Banner Vehicles July 2019

The RHD E-Ray Corvette

E-Ray CorvetteHave you heard about the righthand drive E-Ray Corvette?

This vehicle is made by General Motors and will be available for the New Zealand and Australian markets and is called a Corvette E-Ray.

It’s Chevrolet's first electrified Corvette. It isn't pure electric as it doesn't have a plug, it's a hybrid of sorts.

So, the 6.2L V8 engine charges the battery which drives the 120kW electric motor attached to the front axle. You could hardly call this an EV as the electric motor and battery combination is tiny compared to other Tesla type EV’s or to the power from the 6.2L V8 engine.

It’s the first AWD Corvette and Chevrolet claims that this is the quickest Corvette ever with a 0-100km/h (0-60 mph) time of 2.5 seconds. The battery is small and light, designed to rapidly charge in the usual hybrid manner, by recapturing energy normally lost during braking and coasting. It provides some boost to acceleration via that front 120kW electric motor when required, then sets about charging up again as quickly as possible.

Z06 CorvetteThere's a separate but also newish 12-volt lithium-ion battery to take care of other vehicle functions. So, all in all this Corvette boasts a number of firsts.

General Motors thinks this is big news for those living in this part of the world as this Chevy will be the first right-hand-drive model to be made available in New Zealand and Australia.

As mentioned above, the fastest-ever Corvette, the E-Ray V8 hybrid is destined to arrive in the countries that drive on the lefthand side of the road. It seems that they're also waiting for the arrival of the Z06, but the E-Ray is obviously the more exciting option as it's the first Corvette ever to come with not only an AWD system but also a hybrid setup.

E-Ray 6L EngineThe 6.2L small-block V8 engine produces 369kW and 637Nm of torque. The front-axle electric motor adds an additional 120kW and 165Nm, making the total output for the E-Ray a massive 489kW and 793Nm of unbelievable torque. The V8 engine is coupled to an 8-speed dual-clutch transmission.

When driven in what’s called a Stealth Mode, the E-Ray can propel itself using nothing but electricity at speeds of up to 72km/h. However, you won't get very far considering the 120kW electric motor is paired to a tiny 1.9kWh battery pack located within the structural tunnel between the seats.

There are 6 other driving modes to choose from, Touring, Sport, Track, Weather, My Mode, and Z-Mode. Just like most high-performance hybrid sports cars, the electric motor does most of its job to add a little enthusiasm during hard accelerations as well as add to the vehicle's overall stability.

Pricewise, car buyers in the U.S. will pay between US$104k and $111K depending on the model. On current exchange rates that would be around $175K in NZ dollars. The E-Ray, however, will go on sale in the U.S. at the end of 2023. For the rest of the world including NZ, expect its possible arrival sometime in 2024.

Will you be lining up at your nearest Corvette dealership for one of these E-Rays?

February 2023


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