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THE Motorama was General Motors’ own motorshow, an annual event held between 1949 and 1961 which showcased its technologies in special models and futuristic concept cars. One of the concept cars at the 1953 show was the Corvette, a sportscar that excited enthusiasts and persuaded GM to make it for sale.

Exactly 70 years after that Corvette concept debuted at the Motorama in New York City, Chevrolet introduces the first-ever electrified Corvette with all-wheel-drive and a powerful 6.2-litre LT2 Small Block V-8 – the Corvette E-Ray. Unlike that concept car in 1953, this one was developed with the intention of being sold.

The E-Ray is also the only sportscar pairing two separate propulsion systems. The main propulsion comes from the 495 bhp/637 Nm V8 engine and goes to the rear wheels, with another 160 bhp/170 Nm from an electric motor going to the front wheels. The motor is powered by a 1.9 kWh battery pack that is charged via regenerative energy from coasting and braking, as well as during normal driving. It does not require stationary plug-in charging at a power outlet.

The Corvette E-Ray’s electrified propulsion system provides the strong acceleration that electric motors give. Chevrolet claims that it is the quickest production Corvette in history, clocking a 2.5-second 0 – 60 mph (96 km/h) time before breezing through the quarter-mile (402 metres) in 10.5 seconds. It’s also possible to run only on electric power when moving off.

The amount of electric assist is tailored within each of the Corvette E-Ray’s 6 driver-selectable modes: Tour, Sport, Track, Weather, My Mode and Z-Mode. Drivers can also select the Charge+ feature which maximizes the battery’s state of charge. The Performance App on the infotainment screen provides the driver with technical insights into how the propulsion system is operating.

The E-Ray’s appearance maintains the athletic styling and performance-driven design that has distinguished the Corvette for decades. At a glance, it shares its purposeful, wide-body proportions with the Z06, accommodating wide wheels that help manage the car’s greater torque delivery.

The lightweight alloy wheels have a twisted 5-spoke star design that is exclusive to E-Ray. Optional carbonfibre wheels in carbon flash, visible carbonfibre finish or with a red stripe can also be specified by customers.

The E-Ray also introduces the all-new Artemis Dipped interior which features complementary deep green tones on nearly every interior surface (only available on new Corvettes). There are multiple options for customers to select when it comes to personalizing their E-Ray’s interior including two carbonfibre trim packages, three seat choices, seven interior colours, among various options.

“In 1953, the enthusiastic reaction to the Chevrolet Corvette concept kicked off seven decades of passion, performance and American ingenuity,” said Mark Reuss, President of General Motors. “E-Ray, as the first electrified, all-wheel-drive Corvette, takes it a step further and expands the promise of what Corvette can deliver.”

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