GMSV has confirmed the new Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray hybrid supercar will be coming to Australia.
The latest Chevrolet Corvette matches a roaring 6.2-litre V8 petrol engine with an electric motor, making it the first all-wheel-drive ‘Vette and the fastest-accelerating yet.
Speaking to Automotive Daily, a GM Specialty Vehicles spokesperson told us: “It is with great excitement that we can confirm that the next-gen Corvette, the E-Ray, will make its way Down Under. Stay tuned for more details.”
Named the Corvette E-Ray, the long-awaited hybrid supercar has been revealed exactly 70 years since the original Corvette took to the stage for a debut at the Motorama exhibition in New York.
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.
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 369kW and 639Nm of torque (sent to the rear axle through an eight-speed automatic transmission) is supplemented by 119kW and 170Nm from the electric motor at the front, giving a combined 488kW.
This makes the hybrid the fastest Corvette to yet make production, with Chevrolet claiming a 0-60mph (97km/h) 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 (AUD$149,000).
It’s expected that the E-Ray will be offered in right-hand-drive guise and exported to Australia, 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.”
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 70km/h 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.