It’s a beautiful thing, progress. It is relentless in all its spheres, including technological ones that encompass automotive design. Improved chemistry begets tires with more grip; enhanced metallurgy improves engines; and better understanding and application of computational fluid dynamics results in better engine breathing, and more power, as well as better aero, with increased downforce and reduced drag. The new Corvette has benefited from all of the above, to devastating effect on a drag strip.
Tripping the clocks at 60 mph (96.5 km/h) in a brief 2.9 second blast, the all-new Corvette proves that all-wheel drive is superfluous in a modern supercar. It puts its power down so effectively that most owners will be delighted to come upon red lights, no matter what pulls up alongside. In truth, one would need to spend more than double the MSRP of a Corvette to come anywhere close to its performance envelope.
And the best part is, this accelerative force is just the beginning. Corvette GrandSports, Z06s and ZR1s lie in the wings, and once unleashed upon this world, they will hurl themselves to the horizon with even greater ferocity and haste. To our estimation, we’ll see performance versions of the Corvette cracking 60 in as little as 2.6 seconds in due course. If you’re as greedy for performance as we are, we’d say hold on to your wallets until the spicier versions of the ‘Vette are available. That said, it’s never to early to put down a deposit on your prospective model of choice.
The enviable 2.9 second 0-60 time comes compliments of the Z51 Performance Package – a must have option when ordering your ‘Vette, particularly if you care to spend any time on track. The Z51 package adds an e-LSD along with enhanced cooling, which also adds reliability, which is critical when pushing your American supercar to its limits.
After eclipsing the 60 mph mark, the Z51-equipped Corvette goes on to cross the quarter mile mark in 11.2 seconds at 121 mph. And unlike a Tesla, or any other electric sports car, it can do this all day long, effortlessly, without fading.
“The performance of the 2020 Stingray has far exceeded our expectations,” said Alex MacDonald, Chevrolet vehicle performance manager. “Moving more weight over the rear wheels helps us get off the line quicker, but it’s the integration between the powertrain and chassis that really takes the performance to new levels.”
The 2020 Corvette is powered by Chevrolet’s new LT2 small-block naturally-aspirated V8 engine, which spins out 495 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque.
“The LT2 is one of our best efforts yet in Corvette’s history of naturally aspirated high performance Small Block V-8 engines,” said Jordan Lee, GM’s global Chief Engineer of Small Block engines. “This engine is incredibly powerful and responsive. Power is readily available when the driver needs it.”
Chevrolet’s decision to equip the new Corvette with an 8-speed dual-clutch transmission (DCT) was pivital to its acceleration feats. The rear transaxle design moves weight even further rearward, adding traction, while also improving packaging as it incorporates the differential, final drive, controls system, sensors, lubrication and cooling hardware. It’s a complex, but highly effective drivetrain solution that has enabled the Corvette to break new ground as a worldclass sports car.
“The goal from the beginning was to design a transmission worthy of an exotic supercar that is fun to drive everyday,” said Terri Schulke, GM global chief engineer of transmissions. “We achieved that goal by combining the best attributes of the LT2 and the DCT, and I think the impressive performance numbers speak for themselves.”
To learn more about the all-new 2020 Corvette and its move to a mid-engine design, head over to our technical deep-dive.
The new Corvette will arrive in North American dealership in the first quarter of 2020; again – if you haven’t placed an order on the Z51 package or a forthcoming performance model, it’s high time to do so. Waiting lists are growing long for what is undoubtedly the performance car bargain of the century.
[Photo and source credit: Chevrolet]