Chevrolet has just confirmed what it seems the rest of the world already figured out for itself - the 2020 Corvette Stingray equipped with the available Z51 package is the fastest accelerating Corvette from 0 to 60 mph ever released to the public. Alex MacDonald, Chevrolet Vehicle Performance Manager, was similarly impressed commenting that the Corvette "far exceeded [Chevy's] expectations." Hey now!
While numbers are meaningless in and of themselves, they do provide a frame of reference against both earlier models and competing offerings from other car manufacturers. And they are genuinely profound. The Z51 equipped model dashes from 0 to 60 in 2.9 seconds and through the quarter mile in 11.2 seconds at 121 mph. Even the base model does 0 to 60 in 3 seconds flat and the quarter in 11.2 seconds at 123 mph. And at $59k and change that's gotta be the performance deal of the century!
How did Chevy do it? There is no magic bullet that delivered these results although much of course has to do with moving the engine to the back of the car. Rear weight bias is something which Porsche fanatics can attest to as delivering blistering straight line speed and go-cart like handling.
But a formula is at work in any car. Let's start with the motor. GM could of course have gone with some new high-tech motor like the Cadillac "Blackwing" and finally ditched the pushrod engine, but one thing at a time I suppose. The new LT2 is an evolution of the already well established and excellent performing LT series of engines in Chevy's portfolio. With a dry sump oiling system, revised intakes, 4-into-1 headers, hotter cams, and beefier construction throughout, the LT2 delivers 495 hp and 47- lb.-ft. of torque at the rear wheels.
Much credit also belongs to the quick shifting dual clutch transmission. This is something she shares with the new GT500 Mustang and for similar reasons. Purists were understandably up in arms over the absence of a manual transmission, but such is the price of ultimate performance. The Tremec eight-speed unit delivers both lightning shifts and fantastic everyday driving dynamics. This is achieved through a trick oiling system with wet clutch system, revised gear set for both low end acceleration and top end efficiency, and well matched and tuned shifting profiles.
The differential in the Z51 is an electronic locking unit unlike the mechanical set-up in the base model. It's been tuned with a more aggressive transfer case and final drive ratio with some trick spiral beveling on the hypoid arrangement. Which just goes to prove it's all in the details. Check out Matt Farah below putting the 2020 Corvette Z51 through its paces. Buckle up.