Jun 03, 2023

Here's Why The Chevy C8 Corvette E

The E-Ray Corvette C8 is the most sophisticated Corvette to date, and it's downright impressive!

For many decades, the Chevrolet Corvette has been the simpler and less sophisticated sports car. It mostly focused on outright speed rather than track times and luxury. However, recent generations, and especially the latest C8 have changed this. The Corvette has now become a mid-engine beast that can demolish both a straight line and a track. Since we are slowly moving through the production lifespan of the C8, we are starting to receive newer variants. The latest one is the E-Ray C8, a hybrid alternative to the standard car. With the E-Ray, customers get all-wheel-drive, more power, and in many ways, more refinement. So, let’s have a look at what the most sophisticated Corvette so far has to offer.

Related: 2024 Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray: Performance, Price, And Photos

The E-Ray Corvette is aimed at a different type of customer. As you will see later on, power figures for the new model are similar to the Z06, but the E-Ray is not meant to be a hard-core racer. This is a more luxurious Corvette that is supposed to to be a usable daily driver that can perform in all seasons thanks to its all-wheel-drive system. Chevrolet has stated that many customers asked for an all-weather Corvette, and this is it. It even comes with all-season tires, and they are supposedly the widest all-season tires to ever be fitted to a production car. Summer tires are also available upon order. The fact that this is a more luxury-focused Corvette is also apparent through the supple suspension, body-colored trim, and different wheels. All these updates give this C8 a more civilized and grown-up look.

The C8 Corvette is about as anti-hybrid as a hybrid vehicle can get. Why is this the case? Well, because it has the same 495 horsepower push-rod V-8 as the C8 Corvette Stingray. The pushrod V-8 is a design that is decades old; therefore, it is not what you would expect to see paired with an electric motor. This is further backed up by Chevrolet engineers who have stated that the hybrid system in the C8 is there for more performance. Any gain in efficiency is just a welcome addition that comes along with the design of the hybrid system. Speaking of the hybrid system, the C8 hybrid has a 160-horsepower motor that solely powers the front axle. This leads to a total output of 650 horsepower. This power figure is close to the 670-horsepower number of the Z06. In fact, the E-Ray is faster both at 0-60 and in the quarter mile. Times for both stints are 2.5 seconds and 10.5 seconds, respectively. Since the E-Ray packs incredible performance, it was given the same body as the Z06, which is wider than the normal C8. This provides space for the wider tires that increase grip and stability.

Related: Exclusive: One Thing That We Learned From Our First Look At The 2024 Chevy Corvette E-Ray

The C8 E-Ray uses a conventional hybrid system much like the one found in the Toyota Prius. This means that it doesn’t have much electric juice when the engine isn’t working. By going into stealth mode, you can drive the C8 as a full EV for three to four miles before it runs out of juice. The idea here is that you can leave your house silently and avoid waking everyone up by starting the big V8. You can also use stealth mode while driving through crowded streets to be a bit more kind to pedestrians that may be walking next to the car. It is worth noting that since the E-Ray has a front motor that drives the front wheels, suspension components needed to be redesigned to work with half-shafts. Also, the trunk is a bit smaller as an oil cooler that keeps the batteries cool sits in the frontal area as well. The difference in size, however, is barely noticeable. So, in many ways the new C8 Corvette E-Ray is a supercar that provides insane performance in a more subtle package. It can be characterized as more of a GT-cruiser rather than a full-on supercar as its suspension and looks are more subtle than those found on the Z06. Furthermore, its all-wheel-drive system makes it usable in all conditions while also providing it with acceleration times faster than those of the Z06. It certainly is an appealing package.

Related: Everything You Need To Know About The 2024 Chevy C8 Corvette E-Ray

The E-Ray C8 is also the first Corvette to feature auto start-stop. This is the widely used feature that turns off the engine when idling to save fuel. This can be turned off via a switch on the side of the center console. Next to that switch, we also get the charge plus button. This puts the C8 into a mode of supercharging by essentially introducing drag that helps recharge the batteries quicker. When driving, the additional drag can be felt, which brings up the question of why someone would need such a feature. On paper, it makes the car less efficient, which defies the purpose of it being a hybrid. However, there is a valid use for this, and it is on track. The idea is that if you are heading out for a fast lap, you can turn on the charge plus mode beforehand to ensure your batteries are charged and can provide full power before the upcoming timed session. Interestingly, the batteries for the hybrid system are mounted under the center console. When the C8 was first released, that specific space was left unused, which led to a lot of questions that have now been answered. Pricing for the new vehicle will start at around $104,000 for the coupe and about $7,000 more for the convertible. It is worth noting that the coupe has a Targa top that can also be removed; therefore, spending $7,000 more for a full convertible may not be worth it.

Theo has dedicated his life to cars. He has studied the only Automotive Journalism course in the world located at Coventry University and describes this passion as a clinical obsession. Give Theo four wheels and he will drool over the piece of metal, plastic, and glass in between them for hours. Once he is done, he will let you know if it’s good or not.