For years, the Chevrolet Corvette has been the quintessential symbol of American performance. However, the idea of hybrid or electric technology in the Vette seemed sacrilegious not too long ago. Despite occasional concepts, GM representatives in the 1990s and 2000s scoffed at such an idea. But finally, after a few teasers, the 2024 Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray has arrived, bringing all-wheel drive, electrification, and a touch of pizzazz to the sports car segment.
The E-Ray: Going Above Electrification
Although the core exterior styling of the E-Ray is similar to the standard Stingray, the front fascia is reworked, and the rear bumper features new vent pieces. The E-Ray is also slightly wider than the standard Stingray, and the five-spoke alloy wheels are exclusive to the E-Ray. Customers can choose from fourteen different colors, including Riptide Blue, Cacti, and Seawolf Gray.
The interior of the E-Ray does not differ significantly from that of the standard Vette, but an optional Dipped Artemis package infuses the bulk of the interior with a dark green accent. Additionally, a carbon fiber-infused body kit is available, and Chevrolet promises that other accessories will be available for the E-Ray.
Green Infusion: Performance Power
The E-Ray is not a pure EV, as previously rumored, but a traditional hybrid model. The mid-mounted 6.2-liter LT2 V8 still produces 495 hp, while a front-mounted electric motor generates 160 hp. This combined setup results in a combined output of 665 horsepower and allows the Vette to have functional all-wheel drive. The E-Ray can sprint to 60 mph in 2.5 seconds and complete the quarter mile in 10.5 seconds at 130 mph. However, this impressive performance comes with a cost, with the curb weight of the coupe and convertible increasing by over 400 lbs and 338 lbs, respectively. The 1.9 kWh battery pack powers the motor and contributes to the new “Stealth Mode” feature, allowing the Vette to operate silently through neighborhoods and on streets at speeds up to 45 mph before the V8 kicks in.
Magnetic Ride Control 4.0 enhances handling, and the system has a special tune exclusive to the E-Ray. All-season tires come standard, but buyers can opt for stickier summer tires. Chevrolet also promises steering and suspension upgrades for the E-Ray. Furthermore, the E-Ray will introduce new changes for the rest of the Vette lineup, with Chevrolet confirming that all models will benefit from new driver-assistance technology, including forward collision alert, lane-keep assist, and automatic emergency braking.
The 2024 Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray will go on sale later this year, though an exact release date has not been announced. The base model will start at $104,295 for the 1LZ Coupe, and the uplevel 1LZ convertible will start at $111,295. Although the E-Ray is not the fully electric Corvette that some rumors (and an errant statement by President Biden) have alluded to, it is undoubtedly a bridge to this future, especially if the fully electric version of the Corvette debuts in the coming years.