Aaron DiManna
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2020 Corvette’s Fuse Box May Hint at Future Hybrid C8

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2020 Corvette's V8 Engine, and its potentially game-changing fuse box just out of sight
Photo: Chevrolet

It’s an understatement to say that it’s an interesting time for the automotive industry. Carmakers are moving away from sedans in favor of SUVs and trucks, beloved nameplates are being revived or reinvented as EVs, and one of the world’s most iconic sports cars — the Corvette — is changing the game with a mid-engine construction. According to a rumor originally uncovered by Corvette Blogger and further investigated by Autoweek, the 2020 Corvette’s fuse box may indicate that a hybrid version is on its way.

The future is here: The 2020 Chevrolet Corvette

Digging for clues

Much like the glorious gearheads that keep the Internet Movie Cars Database running with their encyclopedic knowledge of vintage vehicles, the wildly detail-oriented sleuths at Corvette Blogger found the potentially game-changing details buried in a place nobody would have thought to look. Specifically, on page 244 of the 336-page 2020 Corvette owner’s manual.

The crux of the idea comes down to a diagram of the vehicle’s rear fuse box that lists 17 slots and their functions. The ports in question are numbers seven and 12. If you want to follow along at home, you can download your own owner’s manual at this link.

Fuse seven

The manual lists fuse seven as being used for a “Power sounder module/Pedestrian friendly alert function.” Nobody could blame you for being unfamiliar with the term, but you’ve almost certainly experienced its practical application. Autoweek describes it as a “fancy term for the noise electrified cars must make when they are not running on internal combustion power (if they even have an IC engine onboard) in order to keep the people around them aware of their presence.”

In short, if you’ve ever been near a hybrid vehicle when the gas engine turns off, the high-pitched whirring noise that replaces the classic engine rumble is the “Power sounder module.” However, the 2020 Corvette runs on gas and has no use for such a system. Curious.

Fuse 12

Fuse 12’s usage note reads “Lithium-ion battery module.” As simple as that sounds, the implication could crack this case wide open. Lithium-ion batteries are favorites for hybrid vehicles, and Autoweek speculates that one’s potential inclusion is essentially useless on a car that’s meant to run exclusively gas power. Fascinating.

The plot thickens

Although this rumor could easily be a case of misinterpreted data, there are a couple of factors that make it sound pretty plausible. To begin with, writers for Autoweek scoured the owner’s manuals for a few other current-generation Chevrolet vehicles like the new Blazer and found no ports for either system. Their takeaway was that “they aren’t something GM simply includes by default.”

According to Autoweek, it stands to reason that — if Chevrolet is seriously considering a building a hybrid Corvette — they’d want to “build a certain amount of infrastructure for hybrid systems into the car from the very beginning.”

The plot remains thick

So, is Chevrolet secretly planning to release a hybrid version of the revolutionary 2020 Corvette C8? Unsurprisingly, I have no idea, which is almost certainly by design. The announcement of the Mustang Mach-E was simultaneously thrilling and immensely polarizing, with some people decrying a “betrayal” of the nameplate and its legacy, and others embracing the multifaceted evolution of the iconic muscle car.

If Chevrolet wants to continue the momentum it’s built with the rollout of the 2020 Corvette while capitalizing on the energy it’s created through recent EV announcements, all without alienating loyal buyers — a la the Mach-E — a hybrid Corvette may be just what the doctor ordered. Will that actually happen? Who’s to say. Will it be a hell of a ride to watch unfold? Without a doubt.

Hybrid, EV, or anything else: We’ll keep your Chevy running for years to come