General Motors is shifting the engineers who created the midengine Chevrolet Corvette to its electric vehicle team in a bid to inject its upcoming EVs with some of the sports car's high-performance panache.
"General Motors is committed to an all-electric future. I'm excited to be putting the team that redefined supercar performance, design and attainability in key roles to help us integrate and execute our EVs to those same high standards," Ken Morris, GM's vice president of autonomous and electric vehicle programs, said in a statement provided to Automotive News.
Effective Sept. 1, the Corvette's engineering team is moving from GM's global product programs umbrella to its autonomous and electric vehicles program, led by Morris, according to an internal memo from Doug Parks, executive vice president of global product development and purchasing and supply chain.
"This move will help this already dynamic team further push the boundaries on what our future EV battery systems and components can deliver when it comes to excitement and thrilling performance for our customers," Parks said in the memo, a copy of which was obtained by Automotive News.
GM has pledged $20 billion for EVs and autonomous vehicles through 2025 and plans to launch 20 EVs globally by 2023. But as GM aims to electrify its portfolio, it has few reference points. Technology continues to evolve, and EV production is still relatively low across the industry. Corvette engineers and designers faced a similar dilemma when they developed the first midengine version of the sports car and worked through several concurrent proposals over more than a year to get it right.
"We were creating a baseline for this rather than looking at previous designs as a benchmark. There was a steep learning curve," Guy Samuels, GM's creative designer for performance interiors, told Automotive News late last year.
Tadge Juechter will remain executive chief engineer for global Corvette on the new team, while Ed Piatek, the Corvette's chief engineer, will become chief engineer of future product, reporting to Juechter. Josh Holder, Corvette program engineering manager, will replace Piatek as chief engineer for global Corvette. InsideEVs reported the moves earlier Thursday.
There has been speculation that Chevy soon will launch an electric Corvette, especially after Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said in a campaign video this month that GM would build an electric Corvette that goes 200 mph, but Chevy hasn't confirmed those plans. "We're not going to engage in the speculation and rumor," Chevy spokesman Kevin Kelly told Automotive News at the time.