General Motors has been beating the “all electric future” drum for what feels to be a few years now, insisting that combustion engines are on their way out, and that hybrids are simply not cost effective enough to make sense for the company, plus customers “don’t want them.” Yet leadership from the same GM has recently come out to say that engines aren’t going away anytime soon, and this same company even debuted a hybrid race car that’s entering in everything from the 24 Hours of Daytona next weekend to Le Mans to Bahrain. GM is even making a hybrid Corvette. Called the E-Ray, it will arrive with the 2024 Corvette lineup, likely summertime, and it will be the most powerful C8 model yet when considering combined horsepower and torque, and it’s all thanks to a pair of electric motors.
WHAT IS THE CORVETTE E-RAY?
The Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray is the first hybrid-electric production Corvette and the first all-wheel-drive production Corvette in the nameplate’s 70+ year history. It will be the third variant of the C8 Corvette, following the inaugural Stingray and Z06 supercar.
The C8 Corvette E-Ray hybrid will share a lot of visual similarities with the C8 Z06, in that it will share the same widened body style, and similar front fascia. However, it will differentiate itself from the Z06 with unique wheels, body-colored accents, and will not feature a center exhaust outlet in the rear. Instead, it will see outboard exhaust tips like the Stingray.
E-Ray design highlights include:
- Four aluminum wheel finishes
- Fourteen exterior color choices — including new for 2024 Riptide Blue, Seawolf Gray and Cacti
- An E-Ray-exclusive body-length stripe package in Electric Blue
- Standard carbon flash badging
- Available black exhaust tips and bright badging
- Available carbon fiber ground effects
- Optional carbon fiber wheels in carbon flash, visible carbon fiber finish or visible carbon fiber with a red stripe
The E-Ray also introduces a new Artemis Dipped interior, which features deep green tones on nearly every interior surface, and will only be available on 2024 Corvettes, as well as a Stealth interior package. The E-Ray will also offer two carbon fiber trim packages, three seat choices, seven interior colors, and more.
Additionally, there are new Charge+ and Stop/Start buttons on the console and updates to the infotainment system and instrument cluster.
C8 CORVETTE E-RAY POWERTRAIN & PERFORMANCE SPECS
The tires on the C8 Corvette E-Ray will be the Michelin Pilot Sport All Season 4 and Pilot Sport 4S tires currently found on Stingray. The extreme Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 R tires found on the Z06 will not be offered. However, being that this Corvette hybrid will share the same wide body as the Z06, the tires are substantially meatier, measuring 275/30R20 in front, and 345/25R21 in the rear.
Further differentiating itself from the 670 horsepower Z06, the Corvette E-Ray will position itself in the marketplace as more of a grand tourer. Its hybrid powertrain will allow the E-Ray to move in near-silence at low speeds and supple ride quality on the highway. This hybrid Corvette will also refrain getting the Z07 Performance package that the Z06 gets. Instead, it will get a ZER package, which is expected to be similar to the Z51 package on the Stingray. Despite the added heft of a battery pack and electric motors, the E-Ray is within 53 pounds of the Z06 in curb weight, with the coupe coming in at 3,774 lbs (1,712 kg), and the convertible tipping the scales at 3,856 lbs (1,749 kg). The Z06 coupe tips the scales at 3,721 lbs for the coupe and 3,819 lbs for the Z06 convertible. Indeed, it’s the heaviest Corvette ever.
ELECTRIC MOTORS UP FRONT, PARTY IN THE BACK
The Corvette E-Ray sees an electric motor come to the aid of the 6.2L LT2 V8 engine. While the V8 powers the rear wheels, the electric motors sends an additional 160 horsepower and 125 lb-ft of torque through the front wheels via a 1.9 kWh battery pack, which is located between the seats, in the “spine” of the vehicle.
With the added power, the 2024 Corvette E-Ray will have 33 percent more torque than the Corvette Z06, and just 3 percent less horsepower, at 655 hp and 595 lb-ft of torque. To compare, the C8 Corvette Z06 is officially rated with slightly more hp, 670, but much less torque at 460 lb-ft.
Thanks to the instantaneous torque, and benefits of all-wheel-drive, the E-Ray is the quickest production Corvette thus far, with a 0-60 time of 2.5 seconds.
ELECTRIC = STEALTH
While the C8 Corvette is one of those vehicles known for being loud and proud, the E-Ray pitches all-electric driving capabilities through a “Stealth Mode” so long as the battery isn’t depleted. To clarify, however, the E-Ray is not a plug-in hybrid. It’s a conventional hybrid, meaning that the battery pack will work in tandem with the engine to either optimize performance, or fuel economy, based on the car’s driving modes: Tour, Sport, Track, Weather, My Mode and Z-Mode. And, as mentioned, there’s Stealth Mode.
When selected at start-up Stealth Mode allows for purely electric for a period of time before the engine turns on for normal driving, and operates up to 45 mph before the LT2 fires up. Think of it as a “good neighbor” mode. The silent driving can be maximized through the Charge+ feature, which maximizes the battery’s state of charge, while the engine’s Active Fuel Management system uses the electric motor to extend 4-cylinder operation in various driving scenarios.
For those that want to get extra nerdy, there’s an E-Ray Performance App that comes with the infotainment system provides the driver with technical insights into how the hybrid system is operating, and displays the following:
- Gauges (displays dynamic power output from electric motor and V-8 engine)
- Dyno (provides graph of power/torque across selectable time intervals)
- Data (showcases electrical system performance and efficiency).
Corvette E-Ray engineers even managed to integrate the electric motor over the front axle well enough to leave enough space for a front storage compartment. So this thing keeps the frunk.
The custom-designed Performance Traction Management (PTM) modes are optimized in concert with the eAWD propulsion system.
The E-Ray Corvette hybrid will share the Tremec 8-speed dual clutch automatic transmission, as seen in the Stingray and Z06.
The direct competitive set for the 2024 Corvette E-Ray can be summarized as the Porsche 911 4S (443 hp, $130,000+ USD), which is an AWD sports car, but isn’t a hybrid. The Acura NSX would be another direct competitor, but the hybrid supercar was discontinued in 2022. This makes the E-Ray a firm “white space” product in the supercar space, until Porsche answers with a 911 Hybrid in 2024.
CORVETTE E-RAY PRICE, PRODUCTION AND AVAILABILITY
The E-Ray will be sold both in North America (USA, Canada, Mexico) and in select global markets, as it will be built in both LHD and RHD configurations. It’s expected that customers in China, European Union, Middle East, South America and Australia will all have access to the E-Ray.
While many have speculated that the MSRP of the 2024 Corvette E-Ray would slot between the Stingray and Z06, all of this high-tech engineering and class-leading output will come at a premium. The price for the Corvette E-Ray starts at 104,295 USD for the 1LZ coupe and $111,295 USD for the convertible version.
To compare, the 2023 Corvette Z06 is currently priced at $109,295 USD when including destination fees and the gas guzzler tax.
The 2024 Corvette E-Ray is expected to go on sale this year, with some estimates pointing towards the summer.
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