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What's faster than a Corvette? A 'Vette with an electric motor

By Joseph White

DETROIT (Reuters) - General Motors Co on Tuesday revealed a new, hybrid Corvette sports car that uses an electric motor and battery to amp up acceleration and go in the snow.

The Corvette E-Ray - a play on the Stingray name used for gasoline-powered versions of the sports car - was revealed on the 70th anniversary of the debut of the original Corvette. GM executives have said previously a gasoline-electric hybrid version of the automaker's supercar was coming.

The Corvette E-Ray will use a 12-volt lithium-ion battery and a 160-horsepower electric motor to drive the front wheels. A 495-horsepower, gasoline-fueled V-8 engine will drive the back wheels as in other Corvettes. GM said the hybrid system will accelerate the E-Ray to 60 miles per hour in 2.5 seconds, making it the quickest production Corvette ever, GM said.

The E-Ray will also be able to operate in a battery-only "stealth mode" for short distances, GM said.

The E-Ray is the first Corvette equipped with all-wheel drive. Many rear-drive Corvettes spend winters in their owners' garages.

The E-Ray is a derivative of the current Corvette and does not use GM's latest, Ultium battery technology, GM executives told reporters in a briefing. A fully electric Corvette will come, but GM executives are not saying when.

The E-Ray is scheduled to go into production later this year at a starting price of $104,205.

(Reporting by Joe White in Detroit; Editing by Matthew Lewis)