The Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray just debuted as the first electrified version of the iconic sports car. Chevy's announcement materials showed us a lot, but the folks at Car and Driver got a chance to take a close look at the hybrid 'Vette. A member of their team even got a chance to ride shotgun in it.
Fitting the hybrid setup required making some tweaks to the C8 Corvette. The 1.9-kilowatt-hour battery (1.1 kWh usable) sits in the chassis tunnel between the occupants. It's roughly beneath the area where the center console is.
Gallery: 2024 Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray
Chevy's engineers had to revise the front suspension because installing the electric motor to the front axle required adding half shafts to the wheels. The shock towers are higher and are now at an angle. They have a bracket running between them, too. However, the wheel travel is reportedly the same. In the frunk, the only changes are little notches in the storage area that barely appear to affect the cargo volume.
Inside, the E-Ray's cabin layout looks very familiar if you have any experience with the C8 Corvette. The displays get some new graphics, though. In Stealth Mode, the instrument panel only displays the vehicle's speed, the battery's state of charge, and an indication of when the combustion engine activates.
Chevrolet uses the term rolling start for when the V8 starts during electric-only driving. There's an animation on the instrument and infotainment screens during this process. The video only provides a glimpse of it, but the scene seems like a neat gimmick. Owners who want to see lots of technical details can activate an infotainment display screen showing the separate outputs from the electric motor and combustion engine.
The E-Ray has a total output of 655 bhp (481 kilowatts) from its combined V8 and electric motor. Chevy believes the pack should be able to recharge during a lap of a short track, but it might have periods of being out of juice on long circuits like the Nordschleife. The company estimates acceleration to 60 miles per hour (96 kilometres per hour) takes 2.5 seconds. The quarter-mile time should be around 10.5 seconds at a speed of 130 mph (209 kph).
The Corvette E-Ray will go on sale later this year. The 2024 model year suggests it arrives in the second half of 2023. The coupe starts at $104,295 (approx. £85,350), and the convertible is $111,295 (£91,100).