American sports car firm Corvette has revealed the E-Ray as its first electrified model.
Unveiled 70 years after the original Corvette made its debut, the E-Ray adopts a hybrid set-up with the sole purpose of boosting performance. Pairing the existing car’s 6.2-litre V8 engine with an electric motor in the front axle, the combined total output equates to 646bhp – a sharp increase over the 490bhp offered by the regular Corvette C8.
This means it’s able to accelerate from 0-60mph in just 2.5 seconds, while a quarter-mile stretch can be achieved in 10.5 seconds. Both of these stats make it the quickest production Corvette ever made. It’s also equipped with a new electronic all-wheel-drive system (a first for the firm) that is said to be ‘constantly learning the road surface, seamlessly adapting to meet traction conditions and driver needs’.
A small 1.9kWh battery is adopted, and the E-Ray is a regular hybrid that doesn’t need plugging in. Corvette says it can travel at up to 45mph when in ‘Stealth Mode’. Corvette says this is designed for ‘quietly exiting a neighbourhood’. There are six driver modes available, each adjusting the level of electrical assistance.
Other mechanical highlights include standard-fit Brembo carbon ceramic brakes and magnetic ride control suspension.
The E-Ray shares similar styling to Corvette’s extreme Z06 model, but gets unique twisted spoke alloy wheels, along with carbon fibre badging. Various new colours have been introduced while a full-length Electric Blue bonnet stripe can be specified, which is unique to the new hybrid.
Mark Reuss, president of Corvette’s parent company General Motors, said: “In 1953, the enthusiastic reaction to the Chevrolet Corvette concept kicked off seven decades of passion, performance and American ingenuity. E-Ray, as the first electrified, all-wheel-drive Corvette, takes it a step further and expands the promise of what Corvette can deliver.”
There’s no word yet on whether the E-Ray will be imported in right-hand-drive guise to the UK, but American prices start from $104,295 (£85,000) for the coupe and $111,295 (£90,650) for the convertible. Production will begin in Kentucky later this year.