The first electrified – and first all-wheel-drive – Corvette in the nameplate’s 70-year history has been unveiled before likely hitting an Australian showroom at a later date.
the 2024 Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray hybrid supercar was unveiled ahead of arrival in US showrooms this year, and an Australian launch is expected to follow.
As the third model in the new C8 Corvette lineup, the E-Ray is the first model to sport the iconic Chevrolet badge to offer hybrid power – and the first to power all four wheels, not just the rear wheels.
Timing of arrival at the Australian showroom has yet to be confirmed, but prototypes with steering wheels on the right-hand side have been photographed testing in the US. drive local General Motors Specialty Vehicles division has reached out for comment.
The new Corvette E-Ray – its name a nod to the “Stingray” badge used on the standard Corvette – combines a 6.2-litre V8 naturally aspirated petrol engine Drive the rear wheels, with a electric motor drive the front wheels.
Combined performance confirmed by General Motors overnight is 481kW – with 369 kW/637 Nm from the petrol engine, unchanged from the regular Stingray from which the V8 is borrowed, and 120 kW/165 Nm from the electric motor.
The E-Ray is not a plug-in hybrid like the Ferrari and Lamborghini hybrid supercars – but more of a ‘conventional’ hybrid, closer in philosophy to a Toyota family SUV, recharging the battery by charging it absorbs energy when braking or uses petrol engine.
With the 1.9kWh battery mounted in the center of the chassis and an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission driving the wheels, Chevrolet claims a 0-60mph (97km/h) acceleration time of 2.5 seconds .
This makes the hybrid Corvette one of the fastest accelerating production cars ever built by a US manufacturer – faster than the standard Corvette Stingray (2.9 seconds) and the track-focused Corvette Z06 (2.6 seconds ), which are powered by petrol and rear-wheel drive only.
The company says the E-Ray can complete the benchmark quarter-mile (402 km) sprint in 10.5 seconds — 0.1 seconds faster than the Z06, which is powered by a screaming 5.5-liter naturally aspirated V8 500 kW and 624 Nm is driven.
The Corvette E-Ray’s 1.9kWh battery can store about twice the energy of an SUV in the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid family – but only a quarter the size of the latest generation of plug-in hybrid supercars like the McLaren Artura or Ferrari 296 GTB.
That means the hybrid Corvette can’t go any significant distance with the petrol engine off – but there is a “stealth mode” that allows owners to start the car and drive with the engine off at speeds in their neighborhood drive up to 72 km/h.
According to Chevrolet, in this mode the petrol engine only turns on when the car exceeds this speed, the driver requests more power or the battery runs out. No electric range is given, but it is estimated to be around 5 km.
When the car is electric, it only drives the front wheels – a first for a Corvette.
On the racetrack or when driving dynamically on public roads, the electric motor is used to increase performance – while there is a “Charge+” function that maximizes the “battery charge level for extended lap drives”. [on a race track]”.
However, electric driving capabilities come at the expense of weight, with Chevrolet claiming dry mass figures – excluding fuel, oil or fluids – of 1712 kg for the coupe or 1749 kg for the convertible.
In comparison, the Stingray weighs between 1530 and 1576 kg – or 1561 kg for a Z06 coupe with carbon fiber wheels and the Z07 Performance Package.
The E-Ray comes standard with carbon-ceramic brakes measuring 398mm up front with six pistons and 391mm at the rear with four pistons – behind 20-inch front and 21-inch alloy wheels.
Michelin Pilot Sport all-season tires are standard, but Michelin Pilot Sport 4S summer tires are optional.
All models come standard with Magnetic Ride Control adaptive suspension – and a lightweight 12-volt lithium-ion battery that facilitates the engine’s start-stop system, which is new to the E-Ray.
There are six riding modes – Tour, Sport, Track, Weather, My Mode and Z-Mode – as well as the Charge+ feature.
The design of the Corvette E-Ray borrows heavily from the Z06 flagship and shares the widebody wheel arches, front bumper and rear lip spoiler.
However, the exterior accents, which are black on the Z06, are body-colored on the E-Ray – although carbon fiber accents are optional on both cars – while using the rear bumper from Z06 examples destined for Europe and Australia, with four exhaust tips placed on the outside instead of in the middle.
Star-inspired alloy wheels are unique to the E-Ray – in four finishes – but carbon-fiber wheels similar to the Z06 are optional, finished in dark gray or exposed carbon-fiber.
Other exterior highlights include 14 exterior colors (including Riptide Blue, Seawolf Gray and Cacti, which are new for model year 2024), a unique Electric Blue stripe package, standard black badge and optional black exterior badge (instead of charcoal gray) and tailpipes.
Chevrolet says the electric motor and front power unit components have little impact on the Corvette E-Ray’s front storage compartment (referred to as the “Frunk”).
The internal differences between the E-Ray and the regular Corvette are limited to the “Charge+” and “Auto Stop/Start” buttons on the center console and the revised graphics of the infotainment system and the instrument cluster.
A green “Artemis Dipped” interior will be exclusive to 2024 Corvettes — while E-Ray buyers can choose from two carbon fiber interior packages, three seat designs and seven interior colors
Four years into its model cycle, the 2024 Corvette finally introduced autonomous emergency braking – a potentially life-saving feature that’s standard on Australia’s cheapest new car, the $16,000 Kia Picanto, but wasn’t available on the Corvette in its current generation.
It will become mandatory for all newly launched vehicles in Australia from March 2023 – but as the Corvette launched locally in late 2021 it has until March 2025 to install the feature as standard equipment.
Also new for 2024 are Lane Departure Warning and Lane Keep Assist – other features standard on Australia’s cheapest new cars and paraphernalia. Blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert were already standard in Australia.
the 2024 Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray Hybrid is due in US showrooms this year at a price of US$104,295 (AU$150,970) — more than the Stingray’s US$65,895 (AU$95,380) base price, but less than US$106,695 (AU$150,970). AU$). AU154,440) of the Z06.
drive has been in touch with General Motors Specialty Vehicles to confirm Australian plans for the Corvette E-Ray, but the vehicle is expected to hit local showrooms – as prototypes have been spied in right-hand drive tests.
The standard Corvette Stingray is available now – the flagship Z06 is to follow in mid-2023.
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