The 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray is the fastest accelerating base-trim Corvette ever made. Here’s how relocating the engine to the back made it all possible.
Last week, GM introduced us to the new 2020 Chevrolet Corvette, the first-ever mid-engined Corvette ever made. Powered by a 6.2-L LT2 V8 with 495 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque when equipped with the performance exhaust from the Z51 Performance Pack, the new Stingray was said to accelerate from zero to sixty in less than 3 seconds.
This is a truly impressive number. The old ZR1 could hit zero to sixty in 2.85 seconds, which means that this new Corvette in its most basic form is almost as fast.
How did GM engineers do it? Well, a powerful engine helped, but there are a few other things at play here. And to find out the details, we turn to the most scientific of automotive YouTube channels, Engineering Explained.
Host Jason Fenske is obviously very keen on the new Stingray and is only too happy to point out every aspect of the vehicle that helps it become the fastest base Corvette ever made. Starting with the transmission, the new Stingray has an 8-speed dual-clutch transmission with extremely close gear ratios and a 1st gear tuned for launching. Gears 2-6 keep revs in the powerband, while shifting takes less than 100 ms.
A good transmission helps, but good tires help even more. The Z51 package provides Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires which are 305 mm wide at the rear, helping to improve the car’s frictional coefficient which determines how fast the car can accelerate.
The video above provides about as much explanation (and math) as anyone could ever need.
And finally, and most importantly, relocating the engine to the back means there is more weight on the driven rear tires. This means yet more friction, which will allow for even faster acceleration.
Fenske mentions that higher trims with even better tires might be even faster than the 2020 Stingray. Expect to see a ZR1 trim with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires with an even faster 0-60 time than the last ZR1.