The people of Sudbury, Lively, Chelmsford, Azilda, Val Caron, Hanmer, and beyond know there’s no such thing as a mundane Corvette. However, even this illustrious sports car brand has never seen anything like the 2024 Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray in its previous 70 years. The E-Ray combines Corvette style with AWD and hybrid propulsion technology to deliver a car with outrageous performance that will see demand for it go off the scale.
Most of us have learned to see hybrid cars as an exercise in fuel economy because that’s what automakers have been producing for the last decade or so. But when approaching the subject of the 2024 Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray, forget what you think you know about hybrids. A small number of supercars appeared in the early years of hybrid car development that concentrated on performance. But they were incredibly limited editions, costing ten times or more than the 2024 E-Ray. While the E-Ray does pay some attention to fuel efficiency, this Corvette’s hybrid eAWD system is all about performance. At the heart of the 2024 E-Ray is a 6.2-litre LT2 Small Block V-8 powering the rear wheels with 495 horsepower and 470 lb.-ft. of torque. The electric motor provides the front wheels with an additional 160 horsepower and 125 lb.-ft. of torque. The combined 655 horsepower and eight-speed dual-clutch transmission can propel the Corvette E-Ray from 0 to 96 kph in 2.5 seconds, and the quarter-mile arrives in 10.5 seconds at 209 kph.
The E-Ray is available in coupe and convertible body styles, and although this fantastic car has many exclusive styling cues, it does look a lot like a new Z06. While the exterior is reassuringly familiar, what’s going on beneath that stunning exterior is more technologically advanced than any Corvette to date. The good news is that you don’t need to be a rocket ship test pilot to handle the E-Ray because it’s as easy to drive as any current Corvette. The hybrid system is simple thanks to six driver-selectable modes of Tour, Sport, Track, Weather, My Mode, and Z-Mode, which control the quantity of assistance the electric motor provides to suit the circumstances. There’s even a clever E-Ray Performance App with the infotainment system that informs the driver about how the hybrid powertrain is performing.
Additional safety features come in the form of standard Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Alert, and Automatic Emergency Braking for safety. Magnetic Ride Control 4.0 with three distinct suspension settings, a Brembo Carbon Ceramic braking system for optimal braking performance, and an Active Fuel Management system that utilizes the electric motor to extend four-cylinder operation in various driving conditions are also standard.
The E-Ray name could lead some to assume the car is fully-electric, but this remarkable new Corvette illustrates how sensational and practical a hybrid system can be when properly utilized. And there’s more to love about the E-Ray than just its outrageous performance. The E-Ray is a self-charging hybrid that doesn’t need plugging in to recharge. The battery gets recharged by harvesting regenerative energy produced by coasting and braking during conventional driving. At the same time, the intelligent eAWD system continually learns the road surface and adapts to meet current traction conditions and driver needs. The E-Ray’s eAWD system sends extra power to the front wheels for enhanced vehicle stability when you want to put the car through its paces and when traction is less-than-ideal.
Many people would be happy with what we’ve covered, but plenty more marks the E-Ray out from its rivals, including the fabulously named Stealth Mode. As well as optimizing track performance with that additional power and torque for the front wheels, the E-Ray’s electric motor and two driver-initiated electric driving modes allow the car to travel under electric-only propulsion in certain conditions. When Stealth Mode gets activated at start-up, the feature allows the Corvette to be driven purely under electric power until the engine turns on for regular driving. This feature lets you quietly exit a neighbourhood up to a maximum speed of 72 kph. The engine will automatically kick in if you drive above 75 kph, when the driver requests additional torque, or when the E-Ray’s battery pack runs out of charge.