2020 Corvette is the quickest in history

The new mid-engined C8 is the quickest 'Vette in history, hitting 60 mph in 2.9 seconds and nailing the quarter-mile in 11.2.

Chris Paukert Former executive editor / Cars
Following stints in TV news production and as a record company publicist, Chris spent most of his career in automotive publishing. Mentored by Automobile Magazine founder David E. Davis Jr., Paukert succeeded Davis as editor-in-chief of Winding Road, a pioneering e-mag, before serving as Autoblog's executive editor from 2008 to 2015. Chris is a Webby and Telly award-winning video producer and has served on the jury of the North American Car and Truck of the Year awards. He joined the CNET team in 2015, bringing a small cache of odd, underappreciated cars with him.
Chris Paukert
2 min read

General Motors initially confirmed that the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray would hit 60 mph in under 3 seconds back when the car was first revealed in July. Now, Chevy has added some more meat to the mid-engined coupe's impressive performance claims: the C8 Corvette will not only hit 60 mph in just 2.9 seconds, it will bag the quarter mile in 11.2 seconds at 121 mph when equipped with the company's optional Z51 package.

Impressively, the base $59,995 (including destination) Stingray is only a tenth of a second slower to 60 mph, doing the benchmark deed in 3.0 seconds. What's more interesting is that the base car trips the lights at the end of the drag strip in the same 11.2 seconds, but at a quicker trap speed: 123 mph.

That's because, despite the fact that the $5,000 Z51 Package includes stickier tires, an electronic limited-slip differential, a shorter final-drive ratio and has 5 extra horsepower (495 hp instead of 490), its aerodynamic addenda increases downforce, slowing the car. In other words, the Z51 package prioritizes high-performance circuit driving -- cornering speed -- not necessarily straight-line velocity. 

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The Stingray's promised 194-mph top speed is also realized with the standard, non-Z51 model, as it has 400 fewer pounds of downforce, thanks to its less-aggressive aero package. With the Z51 package, the top track speed is 184 mph, GM confirmed.

The moral of the story? If you want the most effective drag-strip Corvette right out of the box, you'll want to start with the least-expensive version. That's a refreshing change from the industry's usual "more speed = more cost" mantra. 

With or without Z51, the 2020 Chevy Corvette Stingray delivers a stupefying amount of performance for the dollar. Unfortunately, if you're in line for a new C8, you're likely going to have to wait a bit longer to get yours. On Wednesday, a GM spokesperson confirmed to Roadshow that production of the new Corvette has been delayed until February, thanks to the lengthy work stoppage triggered by the UAW's recently ended strike.