Woah, the electrified 4WD Corvette ‘E-Ray’ will do 0-60mph in 2.5s | Top Gear
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Woah, the electrified 4WD Corvette ‘E-Ray’ will do 0-60mph in 2.5s

Chevy marks the ‘Vette’s 70th birthday by filling it with electricity and traction

Published: 17 Jan 2023

No factory Corvette has ever been this fast. Or this electrified. Marking 70 years of one of the world’s most famous car names comes a bit of a shock: the all-wheel-drive, hybrid Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray.

Yes, it’s a play on Stingray, but there are no games to be had here, just pure pace and traction. There’s the familiar naturally aspirated 6.2-litre small block V8 onboard, mounted in the middle which was already a first for a ‘Vette. That sends 495bhp to the rear wheels alone. There’s an eight-speed dual clutch ‘box at work here too.

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Then comes the electricity, in the form of a 160bhp electric motor sitting on the front axle powered by a 1.9kWh battery mounted in between the seats. Altogether, this electrified Corvette – the first ever ‘Vette to feature electric propulsion – kicks out 655bhp, sprints to 60mph in just 2.5 seconds and blitzes a quarter mile in 10.5s.

The AWD system is, we’re told, “constantly learning the road surface” and is said to adapt to meet traction conditions and driver needs, the latter possibly outweighing the former with well over six hundred horses at play.

As a pure EV – or ‘Stealth’ as Chevy says – it’s possible to hit up to 45mph using just the e-motor, while there are six selectable modes that determine the level of e-assistance, along with maximising battery charge. It also features a 12-volt battery to support start/stop, carbon ceramic brakes and Chevy’s adaptive ‘magnetic ride control’ dampers. In ‘Track’ mode that electric front axle applies torque wherever needed.

Turns out the ‘Vette needed additional bulk, too, because this E-Ray is 3.6in wider overall than the purely ICE Stingray. The body hides 20in/21in wider alloys front and back shod in Michelin Pilot Sports, while there are new body colours and additional finishing available.

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“In 1953, the enthusiastic reaction to the Chevrolet Corvette concept kicked off seven decades of passion, performance and American ingenuity,” said Mark Reuss, president of GM. “E-Ray, as the first electrified, all-wheel-drive Corvette, takes it a step further and expands the promise of what Corvette can deliver.”

It’ll go on sale later this year, costing $104,295 for the 1LZ E-Ray coupe, and $111,295 for the 1LZ E-Ray convertible. America's former blue collar hero just went green.

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