Fastest Corvette ever: new E-Ray hybrid packs a 488kW sting

Published Jan 18, 2023


Detroit - Chevrolet has pulled the covers off a hybrid version of its iconic Corvette sports car, and it uses a front-mounted electric motor to amp up acceleration and provide extra traction in the snow.

The Corvette E-Ray, which is a play on the Stingray name used for petrol-powered versions of the sports car, was revealed on the 70th anniversary of the debut of the original Corvette. GM executives have said previously a petrol-electric hybrid version of the automaker's supercar was coming.

The Corvette E-Ray will use a 12-volt lithium-ion battery and a 120kW electric motor to drive the front wheels. A 370kW, petrol-fuelled V8 engine will drive the back wheels as in other Corvettes. The total system output is listed at 488kW.

GM said the hybrid system will accelerate the E-Ray to 60 miles per hour (96km/h) in 2.5 seconds, making it the quickest production Corvette ever, GM said.

The E-Ray will also be able to operate in a battery-only "stealth mode" for short distances, GM said.

The E-Ray is the first Corvette equipped with all-wheel drive. Many rear-drive Corvettes spend winters in their owners' garages.

“Corvettes must provide an exhilarating driving experience on back roads and tracks, and E-Ray nails it,” said Tadge Juechter, executive chief engineer. “The electrification technology enhances the feeling of control in all conditions, adding an unexpected degree of composure.”

The E-Ray is a derivative of the current Corvette and does not use GM's latest, Ultium battery technology, GM executives told reporters in a briefing. A fully electric Corvette will come, but GM executives are not saying when.

“In 1953, the enthusiastic reaction to the Chevrolet Corvette concept kicked off seven decades of passion, performance and American ingenuity,” said GM President Mark Reuss. “E-Ray, as the first electrified, all-wheel-drive Corvette, takes it a step further and expands the promise of what Corvette can deliver.”

The E-Ray is scheduled to go into production later this year at a starting price, in the US market, of $104 205 (R1.78 million).

IOL & Reuters