The modern age has most people streaming music or podcasts through their phones rather than listening to FM radio or even AM, though some may consider the latter ancient. But there’s still a good reason to tune in, Car Radio with Henry Payne on 910 AM Superstation. The 100th recording had some notable appearances, including Bob Lutz, former vice chairman of GM, and Tadge Juechter, Corvette Executive Chief Engineer. Even our own Manoli Katakis made an appearance in this lineup of esteemed company. And while everybody approached the topic from different angles, all of them took some time to discuss the Corvette E-Ray. Luckily, if you missed the show on the radio, it has also been released on Spotify.
C8 Corvette E-Ray: Details
Development for a mid-engine Corvette started back in 2007, but it was put on the back burner due to financial woes for General Motors. However, Bob Lutz revealed that the company had been working on the mid-engine Corvette and what would become the E-Ray over the years. As a result, we can expect to find highly mature technology within the car that seamlessly transitions power from the internal combustion engine to the electric motor to the point where it’s almost transparent. Interestingly, Lutz was surprised that they didn’t use the Z06 engine mated to the hybrid system, but luckily we know that’s on the way.
Even though the Corvette E-Ray and Z06 share a similar price point, they represent very different customer propositions. Corvette customers have been itching to get an AWD Corvette for some time, which is at least a 3-season car, if not 4-season. Tadge Juechter revealed that once the C8 began development, Chevrolet thought of doing an electrified front axle and figured it would be the best route due to its compactness and efficiency. Interestingly, the frunk of the Corvette E-Ray remains the same size as it is within the Z06 and Stingray, despite the motor.
Juechter also stated during the show that the electrification of the Corvette E-Ray is very different from other electrified vehicles. Everything is designed to improve performance, where the battery cover is carbon fiber and the front drive unit is comprised of magnesium casing. This means the front drive unit only weighs a little over 80 pounds, which is impressive. The dry weight of the E-Ray is just 3,700 pounds, making it just 300 pounds more than the Z06, something that’s made up with the additional torque. As for the future of the Corvette, as pointed out by Manny, a lot is going on. The Zora is still expected to arrive in the future, and towards the middle of this decade, we can expect the Corvette brand to expand, starting with an electric Sedan and then, a bit later, the SUV. It’s believed that GM is giving the Chevy Blazer some room in the market before the Corvette SUV gets added to the mix.