Chevrolet is pulling out all the stops to celebrate the 70th birthday of its iconic sports car. Sure, there’s a “70th Anniversary Edition” Corvette with exclusive badging, colors, and even a custom luggage set designed to match, but there’s also something even more exciting: the reveal of the upcoming 2024 Chevy Corvette E-Ray. This hybrid performance car is getting plenty of buzz, but what exactly do we know about it so far? Let’s dive into the details and see what this high-tech pony car will bring to the table.
First things first: Chevy is calling the E-Ray an “electrified” Corvette, but this is not an all-electric car. It still gets most of its power from a gas-powered V8 engine. However, that power is supplemented by an electric motor. The E-Ray isn’t a plug-in hybrid: its battery is charged by regenerative braking, a process that makes use of energy that would otherwise be lost to heat during deceleration. With a starting MSRP of $102,900, the 2024 Corvette E-Ray is slated for release in late 2023.
By the Numbers
When it comes to performance cars, it’s hard to overestimate the importance of stats, so Chevy has made sure that the E-Ray not only lives up to the Corvette nameplate but goes above and beyond. This isn’t just a flashy gimmick; it’s an evolutionary step forward. To put everything in perspective, we’ll compare the 2024 E-Ray’s stats to the 2023 Corvette Stingray.
If you upgrade the 2023 Corvette Stingray with the available performance exhaust or the legendary Z51 performance package, you can get up to 495 hp. That’s plenty—even for most enthusiasts—but the E-Ray can beat it. Since the E-Ray uses a combination of the LT2 V8 engine that powers the Stingray plus an electric motor that provides extra power, it can produce a total of 655 hp. This motor also sends 125 lb-ft of torque to the car’s front wheels, adding to the 470 lb-ft delivered to the rear axle by the engine.
All of that power translates to extra speed and acceleration. The 2023 Corvette Stingray is already plenty impressive on that front, able to go from zero to sixty in just 2.9 seconds. But Chevy estimates that the E-Ray can go from zero to sixty in a mere 2.5 seconds. That may not sound like much of a difference on its surface, but racing fans know that, on the track, even the narrowest advantage can make a big difference.
In addition to being the first-ever Corvette to have a hybrid powertrain, the E-Ray also earns the distinction of being the first Vette to have all-wheel drive. While the V8 engine powers the E-Ray’s rear axle, just like in a conventional Corvette, the electric motor brings power to the front wheels. The E-Ray’s eAWD system is intelligent, able to adapt to a variety of driving conditions in real-time and provide extra traction and stability, both on the highway and the track.
Zooming by and showing off the rumble of your powerful motor may be exhilarating at the driving club, but it can be pretty inconsiderate in a quiet suburban neighborhood. That’s why Chevy is introducing a feature they call Stealth Mode. In this mode, the E-Ray is powered solely by the motor, so it’s nice and quiet. This mode only works at speeds of 45 mph or less and over short distances, but that should be all most drivers need to get out of their residential area.
Magnetic Ride Control 4.0
The E-Ray will come standard with Chevrolet’s Magnetic Selective Ride Control technology, an available upgrade on the 2023 Corvette Stingray. This feature lets the driver switch between three different suspension settings to get the perfect ride in any situation. That means you don’t have to sacrifice comfort while cruising down the freeway, and you’ll still get optimal performance while zooming around the track.
Other Tech Features
Chevy has added several tech features that work to keep the driver in control, both over the car in general and over the balance between the electric motors and the gas engine. In addition to six modes that let the driver choose between Tour, Track, Sport, Weather, My Mode, and Z-Mode, there’s also a Charge+ feature that can be switched on when you want to maximize how much charge the battery is getting. The infotainment system also features the E-Ray Performance App, which displays various stats that provide insight into the car’s performance. Drivers can switch between three different layouts. Gauges displays how much power is coming from the motor and the engine, Dyno shows graphs of the car’s power and torque levels across adjustable time intervals, and Data emphasizes the performance of the electrical motor and efficiency.
ZER Performance Package
The traditional Corvette Stingray can be upgraded with specialized performance packages, and the new E-Ray is already following suit. Chevy has announced that an optional add-on called the ZER Performance package will be available on the hybrid Vette. It will upgrade the tires to Michelin Pilot Sport 4S ZP summer-only tires to maximize warm-weather grip and have optimized chassis tuning along with other tweaks designed to improve performance.
Design & Style
The E-Ray’s design has two distinct objectives: improving performance and looking cool. When it comes to the former, the body’s design features wider fenders with quarter panels and expertly-designed fascia, all working together to improve the car’s aerodynamics. A standard spoiler is also part of this team effort, though it also adds a racecar aesthetic on top of its practical application.
When it comes to style, many of the E-Ray’s exterior accents match its body color, giving it a sleek and cohesive look. Drivers willing to pay extra can mix things up with racing stripes and other custom accents. To give this new iteration of its sportscar a unique brand all its own, Chevy has created a new E-Ray badge design that looks like it would feel right at home on a superhero’s suit.
What’s Next for the Corvette?
While the E-Ray is shaking up the Corvette model a fair amount, it doesn’t look like Chevy’s going to stop there. Word on the street is that two new vehicles bearing the Corvette nameplate could be part of Chevrolet’s line-up as soon as the 2025 model year. The first is the next logical step from a hybrid Vette: an all-electric Corvette EV. The second is an even bigger departure from the familiar: a Corvette SUV, also rumored to be all-electric. We’ll certainly be paying close attention to how drivers react to the E-Ray once it’s actually released to the public since it’s likely to be an indicator that predicts how these even bolder designs are likely to be received.
Our Overall Impression
There’s no denying that the electric assistance on the Corvette E-Ray is a game changer when it comes to the car’s performance. On top of the horsepower boost, the switch from RWD to AWD has major implications for drivers looking to hit the track and make the most of their performance car. While a hybrid powertrain is usually thought of as a fuel-saving measure, it’s clear that the technology has wider applications.
The Corvette has evolved quite a bit over the decades, shifting its shape and receiving upgrades ranging from improved engines to additional comfort and convenience tech in the cabin. It has dropped manual transmission and gained plenty of different variations, from special anniversary editions to extra-powerful models like the Z06. This wave of electrification marks a new step forward for this classic pony car.