There has never been a better time than now to be a fan of American performance cars. With the 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 and the C8 Corvette Stingray poised to enter the fray of the reignited horsepower war very soon, Jason Fenske of Engineering Explained fame breaks down how these two cars differ in acceleration performance.
In the video, Fenske uses a good bit of math to explain how the two American sports cars compare in a 0-60 mph scenario. Despite having an output of only 495 horsepower from its 6.2L V8 engine, the C8 Corvette Stingray equipped with the Z51 performance package handles the sprint in 2.9 seconds. The 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 muscle car packs a supercharged 5.2L V8 under its hood, good for 760 horsepower and 625 lb-ft of torque. That makes it the most powerful Ford production car ever, but even still it can’t quite match the Corvette’s acceleration with a 0-60 mph time of 3.5 seconds. Both supercars are only available with a dual clutch transmission, via Tremec.
So why is the brutally powerful Shelby over a half second slower to sixty than the mid-engined Corvette? Initially one might want to point to the 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500’s 4,225-lb curb weight, but despite its heft the car maintains a better power to weight ratio than the Corvette. Each horsepower in the Shelby is responsible for 5.56 pounds of mass per horsepower, while the Corvette measures 7.23 pounds per horsepower. Instead it seems that the weight distribution figures for the two cars might help to tell the full story.
Not unlike its longtime rival from Stuttgart, the C8 Corvette Stingray now carries 60 percent of its weight over the rear axle thanks to a mid-rear engine configuration. Having this much weight over the rear tires helps in finding traction from a dig, resulting in faster acceleration. The Shelby on the other hand only carries 44 percent of its heft in the rear, thanks to its heavy supercharged engine up front. It seems that the 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 is traction limited when launching, but once it is up and running it can put good use to all 760 horsepower.
Of course this acceleration comparison only looks at one part of how these two cars perform, and we will have to wait until both cars hit the market to see if either can take the American performance car throne.