Gearheads everywhere got a little early Christmas gift when schematics for the upcoming 2024 Corvette E-Ray were leaked online on Dec. 8, 2022. The pot was stirred pretty nicely by this potentially zero-emission Corvette model. The American muscle car’s fans were astounded by the possibility of a hybrid version.
The leak occurred on a Corvette fan blog, then was picked up by car news outlets. The discourse about this vehicle was of intrigue and excitement. People were surprised there was even a discussion of a hybrid Corvette but excited it could perform just as well as an internal combustion-powered model. The leak previewed the schematics of the E-Ray, even allowing fans to design a colorway and a hardtop or soft-top convertible roof.
Unfortunately, the fun was short-lived before GM’s web team caught wind of the leak and hid the page. However, the carmaker told Corvette Blogger: “Looks like the holidays came early for a few astute Corvette fans. Stay tuned for more.” Fans’ anticipation was quickly quenched with the official debut of the Corvette E-Ray on Jan. 17.
The classic car has an all-wheel-drive system powered by 160 horses in the front-mounted electric motor. Combined with the gas power, the E-Ray can hit 655 horsepower with ease. For perspective, that’s only 15 horsepower less than the Z06 model. Track tests revealed it could go 0-to-60 in 2.5 seconds.
Weighing in at 4,000 pounds, it’s one of the heaviest Corvettes ever made. According to Chevy, the max speed levels out at 180 mph, but future advancements could make the vehicle faster. The exterior is similar to the Z06 aesthetically. The body and front are almost a like-for-like match.
Chevy hasn’t built a car like this before. The battery was shrunk to fit in the center tunnel between the passengers to maximize speed and performance. Pure electric range is limited, so gas power will still be needed. Plug-in capabilities were nixed, with Chevy saying the vehicle can charge and recharge itself.
The company also said plug-in tech adds weight, which would have made this Vette slower. To switch between fuel sources, drivers just need to push a button on the dash. A cool feature is the Stealth mode. The car will only use electric power to travel short distances. Speed limits are implemented in Stealth mode, but it saves a lot of gas.
Some minor details about the braking system, “Regen on Demand,” were found in the leak and later confirmed after the official reveal. There will be regenerative energy from coasting, braking, and normal driving. With a simple push of a button, the driver can signal the brakes to charge the batteries while slowing down. This feature is another reason why the plug-in tech wasn’t added.
The hybrid Corvette will cost a pretty penny — starting at more than $104,000 for the 1LZ coupe. That’s over $40,000 more than the standard Stingray coupe. Convertible models will cost more.
This debut is an exciting time for Corvette fans, regardless of how they feel about hybrids. However, they must be patient as the E-Ray isn’t expected to go on sale until later this year; production will occur in Kentucky. Either way, the new Corvette can be seen as a signal of further development of hybrid sports cars.
“E-Ray, as the first electrified, all-wheel-drive Corvette, takes it a step further and expands the promise of what Corvette can deliver,” said Mark Reuss, General Motors president, in a press release.