The inexorable march of electrification has finally reached the streets of Bowling Green, Kentucky. The 2024 Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray is the automaker’s first hybrid Vette, aimed at providing the ultimate grand-touring experience. While it’s not supposed to be a replacement for the best-of-both-worlds Corvette Grand Sport, the E-Ray follows in its footsteps by borrowing elements from the regular Stingray and the track-focused Z06 to create something different.
Let’s take a gander at the E-Ray and its various underlying bits and baubles and see how this model compares against its siblings.
The Corvette E-Ray’s rear half gets its motive force from the Stingray’s LT2 naturally aspirated 6.2-liter V-8. It makes the same 495 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque as it does in the Z51-equipped Stingray. The real bit of uniqueness lies up front, where a permanent-magnet synchronous AC motor delivers an additional 160 horsepower and 125 pound-feet for a net output of 655 horsepower, giving the E-Ray the honor of being the first all-wheel-drive Corvette. The e-motor gets its juice from a lithium-ion battery with 1.1 kilowatt-hours of usable capacity.
The E-Ray’s LT2 uses the same eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission as the Stingray and Z06. However, while the Z06 modifies that arrangement with a shorter final drive for a little extra zip, the E-Ray sticks with the Stingray’s taller gearing.
The Z06 makes a smidge more power from its unique LT6 flat-plane-crank overhead-cam V-8, which produces 670 horsepower and 460 pound-feet. If you opt for a base Stingray without the Z51 package, you’ll have to make do with just 490 horsepower and 465 pound-feet.
Chevy estimates the Corvette E-Ray coupe will reach 60 mph in 2.5 seconds and nail the quarter-mile mark in about 10.5 seconds. That would make it a smidgen quicker than the Z06, which required 2.6 seconds to reach 60 mph during our testing but recorded a similar 10.5-second quarter-mile. No Corvette is a slouch, though; even the Stingray Z51 we tested only required 2.8 seconds to reach 60 and used 11.2 seconds in the quarter.
The E-Ray’s handling performance should be somewhere between the Z06 and Stingray, although likely closer to the former, as the hybrid borrows the Z06’s wider body. In our testing, the Z06 coupe on sticky Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 Rs achieved 1.16 g’s on our 300-foot skidpad exam, while the Stingray was a little less grippy at 1.03 g’s. Chevy estimates the E-Ray can achieve 1.1 g’s on the optional Michelin Pilot Sport 4s’ and 1.0 g on the standard Michelin Pilot Sport All Season rubber, but we’ll see just how close it gets to that number once we get our hands on one.
Body and Chassis
If the E-Ray looks wide to you, it is. The hybrid uses the same shell as the Z06, meaning it’s about 3.6 inches wider than the Stingray. The E-Ray also features the same comically wide tire configuration, with 275/30ZR-20 rubber up front and 345/25ZR-21 out back. However, unlike the Z06’s default summer tire, the E-Ray comes standard with all-seasons (yes, 345-width all-seasons exist), with summers available as part of an optional package.
Stopping the E-Ray comes courtesy of Brembo carbon-ceramic brakes, with 15.7-inch rotors in the front and 15.4-inch rotors in the rear. This braking setup is optional on the Z06, but in the case of the hybrid, Chevrolet wanted to keep the mass of every E-Ray as low as possible, which is why they’re standard. For context, the beefiest stoppers you can get on the Stingray measure just 13.6 inches in the front and 13.8 inches in the back.
All three Corvette variants utilize the same basic suspension formula, comprising a control-arm setup at every corner. However, there are a few key differences between the models. Both the E-Ray and Z06 come standard with Chevrolet’s excellent magnetorheological dampers, whereas it’s only optional on the Stingray. The unique front-end packaging of the E-Ray brings some mild adjustments, including a taller front damper mount to account for new half-shafts, as well as unique front springs and a different anti-roll bar, both of which were tweaked to compensate for the E-Ray’s additional front-end mass.
Speaking of mass, all that new tech definitely contributes to extra poundage. While it still won’t see our scales for a little while, we estimate the E-Ray will weigh around 4000 pounds, with the convertible adding another 80-ish pounds on top of that. This is based on Chevy telling us that the E-Ray’s hybrid components add about 300 pounds to the equation, and our own scales put the Z06 and Stingray just a hair below 3700.
The Corvette E-Ray is a traditional hybrid, not a plug-in, so any sort of electric-only range will be small. Chevy estimates between three and five miles on electricity alone, at which point the V-8 will bark to life. While that’s not enough to do much, it’s enough to quietly leave your neighborhood in the E-Ray’s unique Stealth mode, which should keep your local homeowner’s association from trying to ban Corvettes.
A 75-mph highway fuel-economy loop produced 26 mpg in a Stingray, or 1 mpg below its EPA estimate. In our brief stint with a Z06, we observed just 12 mpg, but that didn’t take place under the same rigorous guidelines as our highway fuel-economy test, and it jibes with the EPA’s 12-mpg city estimate.
The Corvette E-Ray comes with a whole host of unique features to match its unique powertrain. A new 12-volt lithium-ion battery allows for extended stop-start usage. There’s a new Charge+ mode on the E-Ray as well. It’s meant to maximize the car’s state of charge, which should help on long track stints. The aforementioned Stealth mode will make sneaking out of the house a whole lot easier, and it works at speeds up to 45 mph.
The hybrid also features unique tuning to its Performance Traction Management system, seeing as how both pairs of wheels now provide forward motion. Data geeks should also appreciate the host of new pages within the infotainment system, including power output gauges and a page outlining the electric half’s performance and efficiency.
Even though the Corvette E-Ray uses the Stingray’s V-8, its price is far closer to that of the Z06. When it goes on sale later this year, the E-Ray will cost $104,295 for the coupe and its removable targa top. That’s slightly lower than the 2023 Z06 coupe, which costs $106,695. The E-Ray convertible comes with a $7000 surcharge versus the coupe, putting its base price at $111,295. If you’d rather stay bargain-minded, the Stingray comes in at $65,895, rising to $73,395 for the droptop.
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