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The Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray puts the future in your garage

The Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray is the first to add electric power and all-wheel drive. But does making it the fastest Corvette mean it's the best?


The reviews keep racking up. With each one, I gain more insight into what gives a car true soul. Fresh off the 911 GT3 RS, you might think that it is king, and everything else a let down. Machines With Souls packs it in and walks away. But I know better, because I have driven a Corvette. Specifically a Z06. I dream of it. Now, Chevy has sent me their latest creation – the Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray.

It is fast. Faster than the Z06 in some ways. It’ll leave the RS for dead. It’s so fast, I had to find a proper companion for my time with it. So I did.

On the line please Vette. You’re up against an F-14B Tomcat.

Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray

2024 Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray Quick Take

Get one:

Comes with its own afterburner. Lots of speed for not a lot of (relative) money. All the goodness of the Stingray, now with more ability.

Don’t get one:

Torque steer in a Vette. Still not up to par inside. All-seasons a weird choice. The Z06 existing.

Soul Score: 9

Many points for second place.

2024 Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray Overview

Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray

I’ve spoken before of purists. They want air-cooled 911s, naturally aspirated M cars, and Corvettes with engines in the front. Now, let me introduce you to a new kind of purist – the one that insists electric power units have no place in a sports car.

This isn’t a tree-hugging thing meant to fool you into feeling good about your conspicuous consumption. Instead, they’ve bolted up an electric motor to the front of a Stingray for a 160 horsepower injection into the pushrod V-8. Result: 655 horses. This is a more efficient way to do it than bolting on a supercharger, and perhaps a better way because torque is instantaneous.

Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray

It’s definitely a Franken-Vette. There’s a first: all-wheel drive, along with the wider body of a Z06 (and its ceramic brakes), while the regular Stingray donates its engine and performance exhaust. The result is the fastest Corvette yet, and perhaps the most unique.

Like the Tomcat, the E-Ray is ahead of its time. Just how far ahead is what I’m here to find out.

Performance: 10. Afterburner

Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray
The E-Ray needs air, just like a GE-F110.

If you’re looking for the brochure on all the technical details, you should probably go and read, uh, the brochure.

If you wants driving impressions, hold on tight.


Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray
The engine isn’t visible like in the coupe.

Why isn’t this car a ten? Because the Z06 exists, with its DOHC 5.5-liter V-8 that might just be the best engine I’ve ever had the pleasure of stomping on. As good as the car is with this 6.2-liter, it’s just not that engine.

Yet it’s still remarkable in its own right. The hybrid setup is seamless – it sounds and feels like a regular Stingray with an afterburner. Let’s walk through a few modes.

First, starting the car results in a loud cackle that would put my straight-piped M3 to shame, so Chevy wisely added what’s called “Stealth” mode. Start it this way to ensure silent running from electric-only power and no noise to wake up the neighbors. I um, I kinda don’t give a damn. Give me noise! But it’s there if you want it, good to push the Vette up to 45 MPH for about 5 miles.

Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray
It revs so fast, you just want more.

This isn’t the kind of hybrid built to save you at the pump. The Stingray’s 490 horsepower V-8, which on its own is a monstrous power unit, now gets a battery-powered motor added to the front wheels for a total of 655. The result is a car that quite simply melts your face. The quarter-mile arrives in 10.6 seconds. There’s an artificial whine that I suppose is meant to mimic the sound of a supercharger, but there’s absolutely no hint that more than one unit is at work, so well-integrated everything is.

The more speed you achieve, the less the hybrid motor helps, which makes sense. Pressing the somewhat hidden charge button will ensure the system remains topped off, and when it’s full, will add about 10 mph to your top speed. Which I suppose you’ll need in the event of a dog fight.

Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray
Stealth mode: engaged.

Despite the speed, there’s little drama like in the Z06. The E-Ray is downright civil, and I found myself wishing for more loud (start up seems to be the loudest part of the drive). Also sad is the redline of 6,500 RPM – I want more. It’s just so fast and smooth, the rush is over before you know it, and believe me, it better be over, otherwise it’s not the local sheriff on your tail.

It’ll be this F-14. The E-ray really is that fast.


Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray
Same superb DCT.

The E-Ray receives the same eight-speed dual-clutch unit as the other variants, and it’s really very good. The silly issues like being slow to engage reverse or drive, the odd sounds – no big deal. In Touring mode, it’s so well-behaved it’ll make you wonder why BMW ever ditched theirs for full-on automatics. I won’t repeat myself – check out the Z06 review if you want more praises sung.

But now I must mention the GT3. The PDK unit in that car is so fast, so quick and brutal, it makes the E-Ray feel clunky by comparison. That’s okay since this Vette isn’t nearly as hardcore. But on the Z06, you’ll notice a difference in the precision feel.

Can I mention that the E-Ray (in base form) is half the price of that GT3 RS? Oh, I just did.

Steering and Chassis

Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray
The rack has feel, but overall the convertible E-Ray is the softest Vette I’ve had.

There’s a lot to unpack here. First, know that the convertible Corvette is not quite as stiff as the coupe. Given the choice, I’d still select the drop top because it’s not something you’d notice on public roads all that much. This being a hardtop vert, it throws weight distribution off and rattles are a bit more pronounced.

Second is the weight, because at nearly 4,000 pounds it’s the heaviest modern Corvette yet. There’s more than enough power to compensate, but there’s not the same kind of directness as in other examples.

Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray
If you’re looking for the stiffness of a Porsche (or a Tomcat) it’s not here.

Some of the blame should go to oddly standard all-season Michelin tires. Specially developed for the E-Ray, they are gigantic 345 meats at the rear. Pilot Sports are a $500 option that I fully endorse, because steering feedback and grip is ever so slightly reduced with the heavily grooved three-season rubber. And let’s be honest – do you want to drive this thing below 50 degrees? You’d need tank treads to put down all that power in even  a dusting of snow.

Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray
All-season tires are standard.

Unexpected but present: torque steer! It’s subtle, and only induced if you stand on the gas in certain situations as the battery powers the front wheels, but it’s there. A fun little trait if I’m honest.

Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray
The E-Ray is wider than the standard Vette.

Beyond that, it’s just a regular old Corvette that’s missing only a G-suit to fully realize the prodigious grip and responsiveness inherit in its design. The ride is always comfortable, the car always capable. Perhaps only Porsche strikes a better ride/handling balance. High praise.


Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray
Silver calipers from the Z06 are beautiful.

I must admit that carbon ceramics are slowly winning me over despite the added cost. They dust so much less, and once they warm up just feel more consistent than the steel discs I’m used to.

Beautiful silver calipers poke though black wheels and look sinister – they should because they were taken from the Z06 parts bin. They have adjustable feel and work well in the middle setting (the firmest is just too firm). These stop you in a hurry, without fuss or fade. Again, perhaps the GT3’s work just a bit better (the pedal is more responsive without being too firm), but I’d be splitting hairs to mention any more.

Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray

All of this performance for $130,000 – and that’s a nearly fully loaded convertible. Who’s going to make fun of your Corvette – a Huracan owner? He spent triple, and he’s going to reach the quarter-mile sign at the same exact time you will.

“Oh Mike, but it’s an Italian sports car so it has more soul.”

Yup, okay sure. I’ll be right over here in my pushrod-powered supercar.

Lifestyle Score: 7. Hot tub

Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray
It gets hot back here.

The Corvette is a big car, but at least it’s usefully big. Identical to its siblings, you don’t even lose any trunk or frunk space because of the folding top. About the only negative thing I could say is that the rear trunk gets toasty warm, especially on a long road trip, so watch what goes back there.

Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray
The frunk is bigger than a 911’s, and even has a thoughtful place to store your detailing kit.

Inside, we have eight-way GT2 bucket seats that are just a bit narrow but overall comfortable and excellent even on long drives. Also available are Competition Sport Buckets, so try before you buy. Nothing as aggressive as what Porsche offers though, and that’s fine with me.

Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray
Heated and cooled GT2 carbon buckets are wonderful.

Old man alert: I don’t want to bend down so that my knees aren’t touching my chin when I sit inside. The Corvette manages to look low without being ridiculous to climb into. After all,  there is no plane captain on stand-by to stow the ladder.

Fuel Economy: 10. Turn and burn (gas)

Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray
Badging is subtle to help differentiate the E-Ray.

Though the E-Ray isn’t built with efficiency in mind, it is an efficient sports car.

On the highway, get 24 MPG, and the city 16. Combined, that’s 19, which is remarkable for a car that has 655 horsepower and is this fast. The Z06 cannot escapes its gas guzzler tax, but you’re safe in the E-Ray. Those numbers also match the base Stingray, but you know – that’s not nearly as powerful.

You can point to a car like the Rimac and say that yes, it’s faster and needs zero fuel. That car costs $3 million dollars, and it’s lacking the raw emotion of an ICE engine, let alone an excellent fine wine like the V-8 here.

Chevy – more of this please.

Features and Comfort: 8. Still a Corvette

Stitching. If you want to be specific, the stitching on the door of the E-Ray was crooked. Mercedes would never let that out of the factory gates. But that doesn’t mean the Vette doesn’t sweat the details.

Take the blue pill

Corvette E-Ray

Let’s hop in and, whoa, blue leather? I can’t lie, I dig it. Makes the interior pop, matching the blue stripes outside.

Speaking of blue, the screens GM uses continue to have a weird blue hue, whether it be in a CT4-V or this car – anything GM makes really. The chastity wall of HVAC controls remains, but I suppose I’m used to it by now.

Corvette E-Ray
The digital mirror goes away when the top is down.

I’ve finally decided I don’t like the camera in place of a rear-view mirror. You need it to see, but my habit is to do a full scan – driver side mirror, rear-view, then passenger side. I do it subconsciously, but with this digital mirror, your eyes need to focus on a different plane (pardon the pun) than using a traditional mirror. It’s disconcerting. At least you can turn it off when the top is down.

Corvette E-Ray
The great wall of HVAC remains.

There’s a drive mode knob that’s too stiff, and though I love the carbon trim for $1,500 (it’s really well done) – I think that steering wheel is slippery sometimes, and hopefully you’re not a ring-wearer.

Corvette E-Ray
There’s microfiber throughout, it’s just not quite as nice as in other cars.
Corvette E-Ray
Carbon fiber trim is generously placed throughout the cabin.
Corvette E-Ray
Turn the knob hidden under the blue leather finger to access drive modes. It’s pretty stiff to rotate.

All that said, the C8’s interior is much improved over previous Corvette generations. Nothing here should deter you from enjoying ownership.

Exotic in all but price

Corvette E-Ray
The E-Ray gets a unique front bumper.

There are subtle hints that this is an E-Ray. Side intakes in body color, a unique front fascia, and small E-Ray badges on the side take a practiced eye to spot. You also get the Z06’s wider rear end, and though this car did not have them, carbon fiber wheels are optional.

Corvette E-Ray
Check your six, if you can.

Making your E-Ray topless adds $7,000 to the price, though Chevy does an excellent job at maintaining the Corvette’s lines. Remember that the coupe is a Targa top, so you’re essentially paying for the ability to go topless at the touch of a button instead of getting out to unlatch and stow it. You simply cannot see out of the back thanks to…tail fins? I don’t know – but they make performing a lane change a butt-clenching experience.

Also, I’d call the adjustable front lift a must-have; the car is low.

Corvette E-Ray
The look of the car is seamless with the top down…
Corvette E-Ray
Or up.

The Corvette’s typical color palette carries over, and this Ceramic Matrix Grey looks beautiful – matched the Ghost Grey of the Tomcat almost perfectly. Yes, I will take the optional blue stripes for $995, thank you very much.

If you’re whining to yourself right now about how it doesn’t belong parked next to the exotics at a car show, honestly I could care less. Everybody looks at you when you drive it anyway because it looks exotic (sorry, it was just me inside), and it’s as engaging to drive as anything costing twice as much.

The 2024 Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray has an eye on the future while honoring the past

Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray

I don’t know what the Corvette will look like in ten years. That electric car rush seems to be slowing as companies realize they simply won’t have the resources to make big batteries (and big batteries are heavy). Instead, perhaps this is the future right in front of you.

If so, I’m okay with it. What’s missing here – the whine of a supercharger? Wouldn’t you rather have that V-8 sing loud and proud without the whiiiiiiiiirrrrrr to go with it? The fact that the E-Ray is perhaps the most frugal Vette is icing on the cake.

Undoubtedly, it’s a car that will appeal to a small group of people. A regular Corvette is fast as it is, and the Z06 is…the Z06. Add the upcoming ZR1 in a year, and it’s a crowded lineup. Still, the E-Ray is a science experiment that needed to happen, and I’m glad it did. I’d have it over many sports cars in the same price bracket.

Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray

The F-14 Tomcat first flew 54 years ago, and by the time it retired, was the most capable fighter on the planet because of constant upgrades and tweaks. The Corvette is 20 years older, and yet it too has evolved into a machine that has gone far beyond its original mission brief. It’s my favorite modern sports car.

Purists never wanted a Tomcat to drop bombs. To hell with them if they can’t get over a Corvette with a battery and a bad attitude.

Thanks to NAS Wildwood for making this shoot possible! They are open daily, please give them a visit.

Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray

2024 Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray Convertible 3LZ Specifications


Mid-engine, all-wheel-drive, two-passenger, two-door convertible


Base: $120,850
As tested: $129,525


6.2 liter naturally aspirated V-8, 1.1-kWh liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery pack
655 horsepower @ 6,450 RPM
470 lb-ft @ 5,150 RPM
F/R: direct-drive, 8-speed dual-clutch automatic


Wheelbase: 107.2 in
Length: 184.6 in
Width: 79.7 in
Height: 48.6 in
Curb Weight: 3,965 lbs


19 combined / 16 city / 24 highway

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