How do we manage to combine the precious heritage of the most notorious American sportswoman with the need to evolve? By taking the path of the hybrid, retorts Chevrolet. To underline its 70 years of existence, the Corvette is taking the hybrid route for the first time, through its muzzle.
The brand with the bow tie lifted the veil last week on the new E-Ray version of the Corvette, which will go down in history for two reasons: its electric motor which drives the front wheels and which, by the same token, ensures its all-wheel drive. It alone produces 160 hp, a power comparable to that of many compact cars. A small 1.9 kWh battery placed under the center console provides energy storage, which does not a priori encroach on the front trunk. This Corvette can thus reach 72 km/h over short distances using only electric power.
Once a V8, always a V8
No doubt to reassure purists and limit development costs, the 6.2 L V8 of the Stingray version is still placed in the central rear position. These are thus 495 hp which beat the pound when given the full load, always guided by an eight-speed dual-clutch gearbox.
By adding the contribution of the front electric motor, the account increases to 655 hp, about fifteen horses less than the Corvette Z06 recently presented. The greater traction conferred by all-wheel drive and the instantaneousness of its delivery nevertheless ensure the best acceleration time ever measured in the history of the Corvette. Chevrolet estimates it at 2.5 seconds to complete the 0-96 km/h, despite more than 200 additional kg that it drags compared to the lightest of the Z06.
For those interested, this new Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray will go on sale this year with a starting price of $128,798, which is slightly lower than the Z06 livery. It can be ordered in both coupe and convertible body styles.