Home » Chevy Corvette E-Ray: How Hybrid AWD Makes The Quickest Corvette Ever

Chevy Corvette E-Ray: How Hybrid AWD Makes The Quickest Corvette Ever

Corvette E-Ray Topshot Pv Jaypeg Brighter

After enthralling the public with the performance bargain Stingray and the howling Z06, it’s now time for the 2024 Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray to bring hybrid supercar tech to the sports car segment. Brace yourselves, this one’s gonna be quick. In fact, the all-wheel drive hybrid Corvette is the quickest production Corvette ever built. And that’s just the start.

Incredible Acceleration

2024 Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray

When the C8 Corvette debuted, it was fairly obvious that Chevrolet was planning some sort of electrification. Come on, nobody designs a car with a huge central tunnel without intent to put something in that space. The result?

Chevrolet claims that the E-Ray will run from zero-to-60 mph in just 2.5 seconds and blitz the standing quarter mile in 10.5 seconds. That’s a tenth of a second quicker than the Corvette Z06 in both metrics, all without the fancy quad-cam V8. It also means that the E-Ray is the quickest Corvette Chevrolet has ever made. So how does Chevrolet achieve such figures when the LT2 engine in the E-Ray makes the same power as it does in the Stingray? It’s all thanks to the instant torque of an electric motor and the repeatable traction of all-wheel-drive.

The Go-Fast Bits

2024 Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray

Sitting in between the front main structural rails is an electric motor good for 160 horsepower and 125 lb.-ft. of torque. That doesn’t sound like much, but Chevrolet claims it works with the 495-horsepower 6.2-liter naturally-aspirated LT2 V8 engine to put out 655 combined horsepower. As a bonus, the Corvette E-Ray stills has a frunk despite the front-mounted electric motor, which should keep Autopian co-founder Jason happy. Feeding that electric motor is a tiny little 1.9 kWh battery pack mounted in the central tunnel right between the seats, which should be fairly good for weight distribution.

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Partly because of the tiny battery pack, the Corvette E-Ray doesn’t sound like it’ll lure BMW i8 owners into trading in their billionaire-doored codpieces. In an all-electric drive mode called Stealth Mode, the E-Ray will only be capable of 45 mph before the burly V8 kicks in. What’s more, the E-Ray isn’t a plug-in hybrid, so you won’t be able to go solo in most HOV lanes without getting a ticket. On the bright side, there is a Charge+ mode to maximize the battery’s state of charge for trackday sessions, just in case an E-Ray owner is feeling ambitious.

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So what about other go-fast bits? Well, the Corvette E-Ray gets Brembo carbon ceramic brakes as standard, along with a special lightweight lithium-ion 12-volt battery for mitigating the weight of hybrid power. Magnetorheological dampers will also be standard and likely feel like witchcraft, although standard Michelin Pilot Sport all-season tires give off the impressions that the E-Ray is more focused on road use than it is on track use.

The Visuals

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On the outside, the E-Ray gets a modified version of the Z06 treatment. Not only is the bodywork 3.6-inches wider than on a Corvette Stingray, it’s almost identical to that of the E-Ray’s angry flat-plane crank-equipped brother. Mind you, there are a few easy tell-tales to separate E-Ray from Z06 aside from badging. For starters, all the black grille bezels and rear heat extractors you’d find on a Z06 are color-keyed to the E-Ray’s paintwork. It’s a little bit ‘90s given how fussy the grillework can be, but I reckon the right spec could pull the monochrome look off. Then there’s the exhaust setup. Instead of four centrally-located exhausts showing at the rear of the vehicle, the E-Ray has two exhaust tips on either corner of the rear bumper with a vent in the middle. The Italianate five-spoke wheels are an E-Ray exclusive, a dead giveaway if you ever see one of these cars parked up, but I suspect the hybrid pushrod V8 sound signature will be a more helpful differentiator if the E-Ray in question is on the move.

2024 Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray

What we have here, in some ways, is Chevrolet’s idea of a Porsche 911 Turbo. It’s a monstrously quick sports car with a grand touring bent, available in coupe and cabriolet forms, capable of spitting torque to all four tires in the snow yet still carving up Mosport should the occasion arise. Of course, since the Corvette brand caters more towards New Balance aficionados than middle-aged private equity professionals with irritatingly white teeth, the starting price tag isn’t north of $182,000 like it is with the car from Stuttgart.

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However, that’s not to say that the Corvette E-Ray is cheap. Chevrolet says that when this electrified sports car goes on sale later this year, it’ll carry a base price of $104,295 for the 1LZ Coupe trim. Expensive for a naturally-aspirated Corvette with a cam-in-block V8, but not bad for a hybrid that allegedly does zero-to-sixty in 2.5 seconds.

But How Will It Handle?

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As it sits, the base-model Corvette Stingray is a bit of a marvel in that it’s a rear-mid-engined sports car that doesn’t drive like a rear-mid-engined sports car. See, the big benefit of a rear-mid-engined layout is that the mass is fairly centered within the chassis. Whether you take a cheap used Porsche Boxster or a McLaren 570S out for a test drive, you’ll realize that most rear-mid-engined sports cars are imbued with the agility of houseflies, able to change direction almost telepathically for anyone used to front-engined cars. Based on my experience driving a 3LT Z51, I’ve found that the Stingray with standard street alignment settings doesn’t. Instead, it rotates gradually, as it’s set up so that novices don’t suddenly find themselves backwards through a hedge. Add in the fact that the electric motor in the E-Ray is undeniably weight over the front axle, and it’ll be interesting to see if it exacerbates this behavior or if Chevy has something up its sleeve.

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Then there’s the matter of steering. The standard C8 Stingray’s steering is well-weighted and linear but, I found, a bit devoid of feedback. You might get the odd hushed murmur up through the column, but that’s about it, and that’s without asking the front tires to manage torque along with steering and a great deal of braking. Mind you, if you seek driver involvement above all else, you’d probably happily heel-toe your way past your local Chevrolet dealer on the way to the nearest Lotus showroom, but again, this is GM: It might have something up its sleeve, and I’m excited to find out.

The Bottom Line

2024 Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray

The Corvette has always been about bang-for-your-buck, and the 2024 Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray promises to take everything appealing about the base Stingray and crank it up a notch. It should combine no-joke supercar acceleration with GT car sensibility for posh sports car money, all while offering something no previous production-spec Corvette has – true winter confidence. Perhaps more importantly, the Corvette E-Ray is a fresh entry into the dwindling world of all-wheel-drive four-season sports cars priced around $100,000. The Jaguar F-Type is just about done and the Mercedes-AMG SL55 is knocking on the door of $140,000, which leaves just the Porsche 911 Carrera 4 and the Corvette E-Ray to battle it out in this space beyond 2024.

(Photo credits: Chevrolet)

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36 Responses

  1. I think exterior of the corvette has sort of grown on me,but I still don’t like the claustrophobic interior. It actually looked good in that bluish gray.

  2. Unlike most hybrids, this is less about environmentalism and much more about stupid levels of fun with clever engineering.

    While I’d much rather have one with a battery big enough to go 20 miles in silence when I want to, that’s not really the purpose of a car like this. I hope to be able to afford one soon.

    1. Its also a nice cost exercise in hybridization. Behind the fancy wording it looks like this think is just about the bare minimum hybrid setup. For around 30k you get some low powered motors with a small battery on an existing drivetrain.

    2. TBH, I had written off Corvette when they failed to provide a manual transmission in the last iteration. But this will definitely get me back in the showroom. Does have the appeal to make me get one? That’s another story. We’ll just have to drive one and see.

    3. Even though it’s less about environmentalism I’m sure there will be benefits fuel economy wise. Not necessarily massive ones…but it’ll probably gain a couple MPG over a Stingray and it’ll definitely chug less than the Z06.

  3. Iyay ooklay orwardfay otay eadingray ethay oadray esttay onyay ethay E-Ray.

    And iyay etbay isthay illway ebay ayay onstermay onyay ethay Urburgringnay.

  4. I would like to know if the engine has a generator on the crankshaft to charge the battery, or if the electric drive uses front wheel spin to generate electricity to charge the battery.

    1. This is an interesting proposition because I’d imagine that very few members of the traditional Corvette crowd are going to want one. That being said, I imagine the young money/social media type crowd is going to be all over it. Say what you will about the C8 (I personally love it) but it’s undeniable that it’s brought in a new audience for the Corvette. For the first time in a while young folks want a Corvette and think it’s cool.

      The 40 or so and under crowd is also much more environmentally focused than the usual retiree in New Balances Corvette demographic. Even though Chevy says that fuel economy wasn’t the goal, this will undoubtedly be better on gas than a C8 or Z06. So it’s a bit of a double whammy there.

      In the end it’s a smart play from GM and I’m sure they’ll sell all of them before they even hit lots. There really is a Corvette for everyone (who has a lot of money, that is) with this addition, and it makes the car a real threat to the traditional sports car set in this price range…aka the 911s, R8s, “entry level” Ferraris, McLarens, etc.

      Would I personally take one over a Z06? Tough call….but I don’t have six figures to drop on a weekend car right now so who cares. As I’ve said a few times…if any of these wicked powertrains trickled down into a Camaro I’d be very, very tempted to make a less than ideal financial decision and pick one up. Fortunately for my wallet and my wife’s sanity that isn’t likely to happen.

      1. I’ve never owned a Corvette, so take everything I say with a large chunk of salt, but it seems to me that the “traditional” Vette buyer is usually in a heavily-optioned Stingray, not in a special edition. This was definitely the case when the Z06, ZR1, etc were manual only; it may no longer be as true. If it is though, I think the buyer for this and the buyer for the Z06 may have a lot of overlap.

        1. Replying to myself to add further context from Tadge Juechter, where he was basically quoted as saying a lot of previous Z06/ZR1 buyers bought it because it was the “best” Corvette available, even though the performance bias was a net negative for them when actually driving the car. Developing a new special edition with more of a grand touring focus allows those buyers to still get something that’s “better” than the base car, but suits their actual driving habits more closely. Pretty good strategy IMO, I hope it works out.

          1. Yeah, the Z06 is way too hardcore for that particular audience. A more touring oriented model that’s still “my Corvette best Corvette” material should be a home run on paper, it just comes down to whether or not they’ll accept a hybrid powertrain.

            I don’t think it’s a stretch and/or generalizing to say that a Venn Diagram of the sort of wealthy male Boomers who’d drop 100k on Best Corvette and the folks who are interested in electrification are essentially two separate circles…but the performance may be enough to sway them. They can’t keep those absurd Hummer EVs on lots and the F150 Lightning has been a huge success….so I do think the performance aspects of electrification are definitely swaying some people.

  5. It’s probably the Corvette I would buy right now mainly because of the wider body (the base car doesn’t look quite right to me) and the fact it will probably have slightly less dealer mark ups than the Z06.

  6. The more C8s I see out in the wild, the more I like the C7. The C8 photographs well, but man, it looks weird from most angles in person. This E-Ray is pretty dope though, I’d happily forget what the outside looks like if I was fortunate enough to find myself on the inside of one.

  7. Looks good and the tech is solid, it has many benefits. This is definitely a stepping stone car, just to get more Corvette buyers used to electrification at any level as this car and nearly everything else transitions to full EV over time, likely when the next gen hits.

  8. Good luck seeing one at sticker price for many years. At least that is my fear.
    I am lucky to have somewhat inherited my Vette from my uncle on his passing, or I wouldn’t have one.
    Anyway, I’ll keep rocking my C6. Real manual, and round tail lights like the Corvette gods intended.

  9. This has got to be the most interesting Corvette ever made. It’s nice to see the General willing to take a risk and make a very cool car. Adding in the obligatory “all it needs is a manual”

  10. I’m not sold on this trim. Given the price the Z06 is a better buy and if you want a less track version I would save my money and get a nicely optioned base.

    1. That’s what I was gonna say. This is what the NSX should have been, though sticking with the Honda turbo V6 would have been more in keeping with the original NSX somewhat. I still don’t understand why the NSX was so stupid expensive when Chevy can pump these out for nearly 2/3 of the price. They should make a new hybrid ‘back-to-basics’ NSX with the MDX/TLX’s new turbo J-series.

  11. I wonder what kind of gas mileage this gets, with such a small battery. If it ends up being basically the same as the other versions, I think I’d probably walk right past this and get a Z06 instead. The engine in that thing just seems a lot more entertaining, to me.

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