Chevrolet Unveils 2024 Corvette E-Ray Hybrid
Part of the original C8 program plan, the new hybrid combines the 6.2-L V8 with a front-mounted traction motor and 1.9-kWh battery pack to create the quickest Corvette ever.
Rather than toasting their sports car’s 70th birthday with polite champagne sips, Chevy yanked the wraps off another edition of the eighth-generation Corvette: the 2024 hybrid E-Ray which combines an electrically-driven front axle with a potent V8 energizing the rear wheels.
Strategically sandwiched between the base Stingray and the Z06 street/track racer, the Corvette E-Ray is offered in both targa coupe and convertible body styles. Deliveries commence later this year at a suggested retail price of $104,295 for the base coupe.
Planned from the C8 engineering program’s onset, E-Ray has a compact 160-hp (119 kW), 125-lb-ft (169 Nm) electric motor located between the front wheels, just beneath its front trunk. A coupling attached to the motor’s output accommodates wheel speed differences in corners. Rather than plugging in to charge the battery, the AC motor serves as a generator during deceleration and cruising to perform that function.
The 1.9 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, with cells supplied by LG Energy, providing about 1/7th the energy of the battery in a 2023 Toyota Prius hybrid, resides in the 2.0-cu ft (56-L) cavity serving as the Corvette aluminum space frame’s backbone. A power inverter is also located within that tunnel. Electric assistance varies according to which of six drive modes is selected by the driver. Various data details, such as the AC motor’s instantaneous output, are available for display on cockpit instruments.
The standard Stingray’s 6.2-L LT2 V8 hammers E-Ray’s rear wheels with 495 hp (369 kW) and 470 lb-ft (637 Nm) through a carryover Tremec TR9080 8-speed dual-clutch transaxle.
Armed with 655 combined horsepower (488 kW) and all-wheel-drive traction, the sprint from standing start to 60 mph (96.5 km/h) takes only 2.5 seconds according to Chevrolet, beating the mighty Z06 by 0.1 second while matching that 670-hp (500 kW) Corvette’s 10.5-second quarter-mile time. This performance distinguishes E-Ray as the quickest Corvette in history. The newfound drive traction compensates for the fact that E-Ray’s 3774-lb (1712-kg) dry weight top’s Z06 mass by 260 lb.(118 kg).
Twisting a center console knob to engage Stealth mode enables virtually silent driving in the E-Ray up to 45 mph (72 km/h) via the electric propulsion motor. Active Fuel Management, which allows 4-cylinder operation of the 6.2-L V8 during highway cruising, carries over to maximize E-Ray’s fuel economy. Final EPA mileage ratings are not yet available.
E-Ray sports the Z06’s aggressive body work, which is 3.6-in. (91.5-mm) wider than Stingray’s fenders to accommodate 10-inch-wide front and 13-inch-wide rear wheels carrying 275/30ZR-20 and 345/35ZR-21 Michelin Pilot Sport all-season tires. Carbon-ceramic brakes gripped by Brembo monobloc calipers and Magnetic Ride Control (electronically adjustable) dampers are both standard equipment. The only visual distinctions from a Z06 are that E-Ray’s four exhaust outlets move from the centerline to the rear corners of the car plus a new twisted 5-spoke wheel design.
Journalists who’ve enjoyed E-Ray ride-alongs with Corvette engineering staff at GM’s Milford, Mich., proving ground report breathtaking launch thrust on dry surfaces. Breaking the tires loose under acceleration is a challenge unless the pavement is wet.. In sedate driving, E-ray is reportedly calm and collected.
The brake-torque management system which selectively slows one front wheel during hard cornering works so well that full-throttle drifting requires nothing more than confident hands on the steering wheel. Corvette engineers who’ve tested E-Rays in deep snow report that they’re all but unstoppable ─ even on summer tires.
To give E-Ray customers ample opportunity to customize a car to their liking (while running up the sticker price), Chevy offers 14 exterior colors, a special blue stripe package, different exhaust tip coatings, optional carbon fiber wheels with three distinct finishes, and a ground- effects package. E-Ray’s interior trim options include a deep-green treatment for all surfaces (first model year only), seven other interior colors, two carbon-fiber trims, and three different seat designs.
To prove their commitment to electrified Corvettes, Chevy engineers will subsequently introduce a second hybrid called Zora (in honor of long-time chief engineer Zora Arkus-Duntov) with combined horsepower topping the 1000 hp/746 kW) mark. Further, speculation is rampant that an all-new, all-electric C9 Corvette will arrive by the turn of the decade.