Are you OK? I just want to check after yet another American automotive icon has succumbed to the current trend (no pun intended) of electrification. First it was the Mustang spawning the all-electric Mach-E, and now the legendary Corvette has fallen prey to Edison’s creation. We’ve hardly had time to adjust to the Corvette moving its engine behind the seats, and here comes electrification to traumatize us all over again. Meet the new Corvette E-Ray. How are you taking it?
We jest, of course. Change is generally good, even though its approach and arrival can be jarring. The Corvette E-Ray, though, softens the blow by improving on just about everything a purely gas-powered Corvette can do. That’s why it’s our cover car this month.
To be clear, the Corvette E-Ray hasn’t added electrons for the sake of fuel efficiency. While it is a traditional hybrid like your parents’ Prius, the E-Ray still sports the standard Corvette’s 6.2-liter V8 making 495 horsepower. An electric motor, though, has been added to the front axle that produces 160 hp. Fed by a relatively small 1.9-kilowatt-hour battery, the hybrid powertrain generates a combined 665 horsepower. Did you notice this Corvette has power going to both its axles? That makes it the first Corvette with all-wheel drive ever produced. Take a breath. Mid-engine, hybrid, and all-wheel drive. The Corvette E-Ray violates just about every tenet we thought we knew about this car. At least it’s not an SUV.
There’s a lot more to learn about the new Corvette E-Ray, so skip ahead to page 12 where we take our time breaking down how groundbreaking it really is. Coincidentally, we’ve got the Corvette’s historic nemesis in this month’s issue, as well. The Porsche 911 Carrera GTS slots between the 911 S and 911 Turbo. Think of it as stronger than an S but not as over-the-top as the Turbo. Fortunately, both the PDK automatic and a seven-speed manual are still available. Jump to page 22 to find out which one we tested for you.
If the Corvette E-Ray and 911 Carrera GTS are too mainstream for you, check out our review of the 60th Anniversary Cunningham Corvette on page 34. It commemorates the three-car team of modified Corvettes that Briggs Cunningham brought to the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1960. Cunningham’s campaign back then was successful; car #3 finished first in its class and 8th overall.
Today’s 60th Anniversary Cunningham Corvette starts as a fully loaded 3LT model with Z51 suspension and brakes, 8-speed DCT transaxle, and GT2 sport seats. Then Lingenfelter, perhaps the most accomplished Corvette tuner of all time, lays its hands upon the LT2 V8 until it’s making over 600 naturally aspirated horsepower. Only 60 copies of the Cunningham Corvette will be made, which makes it rarer than any E-Ray or 911 GTS.
Specialty Vehicle Engineering makes similarly special versions of popular General Motors products. The company is probably best known for its modern-day Yenko Camaros and supercharger packages for GM trucks and SUVs. Did you know the company was born in 1970 from the founder’s background in drag racing? Learn more about this special tuner in our exclusive interview with its founder on page 42.
This month’s issue is packed with so much more, including our update on how America and F1 are getting along (spoiler: swimmingly) and some amazing watch coverage that includes Panerai’s Navy Seal line and a list of timepieces that inspire us. So welcome to summer and let’s get started.