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.

Genovation GXE Interior

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.

Genovation GXE Hood

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.

Genovation Extreme Electric (GXE)

Categories: Chevrolet, Tesla, Test Drives

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37 Comments on "CNN Loves The Manual Transmission Electric Corvette: Genovation GXE"

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You need a lot of gears to keep an ice engine in its power band, which for a high performance V8 is probably 4-6500 rpm give or take 1000. I struggle to understand how an electric motor would benefit from a 7 speed. The power band is so different (very broad and max torque at very low rpm).

top speed.

A two or three speed transmission should suffice.

I suspect they kept the stock seven speed transmission to keep costs down.

Indeed. Even the first season of the Formula E races, the cars had at most 5 gears, and it wasn’t long before they were down to 3.

In stead of adding a bulky box with extra gears to the e-motor, its much simpler, easier and cheaper to make a 50% larger e-motor to suffice the wanted speed in one gear only.

And of course, if you want a good EV, you shouldn’t build on a chassis, with a 6-speed box you can’t remove!

At $750K per car wouldn’t you be better off by using four motors and no transmission so that you can do torque vectoring? It’s not just straight line speed that matters in a race car, it’s how fast you can take curves.

You heard him.It’s the fun factor,even if it makes little sense in performance.

You are correct that a 7 speed transmission is not necessary. When the C6 GXE set the Guinness World Record in the standing mile, we used only 4 of the 6 gears, 2nd through 5th. Our motors redline at 10,500 RPM but start to loose torque at 7000 RPM which is when you would shift ICE Vette. 1st gear is only good for really smoky burnouts!

They could make it a mid engine EV, better weight balance.

1st: EV’s doesn’t have engines (but of course, you could put an inactive engine there, just for weight distribution ;o)

2nd: Weight distribution in an EV is not about where you put the motor(s), but where you put the battery(es).

Being sarcastic is not helping.

He is not, you don’t understand BEV designs.

Don’t confuse them with facts. It ruins their fantasy.

He should add a gearbox to a Model P100D! It would cost him less than $750k!

P100D has a gearbox. What it doesn’t have is a transmission. Transmissions are massive, complex, and create efficiency loss through the mechanical complexity. Given that the new Tesla Roadster 2020 will have LO and HI gear (if I recall), I doubt the Corvette project needs more than two gears + reverse. I do wonder if they ground the gears just right so it makes special vroom vroom noises. Harley Davidson did that with their project Live Wire. Jaguar iPace had some engineered sound.

You are hair splitting the word “transmission” wrong – but I don’t disagree with you. ;o)

You don’t actually need separate gears for reverse, just run the motor backwards.

For the British, the definitions of “transmission” and “gearbox” are reversed. For them, a “transmission” is a fixed-speed gearset, and a “gearbox” is the thing in which you can shift gears.

To eliminate this confusion, I suggest always inserting the term “fixed-speed” or “multi-gear” before either “transmission” or “gearbox”.

“The English and Americans are two peoples divided by a common language.” — attributed to George Bernard Shaw

You are correct PP, but solving a 100 year old problem just in time for the entire problem to just fade into irrelevance.

Straight cut gears…probably not.

No, just put in a gear shift and clutch pedal and electronically make the driver think he shifted gears. There could even be a tachometer that merely changes the multiplication factor so it looks like the RPMs change with the virtual grear shift.

THIS is how electric cars need to be done. If this is the future, I’ll welcome them with open arms and wallet

Thanks, we love it too!

I loved manual transmissions back in the 1990’s but don’t miss them now. No issues moving on. However this guy’s attachment to it even though it is basically a simulator like in a video game tells me he must be at least 60 years old.

Nice but it’s a showcar.
130 mile range when you creep along at Pebble Beach.
They should let NYT test drive this.

Nice zing!

The range is 175 miles normal driving. We did two 200 MPH passes on a runway and still had 100 miles of range. We’re testing new cells which should bump up the range to 200. Stay tuned!

$750k for a corvette that does 0-60 in sub 3? The roadster will do it in almost half the time

Even a Tesla SUV will beat that.

But what if you don’t want a Tesla? What if you want something different and interesting, still have an interest in more analogous driving and you have $750k burning a hole in your pocket?

Last E-Vette specs I saw 3X the cost, 1/5th the range and lower performance compared to the Tesla roadster. And all the garbage under the hood….

The new Roadster will be amazing when it comes out but with its 600 mile range will come a lot of battery weight. It will be fun to see which is faster on the track.

$750,000, BUT you get that $7,500 tax credit. 😀