So there was a pretty interesting Corvette E-Ray sighting in Southern Europe which ended in catastrophe for one of the test mules. The news comes thanks to the Spain-based automotive website Motor.es as well as from our friends at Motor1.com who picked up on the fact that an E-Ray prototype had burned to a crisp after an oil leak sparked a fire.
But first, let’s talk about this interesting sighting. The Motor1.com article suggested that German engineering firm Bosch was in the custody of two prototype mules, one resembling a narrow-body Stingray with the silver base C8 wheels and the Z51 spoiler, and the other was a widebody wearing the Z06s Spider wheels with no spoiler. Both mules were fitted with longer than normal round exhaust tips that look like they can be hooked up to test equipment. What we didn’t see on either of these two cars were the drilled brake rotors that we saw on the Nurburgring E-Rays.
The spy photographer was able to capture the widebody mule driving on the streets, and then he came across the Stingray mule alone in a parking lot. The car was unguarded and that allowed them to get close for some great pics through the window, which showed the Stingray mule was a Right Hand Drive model. We didn’t see a production-style “Regen on Demand” button like we saw on the E-Ray prototype captured last year with the NSX. However, an electronic box with a button spied in the center console could serve the same process. Otherwise, the interior was typical of the Stingrays.
The E-Ray will be powered by the Stingray’s LT2 V8 engine, so it’s not a surprise to us that engineers are using a Stingray as an E-Ray mule. The car is expected to have Ultium drive motor(s) on the front axles while the LT2 powers the rear axles. The going horsepower for the E-Ray is estimated at around 600 hp give or take, and that’s the perfect sweet spot between the 495-hp Stingray and the 670-hp Z06. Still rumored is the ZR1, which takes the Z06’s LT6 and adds a pair of turbos for 850-hp, and then the Zora takes the ZR1 and adds the Ultium drive motors for 1000+ horsepower.
These prototypes go through a lot in their short but important lifespans, and the Stingray was apparently having issues maintaining its oil levels. The consensus is that an oil leak most likely started the fire that would see this car burned to the car, which is a better outcome than something that caused the new hybrid equipment to fail. The photos shared by motor1.com show only the remains covered by a tarp, and only a Stingray wheel indicates that this heap was once a Corvette.
It hurts to see the prototype after the fire, but you have to break some eggs for an omelet, right? It’s unfortunate to lose a test vehicle to a fire, but hopefully, GM engineers can review the remains and see how the Ultium batteries fared.
Thanks again to Motor.es for use of these photos. Hit these links to see the E-Ray before and after photos at the two websites.
Motor.es and Motor1.com
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