The Chevrolet E-Ray Is the First Step in Electrifying the Corvette

The Chevrolet E-Ray Is the First Step in Electrifying the Corvette

GM recently announced the first step in electrifying the Corvette name. This new Chevrolet E-Ray wears a new name but a familiar look.

Strangely, the E-Ray will be the only hybrid car in the entire Chevy lineup. GM moved away from hybrid and PHEV models to focus on all-electric vehicles but plans but build a hybrid Corvette were already underway. Could this new model be the first step in creating and new sub-brand from the Corvette name, or will it be a one-off that leads us down the path to an electric Corvette before heading off into the sunset?

Are we seeing the Chevy Volt at the Corvette level?

Do you remember the Chevy Volt? This small car was a plug-in hybrid that showed the world that Chevy could do a PHEV better than most other automakers. While some brands offered cars with less than 20 miles of electric driving in their PHEV models, GM brought the Chevy Volt, which gave consumers 53 miles of EV driving. Eventually, the Volt gave way to the Bolt EV, but the Bolt might have never been possible without the Volt and its position in the market.

Regardless of what GM does with the Corvette, it’s possible the new Chevrolet E-Ray will be a transitional model that leaves the market once the Corvette is an all-electric supercar. Currently, we don’t have any idea when Chevy will make a move to a fully-electrified Corvette, but we know it’s already part of the conversation. The new E-Ray is set to arrive later this year, and it should bring a price that makes buyers consider the choice between this hybrid model or the Corvette Z06, which is the new high-performance version of this iconic car.

Why not a PHEV?

There’s only one reason for the Corvette team to choose a traditional hybrid powertrain over a plug-in hybrid system. That reason is performance. Everything about the new E-Ray is specifically designed to give this car incredible performance on and off the track. Instead of plugging the battery into a wall charger, the electrical system of the E-Ray is charged mostly via regenerative energy from the braking system. In addition to the choice of a traditional hybrid system, Chevy considered each and every part of this car in the name of performance. Added weight takes away from this quality, and if the car could do without an item, it does so.

There’s something more to the newness of the E-Ray

The Chevrolet E-Ray isn’t only the first-ever hybrid version of this car; it’s also the first Corvette to ever have AWD. In addition to these new qualities, this specially-built performance car is the quickest version of the Corvette ever made. The E-Ray is expected to complete a spring to 60 mph in only 2.5 seconds. If the goal is to finish a quarter-mile sprint, the finish line is only 10.5 seconds away from the start line. These performance numbers put the new E-Ray right in line with the current Corvette Z06.

How much power does the hybrid system offer?

The E-Ray includes a hybrid system with an electric motor on the front axle. This motor delivers 160 horsepower and 125 lb-ft of torque. This electrified system allows the E-Ray to take off much faster than a traditional engine. The added power of this hybrid system brings the overall power of the E-Ray to 655 horsepower.

Nearly all Corvette models have been naturally aspirated V8-powred performance machines during the 70-year history of this amazing car. This transition means a fast-accelerating car that can rocket to desired speeds much faster than any other Corvette has ever done.

The E-Ray could have been skipped

When it arrives, the Chevrolet E-Ray will be the only hybrid car in the entire GM family. It could have been skipped or left on the drawing board, but GM moved forward with it, although all other hybrid models had dropped from the market. The mid-engine design of the E-Ray could also be an exclusive feature, at least in the realm of American performance cars. GM has plans to create an all-electric lineup by 2035, which is another reason this Chevy hybrid performance car could have been passed over and never made.

How much does the new E-Ray cost?

The E-Ray will be offered in both coupe and convertible body styles. The coupe will begin at $104,295, with the convertible bringing a starting price of $111,295. The price for the coupe is slightly lower than the new 2023 Chevy Corvette Z06, which begins at $106,695. Both of these Corvette models are much more expensive than the Stingray, but that’s to be expected because the Stingray is the base model for the new C8 Corvette.

Is there anything else that’s special about this performance car?

Its been 70 years since the very first Chevrolet Corvette was shown at the Motorama Auto Show in New York City. In fact, the announcement of this new Chevrolet E-Ray took place on the 70th anniversary of the first car appearing on the stage. That makes this new model a special car on a fitting day. The day that marks history with the Corvette first showing up in the market is the same date this car transitions to an electrically-assisted powertrain, which is certainly significant.

Several new Chevy models appear in 2023

If you thought Chevy was trimming down their lineup and wouldn’t expand it again, you’d be wrong. During 2023, we’ll see the new Corvette Z06, E-Ray, Silverado EV, Equinox EV, Blazer EV, and two additional traditional models, which are the new Colorado and Trax. The Trax arrives in 2023, but it’s listed as a 2024 model-year vehicle.

Could the new Chevrolet E-Ray be the right version of the Corvette for you to enjoy a fantastic drive? As we come closer to the release date for this performance car, we’ll learn more about what it includes and how much power it brings to your drive. Until then, wait patiently for the first-ever hybrid Corvette.

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