Genovation GXE shows that when Chevrolet does eventually go that route, even die-hard fans will not have to worry.
Based on the C6 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport, Genovation replaced the 6.2-liter V8 with two electric engines, which give the car about 800 horsepower and, perhaps even more important, 950 Newton-meters of torque.
While that is 340 horsepower and 320 Newton-meters of torque more than the V8 generates, all this power is instantly available. The great news is that it also goes to the rear wheels, which might play a role in the fact that 0-100 kph in just below 3.0 seconds is not such an impressive improvement over the 3.6 seconds that the regular V8-powered Corvette Grand Sport achieves.
What is important is that the Genovation GXE has perfect 50-50 weight distribution and, combined with rear-wheel drive, offers a lot of fun and some serious performance.
In addition to the 0-100 kph sprint, it also has a top speed of 350 kph (a world speed record holder for an electric car).
Right now, a car like this comes with two disadvantages: despite offering the car with a 60-kWh battery capacity, you need to be very gentle with the throttle to actually achieve the 240-kilometer range, and that is not why you bought this car!
A second disadvantage is that despite G force-defying performance, most of the sound comes from the wind and the tires, but that and its linear acceleration are the only indications that it might be pushing the V8 toward retirement.
Personally, I would recommend getting the V8 while you can; this is most likely the last generation able to enjoy this car before Chevrolet eventually stops making them.
Because of its limited production, the Genovation GXE is expensive. And its lack of range will limit your fun.
However, we should not fear for the future because the replacement for displacement is actually quite pleasing!
For more information please visit www.genovationcars.com.
Quick Facts Genovation GXE
Engine: two electric engines with a 60 kWh battery capacity
Power: 800 bhp and 950 Newton-meters of torque
Acceleration: 0-100 kph in <3.0 seconds Top speed: >340 kph
Limitation: 75 cars
Base price: $750,000