The 2024 Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray Is a Sports Car Oxymoron
Chevy's first hybrid and all-wheel-drive Corvette is both the the most practical variant ever and the most extravagant one
If you thought Chevrolet’s first hybrid Corvette was going to be affordable, those dreams have been dashed. After getting an official preview in early 2022 and an unofficial leak in December, the 2024 Corvette E-Ray, the first electrified and first all-wheel-drive Vette ever, was finally unveiled on Tuesday; when it goes on sale later this year, the starting MSRP will be $104,295 for the coupe and $111,295 for the convertible. Welcome to the six-figure club.
Those prices put the new E-Ray on par with the high-performance Z06 (which starts at $105,300) as the most expensive versions of the Corvette. That’s in contrast to the standard eighth-generation Corvette Stingray, which was lauded upon release for its relatively affordable price point (it currently starts under $65,000).
It’s not an unexpected move by any means. When the historic Corvette nameplate gets new technology that has never before been seen in the sports car’s stable (mild hybrid drivetrain, all-wheel drive), you can expect to pay more for it. But considering the fact that these upgrades also make the E-Ray the most practical Corvette ever, a sports car that just about anyone could drive any time of the year without worrying about accidentally accelerating into a lamppost, what we’re left with is somewhat of an oxymoron, a vehicle that’s both a sensible driver and an extravagant monster.
In the practical category, we have the electric all-wheel drive (eAWD). “E-Ray’s intelligent eAWD system is constantly learning the road surface, seamlessly adapting to meet traction conditions and driver needs,” Chevrolet said in a press release, adding that it provides “all-weather confidence.” In short, while most drivers put their rear-wheel-drive Corvettes in storage during winter, or even in any season other than summer, the E-Ray could theoretically tackle roads all year round. There’s also a unique feature called Stealth Mode, which relies solely on electric power and allows drivers to “quietly [exit] a neighborhood, with a maximum speed of 45 mph,” so as not to annoy neighbors with the normal Corvette rumblings (as the electric motor here is paired to the same 6.2L V8 found in the Stingray). See? Sensible.
On the ridiculous side of things, thanks to the added electric motor, the E-Ray is not only quicker than the track-focused Z06, it’s the quickest production Corvette of all time, with a 0-60 mph time of 2.5 seconds and quarter-mile time of 10.5 seconds (the Z06 comes in at 2.6 seconds and 10.6 seconds, respectively, so it’s close but still worth noting). Add in the styling, which is essentially the same as the Z06, and the E-Ray looks and performs like a snarling supercar, and it has the Brembo carbon-ceramic brakes to match.
So who is the new E-Ray for? Is it for the experienced fanatic who wants to dominate at the drag strip? Or the average driver who wants a top-tier sports car they can use all year but who doesn’t really know anything about top-tier sports cars?
That’s just the thing, we don’t really know who this is for yet. Chevrolet has never offered a Corvette like this, so while it doesn’t fit in the neat categorization we’re used to, that’s actually a boon for the brand as they’re opening up their iconic sports car to a whole new set of buyers — and they’ll keep expanding that pool with an all-electric Vette that may debut as early as this year.
Head over to Chevrolet to get the full details about the 2024 Corvette E-Ray.
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