- I drove the Corvette E-Ray on ideal California roads in very unideal conditions.
- Even with weather barriers in place, the all-wheel-drive supercar showed immense ability to drive hard.
- The E-Ray is a complex piece of engineering but feels natural on the road.
The 2024 Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray Is Very Good, Even in Very Bad Weather
All-wheel drive in a Vette means relentless grip
OK, maybe I'm being a little dramatic, there wasn’t a blizzard or a tornado. But mid-40s and wet is when we start sounding the alarm in Southern California. And boy was I mad when I saw it in the forecast because I was eagerly counting down the days until I got to drive the 2024 Corvette E-Ray for the first time. Well, turns out my anger was misplaced because I ended up having the perfect car for the job.
A day in the canyons
The reason for my time in the newest Corvette was the Out Motorsports Los Angeles rally. Dozens of people, all there for the same purpose: to share in the magic of car culture with other LGBTQ+ enthusiasts. If you’re interested in learning more about what Out Motorsports does, you can check them out here.
We met in a parking lot at the base of Big Tujunga Road. Our event took us through the spectacular roads in Angeles National Forest, one of the premier driving destinations in the country. For this task, people brought some spectacular machines including multiple BMW M cars, Miatas, Porsches … and a stock Lexus ES from the mid-2000s (hey, it’s about the journey).
I was rocking a 2024 Corvette E-Ray coupe in Red Mist Metallic paint over chrome wheels. One friend called this “peak Florida spec,” but everyone else seemed to be on board. For what it’s worth, I think this is a better-looking car than our long-term Corvette Stingray. The E-Ray’s wider proportions and subtle aesthetic tweaks make it a more menacing machine.
Frankly, I was more interested in getting behind the wheel than looking at the E-Ray, and with such an insane powertrain, who could blame me? The E-Ray has the same 6.2-liter V8 as the Stingray, making 495 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque. But this hybrid also has an electric motor on the front axle that produces 160 hp and 125 lb-ft, powered by a 1.9-kWh battery pack mounted in the center console. I’ll do the math for you: That’s a combined 655 hp to play with and, for the first time ever on a Corvette, all-wheel drive.
The tighter the road, the faster you’ll go
These are words ripped directly from my good friend Kurt Niebuhr’s first drive review of the E-Ray and it’s the perfect way to summarize the car. Even with all-season rubber and temps in the low 40s, the E-Ray clung to the road like an absolute champion. The grip was truly astounding, especially in tight hairpins. I’m sure that on a hot day without any moisture on the ground the optional Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires would be the better move, but in this scenario the all-seasons felt great.
What’s funny about the E-Ray is that you really have to push deep into the throttle to feel the electric motor come alive. Most of the time it feels like you're driving a regular Stingray, with smooth acceleration and a palpable exhaust crackle. But a brave foot awakens the front axle, adding in plentiful e-power to make up for the any gap in torque. It’s a very clever piece of engineering that feels completely unique. In simple terms, this is a hybrid but it behaves more like a shot of nitrous to the V8 — adding power when it’s needed most.
Acceleration bursts became too tempting to resist. It was a game to try to induce the e-motor noise that joins the V8 to create an odd, special chorus. But ultimately, it was the E-Ray’s incredible poise and balance that struck me, even more than the exceptional power output. The numbers here suggest that you’re driving a supercar, but from behind the wheel the ease of use makes it feel more like a sports car.
The E-Ray doesn’t offer the high-revving insanity of the Z06, but on my cold and windy drive there’s just no way that Chevy’s most aggressive Corvette would’ve been able to keep up. With all-wheel drive and such a controllable powerband, the E-Ray was a rocket in the canyons, keeping pace with everything around it. I cannot wait until we’re able to gather our Edmunds tested performance numbers on this car, and with any luck eventually send one to compete at U-Drags. Because when those two things happen, I think the E-Ray will get the recognition it deserves.
With the C8 generation, Chevy has taken extra care to make the Corvette a more advanced machine than ever before. The E-Ray is just one example of this, with more on the way.