Officially arriving on the scene in January for the 2024 model year, the new Chevy Corvette E-Ray is packed to the brim with technology and go-fast tricks. That includes a new all-wheel-drive system sending internal-combustion power to the rear, and all-electric power up front. The setup provides some rather interesting possibilities, including the E-Ray’s “cyclone” maneuver. Now, the Corvette team is lifting the veil on how this stunt came about.
For those folks who may be scratching their head, the 2024 Corvette E-Ray demonstrated its cyclone maneuver in a promotional stunt at the Rockefeller Center rink earlier this year. If you don’t remember it, the stunt put the new E-Ray out on the ice, where it spun around on its own axis as the all-wheel-drive system worked its magic.
More recently, during the recent 2023 Michelin NCM Bash at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky, Corvette Chassis Controls Engineer Cody Bulkley discussed the cyclone stunt, and the events leading up to the event at the Rockefeller Center during a 40-minute presentation.
“So when you guys were just getting your hands on the 2020 Corvette, we were already ‘cycloning’ this car,” Bulkley told the crowd at the 2023 NCM Bash. Apparently, the early Corvette E-Ray mule was able to perform the stunt with basic hardware and software. After “a long day at the office,” Bulkley and a colleague mused over what would happen if they turned off the traction control system and just went wide-open throttle on a snow field. Lo and behold, the cyclone maneuver was born.
Essentially, the 2024 Corvette E-Ray has driven torque in front and in the rear, and at the center of those torque lines is where the spin axis takes place. The maneuver differs from a traditional rear-wheel-drive donut in that during a cyclone, the car will essentially turn like a top around the center axis between the two torque lines.
According to Bulkley, the best place to perform a cyclone is on low-grip surfaces where all four tires can easily spin, such as wet asphalt, gravel, ice, or snow.
Sounds like fun.
As a reminder, the 2024 Corvette E-Ray cradles the naturally aspirated 6.2L V8 LT2 gasoline engine and a single front-mounted electric motor, the combination of which is good for 655 horsepower. Under the skin, the E-Ray rides on the GM Y2 platform, while production takes place at the GM Bowling Green Plant in Kentucky.