Today marks exactly 70 years since the first Corvette was unveiled in 1953, so Chevy decided it needed to get its flagship sports car something special to mark the occasion: a battery and an electric motor. But wait! Hold your handkerchiefs and dry those eyes because this Corvette is no EV. Its roaring 6.2L LT2 V8 is still nestled right behind the driver’s seat, making it the only sports car to offer a V8 and an electric powertrain as two completely separate systems.
The best part about the E-Ray’s electric powertrain is that there is no need to install a charger at your house as the battery recharges off the energy generated from coasting or braking. The E-Ray is also equipped with a “stealth mode,” which your neighbors will appreciate. This allows the Corvette to drive with the engine off, making no noise at all. Stealth mode is only good for around five miles and has a max speed of 45 mph, but it’s perfect for getting out of the neighborhood before letting the V8 roar to life.
Retro-Futurism at Its Finest
Once stealth mode is disengaged, the sound of the E-Ray is something to behold. Behind the cockpit, you have the classic burble of a small block pushrod V8, and in front, you have an electric whirring that wouldn’t sound out of place in any sci-fi film. These two powertrains come together in a symphony that can only be described as retro-futurist. The new electric powertrain is used to power the front wheels making the E-Ray an “eAWD” car. Combined with the mid-engine layout, this actually makes the new Corvette quite the all-season machine. The E-Ray can even make the occasional snowstorm look like your average Sunday drive as long as you have the right tires.
Speaking of tires, the Corvette E-Ray is equipped with the widest all-season tires ever made, with 345/25 rears on 21-inch alloy wheels (carbon fiber wheels are available as part of the ZER Performance Package). The front tires are a more reasonable, but still ridiculous, 275/30 on 20-inch wheels. To fit those wide wheels, the E-Ray is outfitted with the racing-derived widebody that was previously only available on the Corvette Z06.
Let’s get down to the real reason that Chevy even makes the Corvette––performance. The new E-Ray makes a whopping 655 hp and 595 lb-ft of torque using its combination of gas and electric powertrains, with the electric powertrain accounting for 160 hp and 125 ft-lbs of torque. The combined power of gas and electricity makes for a blistering 10.5-second quarter-mile sprint and a lightning-fast 2.5-second 0-60 time. This puts it on par with the track-focused Z06 (at least in the straights).
A Performance Hybrid for the Ages
The 2023 Corvette E-Ray is coming to Chevy dealers near you in two variants with a remarkably affordable price tag. The E-Ray will be available as the standard coupe starting at an MSRP of $102,900 and as a hard-top convertible at $109,900. This price puts it in approximately the same price range as the Z06. However, the E-Ray is the one to get unless you plan on using your Corvette as a track toy. The all-wheel drive capability combined with the added efficiency of the electric motors makes the hybrid sports car a no-brainer for the road-focused Corvette shopper, especially if this shopper lives somewhere with unpredictable weather. However, if the track is your home, then the Z06 is the way to go, as you’ll certainly notice the nearly 4,000 lb curb weight of the new E-Ray.