The new Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray is the first hybrid Corvette in history and also the fastest of all. It goes on sale this year with two different bodies, like the Stingray.
It is now exactly 70 years since Chevrolet introduced the first Corvette, which debuted at the New York Motorama. And what better anniversary to present the new Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray, the first hybrid Corvette in history, the first with all-wheel drive, and the first of electrification that will go further?
Electrification is normally used to reduce the consumption and emissions of the vehicle in question. In the Corvette, that takes a backseat. Electrification is designed to improve performance, increase power and, incidentally, also increase safety in low-grip conditions thanks to four-wheel drive.
Power for the Corvette E-Ray comes from two engines. The main propellant is a 6.2-liter naturally aspirated V8 engine (LT2 ‘Small Block’) that generates 502 HP (369 kW) of power and 637 Nm of torque and sends its force to the rear wheels. The gasoline engine is complemented by an electric motor located on the front axle, which delivers 163 PS (120 kW) of power and 165 Nm of torque to the front wheels. The electric motor is powered by a 1.9 kWh battery that is placed between the seats.
In total, the Corvette E-Ray hybrid has 654 hp (481 kW) of combined power, adding the thermal and electric motor. In addition to offering an almost immediate sensation of thrust, these figures allow it to become the fastest production Corvette ever: it does 0-60 mph in 2.5 seconds and only needs 10.5 seconds to cover a quarter. of mile.
Electric mode to avoid waking the neighbor
The Corvette E-Ray uses its hybridization to be faster and has better traction. However, it can be moved in the all-electric mode under certain conditions. The amount of electric assistance is different in each of the six riding modes: Tour, Sport, Track, Weather, My Mode, and Z-Mode. To these must be added the Stealth mode (stealth), which allows fully electric driving for a short period.
It is designed to drive quietly out of a neighborhood and is limited to 45 mph (72 km/h). The car starts in electric mode, quietly. The gasoline engine is automatically activated if the vehicle speed exceeds the limit, if the driver requests more power or if the battery runs out.
To all of the above, we must add the Charge+ function, which maximizes the state of charge of the battery. The battery, by the way, is recharged while driving through regenerative braking or with the thermal engine, but it is not plugged in.
The electric motor is also used to provide more support to the thermal engine when it works with only 4 cylinders (it has cylinder deactivation to reduce fuel consumption).
Last but not least, the electric motor is essential to have an eAWD all-wheel drive. Under normal conditions, it is activated when there is a loss of grip on the road, for example, but it is also designed to improve traction on the track and get out of curves faster.
A top-notch chassis
The Corvette E-Ray’s credentials do not end with its hybrid motorization, since its entire chassis is a compendium of first-rate technologies. The suspension employs a double wishbone setup on both axles, with aluminum control arms. It is equipped with the fourth generation of the Magnetic Ride Control system, an active suspension with magnetorheological dampers, and a front axle lift with memory.
It mounts Brembo carbon-ceramic brakes with 398mm discs and six-piston calipers at the front, and 391mm discs and four-piston calipers at the rear. The tires are Michelin Pilot Sport 4 with measurements 275/30 ZR20 (front) and 345/25 ZR21 (behind). It also equips a new 12-volt lithium-ion battery adapted to the stop/start functionality of the thermal engine.
Another big difference from the Corvette Stingray (non-hybrid) is the width of the vehicle. The hybrid model is 9.1 centimeters wider than the Stingray. The E-Ray measures 4,699mm long by 2,025mm wide and 1,235mm high. With a coupe body, it weighs 1,712 kg (1,749 kg for the convertible).
Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray on sale this year
The Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray will go on sale this 2023 as Model Year 2024 and will be available in a coupe with a removable roof (which would be a Targa) and a convertible with a hardtop. The E-Ray coupe is priced at $104,295 and the convertible starts at $111,295.
Among the features and equipment of the new E-Ray, it is worth highlighting the incorporation of new driving assistants (shared in all Corvette MY2024) such as lane keeping assistant with lane departure warning, forward collision warning, and braking emergency automatic.
As for customization, there are four alloy wheel designs, fourteen options for body paint (including three new ones: Riptide Blue, Seawolf Gray, and Cacti), and a blue stripe decoration exclusive to the hybrid model. Optionally you can equip carbon fiber wheels. For the interior, there are three different types of seats, seven colors for the upholstery, and the possibility of equipping carbon fiber trim.