Currently reading: Two-year wait time for new Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray
First electrified Corvette adds an electric motor on the front axle for Ferrari 296-baiting performance

The first electrified Chevrolet Corvette has made its public world debut at the New York motor show, having notched up a two-year waiting list due to its popularity. 

The new ‘Vette, which matches a roaring 6.2-litre V8 petrol engine with an electric motor, is also the first ever to receive four-wheel-drive and is the fastest-accelerating yet. 

Named the Corvette E-Ray, the long-awaited hybrid supercar was revealed back in January this year. Its appearance in New York this month marks 70 years since the original Corvette took to the stage for its debut at the Motorama exhibition, which was held in the city in 1953. 

It has been conceived “to be the Corvette owners can arrive in anywhere, no matter the season”, highlighting the increased traction of a driven front axle and the option of a removable roof.

Chevrolet also claimed it's the first sports car to pair a naturally aspirated V8 with an electric motor. Direct rivals are few and far between, but the Ferrari 296 GTB and McLaren Artura each use twin-turbocharged V6 engines for their hybrid powertrains, and the Ferrari SF90’s electrified V8 is blown as well.

Corvette e ray new york side

The V8 in question is the same 6.2-litre small-block that powers the standard Chevrolet Corvette Stingray - revolutionary in its own right for making the switch from a front- to mid-engined layout.

In the E-Ray, its 495bhp and 470lb ft of torque (sent to the rear axle through an eight-speed automatic gearbox) is supplemented by 160bhp and 125lb ft from the electric motor at the front, giving a combined 655bhp.

This makes the hybrid the fastest Corvette to yet make production, with Chevrolet claiming a 0-60mph time of just 2.5sec and saying it can cover a quarter-mile in just over 10.5sec.

That makes the E-Ray roughly as quick in a straight line as the Ferrari 296 GTB, yet it's about a third of the price of Maranello's latest hybrid, at $104,295 (£85,000).

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Corvette e ray new york rear

It's expected that the E-Ray will be offered in right-hand-drive guise and exported to the UK, as is the standard Corvette, but Chevrolet has yet to confirm this.

The American manufacturer has also touted the competitive dynamics offered by the new hybrid.

Chief engineer Tadge Juechter said: "Corvettes must provide an exhilarating driving experience on backroads and tracks, and [the] E-Ray nails it. The electrification technology enhances the feeling of control in all conditions, adding an unexpected degree of composure.”

Corvette e ray new york doors

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The car's so-called eAWD system is said to be "constantly learning the road surface" and adjusting the deployment of power to all four wheels according to driver input and road conditions, with the electric motor contributing more power in slippery environments or "spirited driving" scenarios.

Power for the electrified element of the powertrain is stored in a small 1.9kWh lithium-ion battery, which is topped up via regenerative braking.

Chevrolet hasn't given an electric-only range but has said the E-Ray can be driven at up to 45mph with the engine off in its new Stealth Mode - one of six driving modes offered, each of which gives varying degrees of electrical assistance. 

The electric motor can also be used at a cruise to bolster the E-Ray's reserves when the engine is running on only four cylinders to save fuel.

Clues to the E-Ray's electrified innards are limited to a selection of bespoke wheel designs and paint schemes. Generally, it's largely indistinguishable from the top-rung Corvette Z06, which until now was the fastest model in the range. 

Felix Page

Felix Page
Title: News and features editor

Felix is Autocar's news editor, responsible for leading the brand's agenda-shaping coverage across all facets of the global automotive industry - both in print and online.

He has interviewed the most powerful and widely respected people in motoring, covered the reveals and launches of today's most important cars, and broken some of the biggest automotive stories of the last few years. 

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ianp55 5 April 2023

Very impressive indeed is this instead of the ZR-1 or is that still to come

jason_recliner 6 April 2023

745kW ZR-1 still to come :-)

EmerieChristina12 5 April 2023

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Boris9119 5 April 2023

Not knocking this Corvette, but the two year wait time is more a function of low volume production coupled with smart speculators rather than 'overwhelming' demand from owners. And so no, a world recession will not make much difference.