October 26th will mark the Corvette’s return to a twin-cam design with the LT6 engine of the brand-new Z06. The spiritual successor to the LT5 in the ZR-1 will improve the forerunner’s recipe with a flat-plane crankshaft, which doesn’t need the large counterweights of a cross-plane crank.
Some things, however, are here to stay. The small-block V8 in the Stingray will continue to burble away in the E-Ray, a hybrid-powered Corvette rumored with an electrified front axle. Be it one or two electric motors, the e-AWD system in this model will translate to neck-snapping acceleration.
Recently spied around the Nurburgring by Car Spy Media, the E-Ray is capable of driving in zero-emission mode for short periods. The 50-second mark of the featured clip is evidence of EV Mode, and you can briefly hear the LT2 fire up into life as a Stingray catches up to the camouflaged mule. As opposed to the FPC engine in the Z06, the powerplant in the E-Ray sounds almost muted.
The location and design of the exhaust tips pretty much confirm that we’re dealing with the 6.2-liter V8 of the Stingray nestled between the wide-bodied haunches of the Z06. In other words, the E-Ray is a combination of the Stingray and Z06 sprinkled with zero-emission tech for good measure.
On closer inspection, you can further see what kind of tires the hybrid ‘Vette is running: 275/30 by 20 inches up front and 345/25 by 21 inches out back. The rubber shoes come from Michelin in the guise of the Pilot Sport 4S ZP, a run-flat design with asymmetric tread and Le Mans-derived compounds.
Effectively the replacement for the Grand Sport, the E-Ray will be the final application of the LT2 for this generation of the Corvette. Moving forward, General Motors will upgrade the 32-valve LT6 with a couple of turbochargers to create the LT7 in the ZR1. As for the ultimate iteration of the C8, that would be the hybrid twin-turbocharged V8 model that may be called Zora.
Named after the GM engineer who envisioned the C4 with a mid-engine layout, the upcoming Zora reportedly combines the electrified front axle of the E-Ray with the LT7 of the ZR1 to create a 1,000-horsepower land missile.