Chevrolet posted a teaser of the upcoming “Electrified” Corvette E-Ray complete with internal combustion engine revving noises and silent EV “stealth” driving, side-by-side. While we’d obviously prefer to see a fully electric Corvette, we’re certainly still interested to see what Chevy has got in store…
In April of last year, GM president Mark Reuss finally spilled the tea, announcing:
We will offer an electrified and a fully electric, Ultium-based Corvette in the future.
While we haven’t heard about the all-electric Corvette EV drop, a strange report came in a few months ago that Chevy was going to spin up a Corvette EV brand including SUVs (a’hem, Mustang Mach-E) and four-door variants. If you think an electrified Corvette is going to ruffle some feathers (and head to the Instagram comments for overwhelming proof of that), a four-door SUV Corvette is going to cause some heads to explode.
The electrified bit of the puzzle is set to drop on January 17 in New York City, on the 70th anniversary of the unveiling of the original Corvette in 1952 at the Waldorf Astoria:
Corvette unveiled at GM Motorama
On January 17, 1953, a prototype Chevrolet Corvette sports car makes its debut at General Motors’ (GM) Motorama auto show at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City. The Corvette, named for a fast type of naval warship, would eventually become an iconic American muscle car and remains in production today.
Perhaps most interesting is the AWD component and if the ICE and EV powerchains intermingle and if so, how?
For instance a rear drive ICE could add charge to the FWD EV motor via regen or an alternator power cable. We’re hoping to see a significant battery and plug which would allow drivers to do city driving without engaging the ICE engine but we’re a little skeptical at this point. Chevy notes that the AWD could be the first Corvette that doesn’t immediately slide into a ditch when snow falls.
General Motors has been promising “EVs for everyone” for years, yet we’re still early stages of fulfilling that promise with only the low volume/high-end Cadillac Lyriq and GMC Hummer EV – and the Electrek Car of the Year 2022, the Bolt EV – on the value end of the spectrum.
While an Electrified E-Ray Corvette isn’t going to fill out the middle, Chevy alone has three big launches slated for later this year: The Silverado EV (Fleets only) in spring, the speedy Blazer SS EV in summer, and the value-focused Equinox EV in the fall.
Top comment by KingFisher
It will be interesting to see what Corvette Engineers come up with. And how it will compare with the electric Porsche coming soon.
Assuming the E-Ray is a plug-in and not a mild hybrid which would make most of this post and the car itself moot, I’m torn. Plug in Hybrids will be obsolete, I think, within a decade – but I also see some value in them while the world transitions to EVs, in two separate areas:
- Infrastructure: Today, we don’t have the infrastructure to get everywhere with just EVs efficiently. We’re getting closer, but there are still edge cases which some people still rightfully can’t fully go electric. Yes, this is probably under 10% of the population and shrinking, but they do exist. So a large plug-in battery which they can use every day on commutes works, and then they can visit Grandma’s house in the woods in a charger desert which can also be accomplished with gas.
- Batteries are going to be the bottleneck to EV adoption for the next decade. If you’ve got 100kWh of batteries, should you put them all in one Tesla S/X, Rivian, or F-150, or should you split them up between 5 PHEV vehicles where the full charge of the battery will be used to offset gas use every day? Smaller PHEV batteries will remove more gas overall. Therefore, holistically, PHEVs are still valid until the battery supply can catch up to demand.
As for the Corvette E-Ray, I’m not sure GM won’t be upsetting two different groups. The ICE traditionalists are already all over the Instagram post saying, “If it is electrified, it isn’t a Corvette.” Meanwhile, the EV purists are asking why even include an internal combustion engine when a pure EV is so much faster, smoother, and quieter, and often has better driving dynamics? (I’m in the latter group, obviously.)
Timing-wise, the 2024 E-Ray will line up well with the 2020 Tesla Roadster “Vapor,” which should launch within the decade or so.
The proof will be in the E-Ray reveal next week, but if you have any questions, I’ll be able to
answer speculate a lot more on Friday’s podcast.
FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.