In case you were unaware, this week marks the start off the Consumer Electronics Show for 2018, the largest gathering of gadgets, and the nerds that love them, on the planet (we are some those nerds). And while it may not seem at first glance like there would be much to see for the automotive crowd, there’s more than meets the eye.
Every year, manufacturers bring all of their newest automotive wizardry to the show and display it for adoring fans. Granted, a lot of the time that means new technology packages that make it easier for you to interface your devices with your car, or—heaven forbid—rolling out new things like self-driving vehicles and EVs, but alas, there is still plenty of four-wheeled technology to behold.
And though it may not be from a manufacturer that you are intimately familiar with, an astonishingly quick all-electric Corvette from the guys a Genovation is set to debut this week. Named the GXE, Genovation’s electrified Corvette started life as a C7 Z06. The LT4 was then dumped in favor of an electric motor capable of outputting 800 horsepower and 700 lb-ft of torque.
This enables the GXE to sprint to 60 in under 3 seconds and imbues the ‘Vette with a top speed north of 220 mph. Genovation says the purpose of the car is to show recalcitrant internal combustion lovers, like ourselves, that “electric” doesn’t need to be synonymous with bland and boring. And with looks like that, it’s hard to argue.
The hard part to swallow, however, is the price tag. Ringing up at $750,000, the Corvette is possibly the most expensive EV of all time. The additional coin gets you the aforementioned gear, bespoke interior, and custom paint and exterior cues—essentially requisite at that price level. But, considering the fact that only 75 will be produced, Genovation seems to be hoping to attract a pretty exclusive clientele with the GXE.
Oddly enough, the car’s drivetrain remains largely unchanged except for the addition of the electric motor, and controllers, in the exact same location as the ousted LT4. This allows the company to offer the GXE in both automatic and manual offerings, depending on whether you prefer to row your own; a feature that is likely a first for any EV—at least that we are aware of.
However, since the car was never designed to house battery packs, there is very little room to squeeze them in. This lead to a restrictive, but useable, 130-mile range on a single charge. And though that might not seem like a lot, it is similar to the first generation Nissan Leaf. But range is not what the car was designed for, obviously.
Aside from the powerplant swap, the biggest change is at the rear of the GXE, where Genovation has fit the car with a retro-style four tail light setup paying homage to previous generations of Corvette. If we were purely going off looks, we’d have to say that it’s one of the most beautiful Corvettes we’ve ever seen. Building fast, beautiful electric Corvettes is not new to the team at Genovation either.
You may not recall, but Genovation has already proven that they know electric performance. Back in 2016, they set a new electric vehicle top speed record with their electrified C6 ZR1, which went 205.6 mph at the Kennedy Space Center. That ZR1 was actually the initial prototype for the car you see here.
According to Genovation, the C6 prototype was producing 650 horsepower and 600 lb-ft of torque, essentially replicating what a factory LT4 makes these days. But as we mentioned previously, they have taken things one step further with the GXE, pumping up the power, and in turn the top speed, substantially.
We can’t wait to see this car in the flesh and see what its top speed is this time around. Who knows? Maybe this will be the car to change our mind about electric vehicles—though I wouldn’t hold my breath.