Our friends at GM-Trucks have dug up an interesting detail on the 2023 Corvette E-Ray: the RPO code for what’s described internally as “eAWD.” This identifies an all-wheel-drive system that sends power to various wheels via electric motors, which in effect will make the C8 E-Ray the first production Corvette hybrid. The RPO codes are listed as ‘XFD’ and ‘XRD’, depending on the year. Its battery pack will be located in the “spine” of the chassis, while the drive motors will use up all of the open space in the C8’s front storage compartment. The frunk, if you will.
While the original report describes the eAWD system as an “option,” MC&T has verified through its sources that the RPO codes XFD will be standard equipment on the 2023 Corvette E-Ray. For 2024, this RPO code will change to XRD, per GM-Trucks.
Here are exclusive details of our own that we can add to the story at this time: power of the front “e-axle” will range around 150-175 horsepower. Added to the 490 horsepower LT2 V8 engine that it will be paired with in the 2023 Corvette E-Ray, and we’re looking at output levels of around 650 horsepower. As a party trick (and as a CAFE gimmick), the Corvette E-Ray will be able to move in complete silence in some instances. But while this does imply that this hybrid setup will save fuel, it’s unlikely that Chevrolet will market this Corvette as such. Like other performance cars with electrification, expect the messaging to be purely about how electrification can improve numbers like 0-60 times, lap times, and/or quarter-mile times. Just don’t ask about how much weight’s being added in the process.
Adding to our exclusive details, the 2023 Corvette E-Ray will also share a widebody design, wheels and other hardware with the C8 Corvette Z06, which will debut in 2021 for the 2022 model year, pending further delays. But there will be major differences between the two, primarily in the engine bay, as has been reported.
Where the E-Ray will share the pushrod 6.2L V8 with the C8 Stingray, the upcoming Z06 will feature a unique 5.5L naturally aspirated DOHC V8 with a flat-plane crankshaft, codenamed LT6. Unassisted with the complexities of electrification, forced induction, or front drive axles, the C8 Z06 will still push out around 600 horsepower to the crank with engine speeds approaching 9,000 revolutions per minute. USA! USA! USA!