Track Test: C8 Corvette Stingray Z51 Squares Off Against the McLaren 650S

Stop me if you heard this before, but the Stingray isn’t a supercar. Chevrolet is developing more performance-oriented versions of the C8 Corvette, but the small-block V8 in the base model doesn’t hold a candle to a thoroughbred like the twin-turbo engine in the McLaren 650S.
2020 Chevrolet Corvette C8 Z51 vs 2018 McLaren 650S | TRACK ATTACK | Episode 5 9 photos
Photo: Track Attack Canada on YouTube
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Track Attack Canada had the opportunity to test both cars head to head, and as you would expect, the British supercar has the longer legs on the straights. Be it a standing start or a rolling start, the Macca crosses the quarter-mile finish line first thanks to a higher torque rating and a clear advantage in terms of curb weight. The American sports car with the Z51 Performance Package tips the scales at 3,577 pounds while the 650S weighs 3,148 pounds.

In the auto slalom challenge, the Corvette has the better tires - Yokohama Advan V601s - and features the GM-recommended track alignment while the McLaren is completely stock in both regards. The British interloper finished the course in one minute while the Stingray Z51 crossed the line in 58.97 seconds. According to Track Attack Canada host Colin Caissie, the front end of the Macca doesn’t want to bite while the C8 rotates better around the cones.

That’s one win for the Corvette and one win for the McLaren, and this gets us to the final challenge. As far as hot laps are concerned, the British interloper from Woking posted 1:21 while the Stingray Z51 with the grippier rubber shoes and the track-focused alignment finished one second slower.

“The McLaren is a completely different animal in the straightaways” according to Colin, who also happens to be the head driving instructor at the Pinnacle Advanced Driving Academy. If he had the money, the 650S would be his pick for pretty obvious reasons. On the other hand, “the Corvette still is king of the hill when it comes to bang for the buck, bar none, end of argument.”

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About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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