So it turns out the new 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray is a lot more powerful than we thought it was.
Chevy says that the new mid-engine Corvette has 495 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque when equipped with the performance exhaust. That’s a good amount--nobody was complaining about a mid-engine Corvette having nearly 500 horsepower at a sub-$60,000 price. That’s phenomenal and worth celebrating.
Only it might not be the whole story. The embargo on the new Corvette was lifted last week which meant that everyone was able to start writing up their opinions on how the 2020 Stingray drives. It also meant that publications with access to the new mid-engine machine and a dyno were able to publish their findings.
MotorTrend just so happened to have access to an engine dyno to test the new Corvette. What they found was that the car produced 558 hp and 515 lb-ft of torque at the rear wheels. Estimating between 10-15% drivetrain loss, that means the Corvette was making anywhere from 600-650 hp at the crank.
They also tested it several times to confirm their findings. Sure enough, each run was around the 560 hp mark, which is a lot more than the 495 hp advertised by Chevy.
Naturally wondering what was up with that, MotorTrend reached out to Chevy for an explanation. They were told that the car’s power ratings were certified by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) and that they have a different, more rigorous testing regime than your typical pull on the dyno. Rather than revving the engine from zero to redline, the SAE progressively steps up the engine up gear by gear. This causes the engine to get much hotter and has a detrimental effect on overall power output.
While that sounds pretty reasonable, MotorTrend didn’t buy it. Frankly, it seems odd for Chevy to pull a Supra and low-ball their new Corvette’s power so drastically (the Supra, if you recall, reports 335 hp when it actually has closer to 375 hp).
We’ll be sure to report more on this if GM provides a better explanation.