A Chevrolet Corvette C8 has been spotted running road tests in the typical upcoming-model camouflage, in addition to carrying what appears to be an emissions testing device at its rear end. Given that the now-mid-engined model has already been launched last July, this looks to be a new version being trialled ahead of its debut.

Seen on the rear quarter panel above the rear wheel arch, and on the front wheel arch just behind the headlamp assembly is an orange toggle switch at each location, which sources have indicated to our spy photographers that these are kill switches to cut power the electric motors. Given their positions, this could indicate the the plug-in hybrid C8 Corvette will be all-wheel-drive with electric motors at both axles.

Curiously, the headlamps used on the PHEV development vehicle here are not the items from the production C8 Corvette, but rather different units which more closely resemble those on the C8 test car from 2018. At the back, the tail lamp setup here also appears to have reverted to interim trial units, though the surrounds seem to match those of the production car.

Sources also suggest that the electrification of the mid-engined Corvette will place emphasis on performance rather than fuel economy, and as such the PHEV model could further build upon the internal combustion 6.2 litre V8 model’s 0-97 km/h performance of under three seconds (with the Z51 Performance Package fitted).

Output figures for the plug-in hybrid C8 Corvette have yet to be suggested, even from the rumour mill, though for reference the current internal combustion, naturally aspirated 6.2 litre V8 model outputs 495 hp at 6,450 rpm and 637 Nm of torque, which are sent to the rear wheels through an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission as standard.

This will be one of possibly various versions, as Corvettes has historically spawned numerous variant nameplates, such as the Z06 and the ZR1, for which forced induction powertrains will be prime candidates. More of this PHEV C8 Corvette can be expected to surface in the coming months, and for the meantime its debut is estimated to take place either later this year or early in 2021.