With the huge departure in form brought by the 2020 C8 Corvette Stingray, Chevrolet also promised a big step in performance as well, originally teasing a sub-3-second 0-60 sprint time for the first-ever mid-engine Corvette.
Now comes the actual data.
Chevy has confirmed the 2020 C8 Corvette Stingray with the available Z51 package will absolutely-without-a-doubt reach 60 mph in just 2.9 seconds, along with being capable of crushing the quarter-mile in 11.2 seconds at 121 mph. The brand says that even the $59,995 base Stingray will hit sixty in three seconds flat and also cross the quarter-mile mark in 11.2 seconds, which quite obviously makes the C8 the quickest entry-level Corvette in the model’s 66-year history, and pretty close to the quickest ever.
Most of the heavy lifting is done by the brand new 6.2L LT2 Small Block V8 engine which pairs with an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission. The LT2 is the only naturally aspirated V-8 in class and offers a bombastic 495 horsepower and 470 lb.-ft. of torque when equipped with the optional performance exhaust.
Chevy says a big part of the LT2’s additional punch is due to how much better it breathes. The intake system is a low restriction design and uses a pair of identical 210mm length intake runners which join up with an 87mm throttle body. The four-into-one performance header exhaust manifolds are also low restriction while twisted runners allow for thermal expansion.
Internally, to take advantage of the newfound airflow, the camshaft has 14mm of gross lift on both intake and exhaust strokes with an increased duration for both profiles. The LT2 retains variable valve timing, with 62 crank degrees of cam phasing available.
Chevy’s first proper dual-clutch transmission is a bespoke, transaxle transmission that was developed with Tremec to provide uninterrupted torque delivery no matter the situation. At its heart are two concentric wet clutches that are opened by springs and closed with hydraulic pressure. The pair work in tandem for uninterrupted torque delivery as they flip between gears.
Gear ratios were engineered to be incredibly low-end biased to take advantage of the small block’s great gift to the world, gobs of effortless torque.
The final drive and differential are integrated for the first time, with a mechanical slip differential coming standard on all 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingrays. The mLSD has an effective final drive ratio of 4.9:1 and is intended for heavy straight-line acceleration and dynamic handling. An electronic limited-slip differential is offered on the Z51 Performance Package and has an effective final drive ratio of 5.2:1 and offers pinpoint control during track driving.
Controlling all this hardware is a proprietary algorithm that can sense spirited driving. The level of aggressiveness will change with available drive modes, but regardless, the Tremec DCT can downshift early when braking hard, hold gears when breathing the throttle quickly and alter shift points based on lateral acceleration.
Shifts are actuated through magnesium steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters which are hardwired directly to the Transmission Control Module, which means the shift signal is sent at the same instant the paddle begins to move away from its static position, killing any latency that can come about when having to route through any other modules.