The Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray has just made its debut as the first all-electric version of the iconic sports car. Chevy’s announcement material showed us a lot, but people at Car and Driver got a chance to get a close look at the ‘Vette’ hybrid. A member of their team even got the chance to ride a shotgun in it.
Adjusting the hybrid setup required some tweaking on the Corvette C8. The 1.9 kilowatt-hour (1.1 kWh usable) battery sits in the chassis tunnel between the passengers. It’s roughly below the area where the center console is.
Chevy engineers had to revise the front suspension because attaching the electric motor to the front axle required adding a half axle to the wheels. The shock tower is taller and now tilted. They also have brackets running between them. However, the wheel travel is reportedly the same. On the frunk, the only change is a small indentation in the storage area which seems to barely affect cargo volume.
Inside, the E-Ray’s cabin layout looks very familiar if you’ve ever driven a Corvette C8. The display is getting some new graphics. In Stealth Mode, the instrument panel displays only vehicle speed, battery charge status, and an indication of when the combustion engine is active.
Chevy uses the term rolling start for when the V8 starts while driving on electric power only. There are animations on the instrument and infotainment screens during this process. The video only gives a glimpse, but the scene looks like a neat gimmick. Owners who want to see lots of technical details can activate the infotainment display screen which displays the separate outputs of the electric motor and combustion engine.
The E-Ray has a total output of 665 horsepower (481 kilowatts) from its V8 and electric motor combined. Chevy believes the package should be able to recharge during one short track lap, but there could be periods of exhaustion on long circuits like the Nordschleife. The company estimates acceleration to 60 miles per hour (96 kilometers per hour) takes 2.5 seconds. The quarter mile time should be around 10.5 seconds at 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, and the convertible is $111,295.