Seventy years and eight generations later, the fabled, mesomorphic Corvette will join the world of electrification with the “E-Ray,” a hybrid sports car that bolts from 0-60 mph in 2.5 seconds, making it the quickest production Corvette in history.
Chevrolet unveiled the new model on Tuesday, 70 years to the day when the Corvette made its world debut on Jan. 17, 1953, at the Waldorf Astoria in midtown Manhattan.
The $104,295 E-Ray, available as a coupe or hardtop convertible, goes into production later this year at the Bowling Green Assembly facility in Kentucky. The car’s naturally aspirated 6.2L LT2 small block V8 engine is paired with an electric motor that produces a combined 655 horsepower and 595 lb-ft of torque. A 1.9 kWh battery pack is located between the seats.
The advanced electrified propulsion and eAWD system — another first for Corvette — deliver intense straight-line performance: the E-Ray posts a quarter-mile sprint of 10.5 seconds.
Corvette’s European competitors are already courting performance die-hards with a growing number of hybrid supercars. The V6 powertrain in the McLaren Artura produces 671 hp and 531 lb-ft of torque and propels the car to 0-60 mph in 2.6 seconds. The Ferrari 296GTB, built with a turbocharged V6 and electric motor, delivers 819 hp. Would Chevrolet swap that mighty V8 for a smaller V6?
“We’re Corvette and we don’t believe in making smaller engines,” Bulkley said. “What makes this car special is that throaty, muscular, LT2 small block engine that’s roaring behind you.”
Corvette product marketing manager Harlan Charles said the E-Ray will not dampen demand for the Stingray model currently on sale. In fact, the E-Ray will likely attract drivers who are in search of a grand tourer-like experience, similar to what Porsche offers in its 911.