Think the 2023 Corvette Z06 is groundbreaking? Well, there's a new C8 in town, the 2024 Corvette E-Ray, and it's the most unconventional Corvette in history. I'll cut to the chase: It's an all-wheel-drive hybrid. The rear wheels are powered by the same 495-horsepower 6.2-liter V8 found in the normal Corvette Stingray, but the front axle gets a 160-hp electric motor to provide the aforementioned AWD motivation. That's 655 horsepower combined. Sprints to 60 mph are as fast as 2.5 seconds, thanks to a combination of gasoline and electrons. A quarter-mile run is likewise achieved in just 10.5 seconds. That makes it the quickest Corvette ever, even hastier than the Z06, at least according to General Motors.
Despite this incredible performance, the E-Ray does not plug into an external charger. Energy for the hybrid system is provided by regeneration during coasting and braking as well as direct charging by the engine during regular driving. This is possible because the battery is a small 1.9-kWh lithium-ion pack located in the car's structural tunnel between the seats. This battery plus the electric motor on the front axle means the E-Ray coupe weighs 3,774 pounds—340 pounds more than a Z07-equipped Z06.
The electric power is enough to propel the E-Ray for short distances at speeds up to 45 mph in "Stealth" mode. Chevy did not provide an all-electric driving range but expect it to be less than five miles. The 1.9-kWh battery does not have a lot of energy to propel a car. The Hummer EV, for instance, has a 212-kWh battery. Despite battery size, operating on electrons alone, the E-Ray will still have performance similar to a Nissan Leaf, even dragging around a small-block Chevy. A base Leaf has 147 horsepower and weighs 3,509 pounds which gives it a slightly worse power/weight ratio than the hybrid Corvette, and the V8 never need to fire up.
To keep up performance up on track, there's a Charge+ mode which tries to keep as much juice in the battery as possible. This likely turns up the amount of energy harvested while the car is coasting as well as during braking. If the E-Ray's battery can accept a hefty amount of energy during braking, it's possible it could maintain its eAWD for even lengthy on-track stints.
The hybrid Corvette is something of a replacement for the previous "Grand Sport" trim found on the C6 and C7. As such, it has a few similarities. The big one is that like the Grand Sport, the E-Ray shares most of its body panels with the Z06. This means it's nearly four inches wider than a regular Stingray and has much bigger wheels/tires, too. In fact, the same carbon fiber wheels on the Z06 can be specced on the E-Ray. The center-exit quad exhaust is still specific to the Z06, though.
New for the E-Ray is a dark green interior color called Artemis. Likewise, three new exterior colors are available; Riptide Blue, Seawolf Gray, and Cacti. The latter color has already been previewed on the Chevy Trax and it's a flat green—unconventional for a 'Vette. These colors, 14 in total, will also be painted right onto the trim to give the car a different look.
The E-Ray is also interesting because it's the first Corvette to offer standard carbon ceramic brakes. They're an option even on the theoretically higher-spec Z06. This arrangement hints at the fact that the E-Ray shakes it up when it comes to the traditional order of Corvette trims. Yes, it's similar to the old Grand Sport level in a few ways, however, it's priced very similar to the Z06 and offers very similar levels of performance. The Z06 starts at $106,395. The E-Ray starts at $104,295. One has 655 horsepower, the other, 670. One goes 0-60 in 2.5 seconds, the other, 2.6. In other words, you can think of the E-Ray as more of an all-weather, softer-riding alternative to the Z06 as opposed to a regular Stingray with Z06 stuff, as has been the case traditionally.
The new Corvette E-Ray will arrive at dealers later this year as a coupe and a convertible.
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