We knew Chevrolet was cooking up something special by utilizing some form of an electric platform for the next Corvette. However, before a full-on BEV (Battery Electric Vehicle) Corvette comes to life, General Motors brings us a hybrid form of the Chevy Vette called the E-Ray, touting all-wheel-drive, Z06 styling, and a hybrid powertrain featuring a 160-horsepower / 125 lb-ft or torque front-mounted electric motor and the 495-horsepower / 470 lb-ft of torque 6.2-liter V8 engine for a combined output of 655 horsepower and 595 lb-ft of torque.
The new Corvette E-Ray fundamentally unlocks unfound performance from the Corvette platform, being the first Vette to ever have all-wheel-drive, which should be a game changer for the ‘American sports car.’
You can think of the new Corvette E-Ray as being the best of everything in a Corvette, from the rumbling sound of its V8 engine mounted behind the driver, to having all four wheels clawing at pavement while you have some of the new Z06’s wider proportions and aggressive looks.
Where the new Corvette E-Ray will position itself is rather interesting as it not intended to be a Grand Sports replacement but a new entrant altogether to run with all-wheel-drive Porsche 911s, but with the advantage of having its advanced hybrid powertrain.
The new Corvette E-Ray will carry some penalties, such as having an additional 300 pounds to carry around over the curb weight of the new Z06, making it the heaviest Corvette ever, in addition to its higher cost. However, most of that weight is hidden thanks to the instant torque from the electric motor combined with the V8, giving it the ability to hit 60 mph in a claimed 2.5 seconds. Quarter miles time is also claimed to be 10.5 seconds, nearly identical to the new Z06. The top speed is around 180 mph, where the electric motor checks out at about 150 mph when it is decoupled from the drivetrain leaving the V8 to take the rings for the rest of the ride.
The Vette E-Ray gets a small 100-pound 1.1-kWh lithium-ion battery pack located in the center tunnel that separates the driver and passenger to power the AC motor. Chevrolet says the battery is designed to quickly charge and discharge itself with the ability to switch hybrid function modes, with one being a Charge+ mode to maximize the state of charge in preparation for track sessions.
Full electric driving is very limited with the E-Ray only able to get about 5 miles of all-electric range in a Stealth drive mode working up to 45 mph while it emits a futuristic hum sound. Another interesting fact is the electric motor will not work to propel the vehicle in reverse. The ultimate goal with the Corvette E-Ray is performance over hybrid efficiency so you should not expect crazy fuel economy numbers.
The interior remains mostly unchanged, but the Frunk’s (front trunk) size is slightly diminished, so the E-Ray can house the electric motor causing a revision of the front suspension, which is still available with a front-end lift system.
There are other unique goodies that the Corvette E-Ray gets leaving the ‘normal’ Corvette Stingray in the dust, such as getting carbon ceramic brakes, four-season capability (via Michelin Pilot Sport all-season tires), and massively wide sizes, 275/30ZR-20 front and 345/25ZR-21 rear. Michelin Pilot Sport 4S summer tires are optional.
We expect the 2024 Corvette E-Ray to go on sale later this year, starting at $104,295 for the base 1LZ trim. An E-Ray Convertible will be available at a $7,000 premium for the 1LZ trim. Additional pricing has not been revealed yet but expect pricing to scale up pretty fast for options and higher trim levels as we get closer to Chevrolet unleashing a fully-electric E-Ray later this year.