With the future of vehicles being about battery power of some sort, the new E-Ray is really just keeping up with the times.
LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Twenty years ago, probably no one could have envisioned a hybrid Chevy Corvette. But it's here: the 2024 E-Ray.
"When you think of the word 'hybrid,' you think of sort of like a compromised powertrain working together, and this is the exact opposite. This is more about power and performance," said Chevrolet spokesperson Shad Balch.
It barely looks different from the regular eighth-generation Corvette introduced four years ago as a mid-engine design. Taking the gasoline engine out of the front of the car made room for an electric motor to power the front wheels.
You do hear a bit of high-tech electric whine coming from the front of the car. You can also roll around for a few miles on just battery power in "stealth mode." But stomp on the accelerator and the E-Ray accelerates for sure.
"It's now all-wheel drive, so you have amazing traction right off the line, and it'll do 0 to 60 in 2.5 seconds. It's the quickest Corvette we've ever built," noted Balch.
It might seem like a paradox.
"America's sports car," as it's been called for years, getting a hybrid system. But the Corvette has often brought innovations throughout its seven-decade existence.
In the late 1950s, fuel injection was first offered, and in the '60s, the second-generation Vette got things like an independent rear suspension, and four-wheel disc brakes. In a way, it's often been seen as a cutting-edge showcase.
To be cutting edge in 2024 isn't cheap.
The E-Ray checks in with a six-figure sticker price, the coupe and convertible both costing about $35,000 more than their non-hybrid counterparts do. For the E-Ray coupe, the base MSRP is $104,295.
Purists don't need to fret about a Corvette with the label of "hybrid," as there's still good old American V8 power driving the rear wheels of the E-Ray, to the tune of 495 horsepower. But up front, that electric motor puts an additional 160 horsepower to the other two wheels.
To put that in perspective, the original Corvette of 1953 only made 150 horsepower from its six-cylinder engine. That is 10 fewer horsepower than just the electric portion of the 2024 E-Ray.
Now that battery power has made its way into the legendary two-seater, what about a fully electric Corvette?
When this eighth-generation of the car was first revealed in 2019, I asked GM's president Mark Reuss about that, not long after the company had announced its vision for a zero-emission future.
"This platform can carry a lot of different things into the future for General Motors around that vision. So stay tuned," said Ruess at the time.
It has since confirmed that a Corvette EV is coming, though specifics of exactly when have not been announced.
This iconic model has usually tried to project a persona of being futuristic, going back 70 years.
With the future of vehicles in general being about battery power of some sort across the board, the new E-Ray is really just keeping up with the times.