by Karl Furlong
The Corvette family continues to expand, and this time it's with the first electrified, all-wheel-drive version of the classic nameplate. The Corvette E-Ray has been a hot topic of discussion for years, but we can finally put the rumors to rest about what this special sports car is all about. Using a combination of the 6.2-liter LT2 V8 and an electric motor, the E-Ray makes a combined 655 horsepower and will hit 60 mph in 2.5 seconds, making it even quicker than the mighty Z06. An intelligent eAWD system helps the E-Ray put its power down effectively, and the motor enables an electric-only Stealth Mode that is also new to the Corvette. Let's dig into all the exciting details of this electrified 'Vette.
See trim levels and configurations:
The release date for the Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray in the USA will be in 2023, when it will launch as a 2024 model. It will be produced at the Bowling Green Assembly facility in Kentucky.
With an MSRP of $102,900 for the base 1LZ excluding a destination charge of $1,395, the price of the 2024 Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray comes in just below the $105,300 for the base Z06. This will create an interesting conundrum for Corvette fans shopping at this price point, as the debate will rage about whether the Z06's flat-plane crank V8 makes it a better sports car than the multifaceted E-Ray. The 2LZ starts at $108,400 and the 3LZ begins at $113,850.
Porsche doesn't yet sell an electrified 911, but the E-Ray's performance shatters that of the base Carrera, which is pricier. Producing almost exactly the same power is the hybrid McLaren Artura, but as with many other hardcore supercars, it will cost far more than the Corvette. At the price, there are no rivals that provide the Corvette E-Ray's mix of exotic looks, potent hybrid powertrain, and breathtaking performance.
The exterior of the Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray shares its wide-body stance with the Z06 - the E-Ray is 3.6 inches wider than the Stingray. This was necessary to accommodate the wide wheels that do a better job of managing the E-Ray's considerable torque. Much of it is pure C8 Corvette, so you get classic mid-engine supercar proportions and a design that stands up well to pricier Italian exotics.
There are a couple of unique touches for the E-Ray, though, including an exclusive body-length stripe package in Electric Blue. Carbon flash badging is standard, and the range of colors for the Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray extends to fourteen shades. Riptide Blue, Cacti, and Seawolf Gray are the new colors for the 2024 model year. With the mix of standard carbon flash badging, four aluminum wheel finishes, the stripe package, and the various colors, the E-Ray is as customizable as we've come to expect from the Corvette lineup.
Black exhaust tips are available optionally, as are the carbon fiber ground effects and carbon fiber wheels. These wheels can be finished in carbon flash, visible carbon, or visible carbon with a red stripe. As for the wheel sizes, these measure 20 inches in front and 21 inches at the back, and they're wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport all-season tires or optional Michelin Pilot Sport 4S summer tires.
Based on the revealed specs, we know that the dimensions of the Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray include a body that is 3.6 inches greater in width than the Stingray. The E-Ray has a 107.2-inch wheelbase and measures 184.6 inches in length, 79.7 inches in width, and 48.6 inches in height.
With AWD and the additional electric components, it's no surprise that the E-Ray is heavier than other Corvettes. Chevy only mentioned a dry weight of 3,774 pounds, but that's already over 270 lbs more than the Z06's dry weight.
It may have a considerable electric boost, but the bulk of the Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray's power comes from its V8 engine. The 6.2-liter LT2 mill makes 495 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque, matching the Stingray's output with the Z51 package. The V8 directs its grunt to the rear axle via an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic.
Feeding the front axle is a single permanent magnetic drive motor making 160 hp and 125 lb-ft. It's fed by a 1.9 kWh lithium-ion battery positioned between the seats. Effectively, then, there are two separate propulsion systems, so a wide range of parameters can be changed to provide the best possible experience for the driving situation. Overall, there is a system output of 655 hp, and while we doubt that it sounds as exhilarating as the Z06, Chevy promises an "invigorating sound."
The E-Ray has an advanced eAWD system that constantly makes adjustments based on the level of traction available and driver requirements. Stability is enhanced when traction is poorer, with more power going to the front wheels, for example, and the electrified propulsion system promises dramatic acceleration when powering out of corners.
The Magnetic Ride Control 4.0 suspension is standard and comes with three driving modes. There is also a separate Stealth Mode, essentially an electric drive mode that operates up to a top speed of 45 mph. Don't expect much range in this mode given the size of the battery, though. But the driver settings don't stop there, with six selectable driving modes that alter the amount of electric assistance: Tour, Sport, Track, Weather, My Mode, and Z-Mode.
Most buyers will want to experience the electric motor and V8 working in unison, and when they do, the Corvette E-Ray is an incredibly potent machine. The 0-60 mph time is a scant 2.5 seconds, making it the quickest production Corvette ever. After 10.5 seconds, you would've cleared the quarter-mile at a speed of around 130 mph.
Brembo carbon ceramic brakes are standard and should withstand the rigors of track days.
As with other hybrid sports cars, the Corvette E-Ray's electric motor is expected to contribute to performance more than it does efficiency. Yes, it can be driven briefly on electric power alone, but we don't expect a huge discrepancy between this car's gas mileage and the standard Stingray's 16/24/19 mpg city/highway/combined. Assuming the same consumption, owners will be able to squeeze around 351 miles from the 18.5-gallon gas tank.
The E-Ray isn't a plug-in hybrid so you won't have to worry about locating your nearest fast-charging station. Rather, the small 1.9 kWh battery is charged during normal driving or by regenerative energy when coasting or braking.
Slide inside the interior of the new Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray coupe, and you'll be able to spot a few smaller differences between it and the gas-only Corvettes. New Charge+ and stop/start buttons on the console, along with an Artemis Dipped interior, have been introduced. This Artemis Dipped color scheme features complimentary deep green tones covering most interior surfaces, but seven total interior colors will be available for customers who prefer something more discreet.
Two carbon fiber trim packages are also on offer, and there are three types of Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray seats to choose from. In terms of technology, the E-Ray Performance App on the infotainment system provides information on the car's propulsion system. Gauges, Dyno, and Data are the three available display layouts: Gauges shows dynamic power output from both the V8 and electric motor; Dyno shows a graph of power-torque across selectable time intervals; and Data is for displaying the electric system's performance and efficiency. A modern touchscreen interface with access to both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto will be standard.
Along with other 2024 Corvettes, the E-Ray comes with more driver assistance technologies than before, including lane keep assist with lane departure warning, forward collision alert, and automatic emergency braking.
Despite the extra electric components, the cargo space in the Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray is very acceptable at 12.5 cubic feet.
The most popular competitors of 2024 Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray: