This Modified Corvette is the World’s Fastest Electric Car—Again
Sep 27, 2019
A new top speed world record has been achieved in whisper silence. That's because it was set by the Genovation GXE, an all-electric 800-plus-horsepower sports car based on the C7 Corvette.
The car reset its record for the world's fastest street-legal all-electric car, posting a top speed of 210.2 mph, which bests its previous record of 209 mph. The run was completed on the 3-mile runway at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, with renowned top-speed test driver Johnny Bohmer at the wheel. Unlike other recent top speed runs that went unverified, Genovation brought the International Mile Racing Association to record, witness, and certify its achievement.
Eking out that extra click on the speedometer required some notable changes. To reduce drag, the giant rear wing was swapped with a lower-profile spoiler, a smoother aero element took the place of the chin splitter, and the diffuser vanes were cut at a steeper angle. The rake was altered and suspension springs stiffened to prevent the front of the car from dropping too far as speeds increased. Power was increased by an undisclosed amount.
Based on a C7 Corvette Grand Sport, the Genovation GXE replaces the 6.2-liter V-8 with five battery packs optimized for power delivery. The packs are placed strategically in the chassis to support a 50/50 front/rear weight distribution. Those batteries power a pair of 300-kW electric motors turning a single output shaft for power in excess of 800 hp and 700 lb-ft of torque.
What's maintained from the Corvette—and perhaps critical to enabling this top speed—is the eight-speed automatic transmission (as was fitted on the record car) or seven-speed manual transmission, making it one of very few electric cars available with a three-pedal stick shift.
Carbon fiber is used extensively throughout the car. The front splitter, rear diffuser, and custom rear bumper are all made of the lightweight material. So too are the wheels, which shave some 10 pounds of unsprung mass from each corner. And, of course, the exhaust system was tossed entirely. Despite the lightweighting, the GXE tips the scales at about 4,500 pounds, about 1,000 more than a standard Corvette Grand Sport—though we hardly noticed that gain during our first track drive.
Genovation noted severe crosswinds on the day of the record attempt, which hindered the car's potential. It plans to make another pass soon to chase an even higher top speed. While Tesla and Porsche battle for Nürburgring lap supremacy, the Genovation GXE is enjoying its claim to the title of fastest road-legal electric car on earth unchallenged.