Innovations always result in a learning period before they are widely accepted. The National Council of Corvette Clubs (NCCC) is one group currently in that learning period as it navigates the world of high-performance hybrid vehicles in competition and learns how to include cars like the new Corvette E-Ray.
If one group knows a thing or two about Corvettes, it’s The National Council of Corvette Clubs. With 250 clubs spreading across 16 regions and over 19,000 members, they are certifiable to be the ruling judge on all things Corvette. Unfortunately, while having the power to make final decisions that involve the Corvette, it had initially decided to ban the new Corvette E-Ray from all competitive races. Additionally, all hybrids and fully electric vehicles had to park at least 30 feet from buildings and other cars at sanctioned Corvette events. However, just one week after finalizing this ban, they reversed the decision and lifted it.
President of the NCCC, Deb Murphy, had this to say:
“National Council of Corvette Clubs has adjusted section 1.8.14 of our event rules to allow for the inclusion of hybrid vehicles in NCCC events. The rule was originally intended to only apply to fully electric vehicles. The Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray will be allowed to compete. I believe the quickest Corvette in history will be a great addition to our future events.”
The NCCC’s worry comes from the lithium fires that are difficult to put out and require special equipment and training. Even after the fire appears to be extinguished, it can spark back up hours later. The good news is that removing the ban has resulted in racetracks studying these fires and finding a safe way to allow Hybrids and EVs at the track.
Additionally, General Motors is now working with the Council on the matter. Corvette Product Manager, Harlan Charles, said that General Motors had already discussed the issue with the NCCC and that it was all a misunderstanding. He clarified that the rule change was passed before the E-Ray was revealed, and Chevy’s engineers maintain that the battery packs in the E-Ray are very safe for competitive events. Harlan also points out high-performance hybrids are already racing in the top classes at IMSA and Le Mans.
So now let’s talk about the facts of the new Corvette E-Ray so that we can all be on the same page regarding how ruthless this machine will be on track. First, we are looking at 495 horsepower from the LT2 6.2L V8 engine plus an additional 160 horsepower from the eAWD electric motor to total 655 horsepower. As for torque numbers, the E-Ray gets 125 lb-ft from its electric motor and 470 lb-ft from the LT2, totaling 595 lb-ft of torque. The result is the quickest Corvette GM has ever produced, with a 2.5-second 0-60 mph time and a 10.5-second quarter-mile e.t. The E-Ray will also come standard with Brembo carbon-ceramic brakes for optimal braking performance, and optional Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires can be had to increase handling.
The performance capabilities of the E-Ray will likely result in an unstoppable machine on the track and bring a new era to racing. It could be even more of a track-day monster than the Z06. The important question is, will the E-Ray be the weapon of choice for Corvette enthusiasts looking to buy a track-oriented car?