Chevrolet’s exciting new Corvette E-Ray marks several important milestones for the marque, most notably the Corvette’s first application of hybrid technology and its first use of all-wheel-drive. It’s also expected to be the quickest Corvette ever with projected 0-60 acceleration in just 2.5 seconds. The E-Ray will be replacing the Gran Sport trim option in the Corvette lineup, with Chevrolet offering three trim levels for the E-Ray including the entry-level 1LZ, mid-range 2LZ, and top-line 3LZ.
The E-Ray will use Chevrolet’s 6.2-liter LT2 crossplane crankshaft V-8 producing 495 horsepower and 470 lb-ft torque. The midship LT2 is augmented by a magnesium and carbon fiber-encased 160 horsepower electric motor mounted at the front, with energy supplied by a 1.9 kWh lithium-ion battery. The E-Ray’s combined 655 horsepower and 595 lb-ft torque is channeled through a Tremec eight-speed dual clutch automatic transmission. All this provides enough muscle to earn the E-Ray a quarter-mile time of 10.5 seconds at 130 mph.
High-Tech Features Abound
Handling all this muscle is well-covered. Brembo Carbon-Ceramic brakes and Chevrolet’s Magnetic Ride Control 4.0 are standard equipment, along with staggered 20-inch front and 21-inch rear wheels employing wide, Z-rated all-season tires. Chevrolet also gives drivers plenty of options when it comes to applying the E-Ray’s lean and green power with six selectable driving modes. These include Tour, Sport, Track, Weather, My Mode, and Z-Mode.
Plenty of sustainable and eco-friendly functions are also built in. Active Fuel Management allows the LT2 V-8 to shut down half its cylinders during times of low power demand to conserve fuel. Drivers can select a Charge+ mode to maximize battery life when high performance is not needed. An E-Ray-specific Stealth Mode is also standard that enables driving silently on battery power up to 45 mph for limited distances, a welcome function for drivers and neighbors alike.
Corvette E-Ray Styling
A Corvette is meant to look lean as well as quick, and the E-Ray is no exception. The E-Ray’s front end retains the C8 Corvette look, with a couple of unique styling cues. A body-colored grille surround is present around the wide-mouthed opening, along with a pair of large and functional air induction ports sitting beneath chiseled, aggressive headlights. The classic Fleur-De-Lis emblem, synonymous with the Corvette name since its introduction in 1953, is seen center stage.
At both sides of the E-Ray are a pair of imposing side scoops that guide air over the rear wheels to enhance better grip. These side scoops are outlined with a three-pronged, gloss black design that’s yet another styling cue unique to the E-Ray. Aggressive haunches sit atop both the front and rear wheels, a look that is ironically Corvette.
A Driver-Centric Cockpit
Looking rearward, those wide haunches slope back into the E-Rays slightly pointed rear end and impart a familiar and decidedly athletic look. A pair of functional air exit ports sitting above a quad-tailpipe exhaust system are surrounded by a large, race-inspired rear air diffuser finished in gloss black. Looking down through the rear window allows viewing the LT2 V-8 on full display.
Inside is an interior designed to completely immerse occupants in the driving experience. A squared, Formula 1-inspired carbon fiber steering wheel sits in front of the driver with an 8-inch infotainment screen angled directly towards the driver’s position. A 12-inch digital gauge cluster in front of the wheel displays the usual functions along with battery life and torque readings unique to the E-Ray. A large pillar angling downward from the dash features climate and seat warmer controls, among others. Twin stitching and tone-on-tone colors are used throughout the passenger space, along with carbon fiber-accented seatbacks. Chevrolet made sure to include a front trunk, or frunk, seen on regular C8 models as research indicated it was an important feature for prospective E-Ray buyers.
Corvette E-Ray Breaks New Ground
The E-Ray contains plenty of brains to go along with all its brawn. Chevrolet’s Infotainment 3 Plus system is present, offering Bluetooth audio streaming and wireless CarPlay and Android Auto capability.
Chevrolet’s Corvette E-Ray is a very big deal for the performance automotive world. It is the first hybrid V-8 sports car made domestically for the consumer market, as well as the quickest Corvette ever produced. All eyes will be on the E-Ray, and time will tell if it can live up to the hype. Pricing starts at $104,295 for the 1LZ coupe version, with deliveries of the E-Ray expected to begin in late 2023.