Electric Mustang, Hummer, and…Corvette: Which icons shouldn’t go all-electric?

According to a Thursday report from Bloomberg, GM is working on a program that would expand its Corvette sports-car nameplate to a brand of at least two vehicles, including an electric crossover SUV that might arrive in the later half of the decade. 

General Motors refers to the program as Project R, according to the report, and it hasn’t yet decided on a design—although it’s considering several concepts that would expand the Corvette nameplate’s reach to a much wider range of customers. 

2020 Chevrolet Corvette convertible

2020 Chevrolet Corvette convertible

The most obvious way this might be done is by simply combining the Corvette’s very strong reputation for performance and edgy design with a lot more interior space. 

The 2020 Chevrolet Corvette received a full redesign, moving to a mid-engine layout but not incorporating electric motors into the system. 

2022 GMC Hummer EV

2022 GMC Hummer EV

The Corvette news arrives as GM rushes to ready its GMC Hummer EV, set for first deliveries in a limited Edition 1 version later this year, and develops other fully electric models based on some of the same battery technology to follow. 

It follows the arrival of the Ford Mustang Mach-E, an electric SUV that wraps in Mustang design heritage and might thus be noticed by a much wider range of shoppers than other EVs.

2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E

2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E

The Mach-E isn’t the only car that draws on the heritage of strong nameplates in the transformation to electric. For Europe, there’s the Fiat 500e, and the Honda E, which builds on early Civic heritage. Jaguar is making the next version of its storied XJ luxury sedan all-electric. And the next-generation Porsche Macan will be fully electric. 

These are likely only the first of many nameplates that will shed tailpipes and fuel tanks—although within the industry there’s a sense that not all nameplates should go fully electric, and some might be retired completely versus flipping to electrons. Earlier last year GM executives confirmed that an Escalade-sized electric SUV was also on the way for the longer term for Cadillac. They sidestepped any confirmation about whether that top-lux electric SUV would still be called an Escalade, though. 

2020 Porsche Taycan 4S first drive - Los Angeles, CA

2020 Porsche Taycan 4S first drive - Los Angeles, CA

Likewise, as bullish as Porsche has been about EVs, it’s been hesitant to suggest that icons like the 911 sports car might ever go fully electric or even have an EV version. 

Are there any storied nameplates that shouldn’t come back all-electric? Which are perfect for the transformation? Let us know in your thoughts below. 

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