The upcoming Barrett-Jackson auction, taking place from April 13 through 15 in Palm Beach, Fla., features plenty of desirable collector cars, but none are as brand-new as the Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray 3LZ that will cross the ramp on Saturday afternoon. This highly anticipated model marks a turning point for the Corvette, adding electricity to the power equation as the cutting-edge sports car further adapts to our changing times.
“The world has anxiously awaited the Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray, and we’re honored to make automotive history with the sale of the first production vehicle during our Palm Beach Auction,” says Craig Jackson, chairman and CEO of Barrett-Jackson. “Every enthusiast dreams of owning such an iconic vehicle, and we’re delivering a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to put the first electrified, all-wheel-drive version of ‘America’s Sports Car’ into their collection.”
Like every Corvette made since 1955, the E-Ray is powered by a V-8 engine, in this instance a 6.2-liter LT2 small-block sitting aft of the driver. This mill is mated to an eight-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission. But unlike any ‘Vette before it, this model variant also features a front-mounted electric motor that powers the front wheels via a 1.9 kwh battery pack. Together, the internal-combustion engine and e-motor develop 655 hp, and eAWD puts that substantial power to all four wheels.
For once, Chevrolet has a Corvette for all seasons and one that, thanks to the hybrid setup, boasts the quickest zero-to-60 mph and quarter-mile times in Corvette history. And GM’s Magnetic Selective Ride Control and even carbon-ceramic brakes are standard equipment.
All of the hammer price will go toward DonorsChoose, a nonprofit organization that supports public-school teachers in the US by allowing them to create classroom-project requests. Donors give any amount to the project—or projects—that most inspire them, and more than 2.5 million projects have been funded since 2000.
“General Motors has been an advocate of charitable causes for many years, selling VIN 001 vehicles at our auctions, and we’re thrilled to be a part of these efforts once again and to support the education of American youth through DonorsChoose,” says Jackson.
Prospective bidders (or, more properly, philanthropists) should note that the car crossing the block will be representative of the model, but not the actual vehicle the successful bidder will receive once it is built.
Click here for more photos of the first Corvette E-Ray being offered through Barrett-Jackson.