The Detroit automaker looks ready to finally put the “E-Ray” name that parent company General Motors trademarked six years ago to good use, according to a new report from the Society of Automotive Engineers. The moniker will reportedly be used for the first hybrid ‘Vette, which could debut as part of the iconic sports car’s 2023 lineup.
The trade group’s website claims that the E-Ray will make its debut in two model years, in the spot that has previously been reserved for the Grand Sport trim package in past Corvette generations. The new variant will be powered by the same 6.2-liter LT2 V8 found in the base model Stingray, as well as two 50-plus-horsepower electric motors, both of which will be positioned on the front axle. Not only will the new powertrain be more fuel-efficient than the vehicle’s standard internal combustion engine, but it will boost power from 490 horsepower and 465 ft lbs of torque to 600 horses and 500 ft lbs of twist.
The SAE’s report points out that the center tunnel on the mixed-material chassis appears to have more than enough space for one of GM’s Ultium battery packs, while the front of the car has room for two electric motors. The website suggests that there will be two downsides to a potential hybrid powertrain: an increase in weight and a loss of cargo space in the front trunk. As for pricing, it expects the variant to start under $100,000.
This isn’t the first time we’ve heard about the potential of a hybrid ‘Vette, but it’s important to remember that the electrified variant has yet to be confirmed by Chevy or GM. When reached for comment, a rep for the automaker told Robb Report, “We’re not going to engage in rumor and speculation.”
Still, what might give the most recent round of E-Ray rumors a little more life than usual is that it comes a little over a month after GM announced a dramatic new electrification plan. At the end of January, the company announced its start phasing out internal combustion engines and only sell battery-powered vehicles by 2035. Now, the E-Ray would, in theory, still feature an internal combustion engine, but it would be a vital step on the way to an all-electric version of the beloved design.