CNN Loves The Manual Transmission Electric Corvette: Genovation GXE

CNN Business takes the all electric Chevy Corvette for a spin

CNN Business writer Peter Valdes-Dapena is one of the lucky few. He was gifted the opportunity to get behind the wheel of the new Genovation GXE. After Genovation destroyed electric car top speed records with their previous C6 based prototype, the new GXE is based on the current gen Corvette Grand Sport.

Up until this point, electric cars had never really excited Mr. Valdes-Dapena. Why? Because he loves to drive a stick:

I love driving. And I love switching gears. So when a company called Genovation invited me to try a prototype of their electric sports car with a 7-speed transmission? I said heck yes.

It feels like a manual transmission! It feels normal! Which is weird!

With sub-3.0 second 0-60 acceleration, 800 HP, and 700 lb-ft torque the GXE has plenty of power. But the most interesting aspect of the car is that it maintains the Corvette manual transmission. The GXE is available with either a 7 speed manual transmission or an automatic.

According to Genovation:

The GXE all-electric power train was designed for maximum performance. The process began with an acknowledgement that no single motor could provide the torque, power and RPM we needed. Several twin motor approaches were analyzed with the best choice being two motors on a single shaft; a dual-stack. Next step was to find a pair of commercially available inverters that could power the dual-stack to maximum torque at an RPM the Corvette’s transmission components could handle. 

All of this allowed the electric GXE to attain the world record for an electric supercar top speed of 209 MPH last year. But that was the earlier C6 based prototype. The newest Corvette C7 based model has a top speed of 220 MPH.

Mid-engine Corvette? That’s cool and all, but engines are so last century.

The future is electric. And in that space, only the upcoming Tesla Roadster is likely to challenge and surpass the power and top speed of the GXE. Plus, the Tesla Roadster will be significantly cheaper. But unless Tesla plans to offer a manual, Valdes-Dapena is probably going to prefer the ‘Vette:

This genre-bending vehicular mash-up is pretty awesome. Genovation has successfully re-created the fun of gear shifting in an electric car. And the transmission also helps give the car that outrageous top speed.

Not that he could afford it. Unfortunately this electric Chevy Corvette will initially be a limited run of only 75. In order to maintain exclusivity of course. Well, if you have $750k (yikes!) burning a hole in your pocket this might be the trophy car you’re looking for. The rest of us will admire from afar.

Watch the video above for full impressions from CNN Business! Check out Genovation’s site for more info on the GXE.

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