Car video reviews:

C8 Corvette Stingray Z51 Drag Races C7 Corvette Z06, America Wins

The C6 ZR1 is the first Corvette to feature a factory-installed supercharger while the C7 improved the recipe with the almighty Z06. The question is, how does a seventh-gen ‘Vette with a blown small-block V8 stack up against a mid-engine Stingray optioned with the Z51 package?
New C8 Corvette vs z06 C7 Corvette - drag racing 7 photos
Red Mist C8 CorvetteRed Mist C8 CorvetteRed Mist C8 CorvetteRed Mist C8 CorvetteRed Mist C8 CorvetteRed Mist C8 Corvette
Wonder no more because Wheels is much obliged to answer that curiosity with a good ol’ drag race that ends in 11.18 seconds at 124.87 miles per hour (201 kilometers per hour) for the previous-gen model. The C8, by comparison, couldn’t do better than 12.82 seconds at 110.84 mph (178 kph).

There are multiple reasons for the midship sports car’s loss, and the first one is altitude. Bandimere Speedway, also known as Thunder Mountain, favors forced induction due to an elevation of 5,800 feet (1,768 meters). The higher the altitude, the less power an engine makes because of the lower air density. As to why supercharging is better than natural aspiration at this kind of elevation, bear in mind that a blower is driven mechanically by the engine.

We also have to remember that a C7 Z06 isn’t as heavy as a C8 Z51, and speaking of which, weight distribution favors the seventh-gen model thanks to a near 50/50 spread as opposed to 40/60 for the newcomer. Another serious advantage in terms of straight-line performance comes in the form of 335 rear tires compared to 305s for the go-faster variant of the Stingray.

And finally, maximum torque favors the C7 Z06 with 650 pound-feet (881 Nm) from 3,600 revolutions per minute while the C8 Z51 needs 5,150 revs to crank out 470 pound-feet (637 Nm). Whichever way you look at it, the mid-engine ‘Vette never stood a chance against its front-engine forefather.

In related news, Chevrolet still isn’t prepared to apply forced induction to the C8. The brand-new Z06 will debut for the 2023 model year with a DOHC V8 augmented by a flat-plane crankshaft, and not long after it, the ZR1 is expected to return with a twin-turbo engine based on the Z06’s mill.

Editor's note: 2021 C8 Stingray Z51 pictured in the gallery.


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories