When the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray was revealed on 18 July 2020, rumours about a hybrid or plug-in hybrid version were already a bit more than one year old. People started to wonder why the C8 had a central tunnel if it finally was a mid-engined car since it was revealed. Now, SAE International reinforces that it should have a battery pack placed in that central tunnel and that it will be called E-Ray.
SAE International also confirmed it would be sold as a 2023 vehicle, something our Motor1 US edition published back on 9 September 2020. Sources close to the project development would have given the publication more info.
The electrified Corvette will be the first AWD option in the car’s history, and the electric motors will be placed in the front. All the front suspension was designed from the start to give room to half shafts to connect each front wheel to its own electric motor, which would be able to deliver more than 37 kW (50 bhp). The two electric motors would be butter together.
That will allow the electrified AWD Corvette to reach a total power of more than 600 bhp (448 kW). And that is just the beginning: the Corvette Zora will offer more than 1,000 bhp 746 kW). It will be a tribute to Zora Arkus-Duntov, the man who always wanted to see a mid-engined Corvette. As you may imagine, it will also be an AWD car and will have its front wheels powered by electricity.
It is not clear if the E-Ray will be a plug-in hybrid but all pieces of evidence point in that direction. We have already seen the prototype in the wild with a plug sticking out of its frunk, possibly for it to recharge before its charging port was defined. Ironically, if the E-Ray gets an all-electric mode, that will also make it the first front-wheel-drive Corvette in history – at least while on EV mode.
According to the article, an electric-only Corvette should arrive as a result of the so-called Project R and will debut after 2025. As you may have already guessed, it will be an electric SUV, such as the one pictured below.
Another evidence was in the Corvette’s manual, which mentioned a lithium-ion battery module in its fuse box.
SAE International said that this module would have 2 cubic feet (56.6 litres) of room in the central tunnel. For our readers with the right engineering background, please try to guess the size of a battery module that could fit.