News: Corvette Adds Electric Power to Boost Performance
Hybrid E-Ray Is a 70th Birthday Present & Future Direction Indicator
The 2024 Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray is something old and something new for the brand. The old is a legacy thing for what’s been the halo Chevy since 1953. It’ will be a high-water mark for performance, the stock-in-trade of Corvette for most of its 70 years.
Another first for Corvette–Two drive modes (with or without engine)
With a gentle nod toward electrification, the E-Ray also takes the Corvette into more new territory—its first all-wheel drive model, first hybrid model and first one with a Stealth Mode to slip out of the neighborhood without the full-throated blast of 6.2-liter V8’s exhaust. In some ways this is a less dramatic new move than Corvette’s shift to mid-engine configuration in the 2020 Stingray.
When it arrives later this year, the 2024 Chevrolet eAWD Corvette E-Ray will be as pricey as it is fast. To get to 60 mph in 2.5 seconds will cost a minimum of $104,295, unless you want the convertible model at $111,295.
Power Front & Rear
Battery on your right
Corvette’s electrification consists of adding a 160 horsepower (hp) electric motor (with 125 pound-feet of torque) to power the front wheels, supported by a 1.9 kilowatt-hour battery tucked between the seats. The Vette’s usual 495 hp V8 directs its power to the rear wheels. Like every hybrid Prius since 1997, the Corvette doesn’t need to plug in, but refills the battery either through regenerative braking or, if you decide to lift, from coasting, or directly from the engine.
In case there was any question, Chevrolet didn’t even hint at any fuel economy improvement although some reports said the standard Vette’s city mpg might get a 1 mpg boost (but the 24 mpg highway numbers might suffer because of the added weight of the new battery and motor.
The E-Ray’s wide body look is from the borrowed Zo6.It sports wide 275/30 20-inch tires in front and 3345/25 21-inchers in the rear. Brembo carbon ceramic brakes provide stopping power for the 3,774-pound coupe.
Still got the pipes
GM has pledged to go all-electric, so taking the icon of the company and adding a battery is a first step. The small-block V8’s still there for now, but an all-electric model is on the horizon. Expect it to provide the same “exhilarating driving experience on backroads and tracks” that the E-Ray promises, just without a tailpipe. Since the Tesla Model S Plaid claims 0-60 mph in 1.99 seconds for a few thousand dollars more than the E-Ray, Corvette has its work cut out for it.
Meanwhile, the E-Ray can run in all-electric Stealth Mode up to 45 mph, just enough to silently get down the block, before the 470 ft.-lb. of V8 torque kicks in and the pipes open up. When the E-Ray takes to the track, the electric propulsion eAWD systems applies torque to the front wheel as needed to stablizie the car while the Charge+ feature can maximize battery site of charge for extended laps. The E-Ray will be produced alongside other Corvettes at GM’s Bowling Green, Kentucky, plant.
Old school Vettes:
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Michael Coates is the Editor & Publisher of Clean Fleet Report and an internationally recognized expert in the field of automotive environmental issues. He has been an automotive editor and writer for more than three decades. His media experience includes Petersen Publishing (now part of the The Enthusiast Network), the Green Car Journal, trade magazines, newspaper and television news reporting. He currently serves on the board of Western Automotive Journalists and has been an organizer of that group’s Future Cars, Future Technology and Silicon Valley Reinvents the Wheel programs. He also serves as Automotive Editor at Innovation & Tech Today magazine.