It turns out the new 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray is a lot more powerful than advertised.
When Chevrolet revealed the new mid-engine Corvette earlier this summer, they did so with a pair of pretty impressive numbers: 495 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque. That’s how much power comes from the car’s new 6.2-L LT2 V8 engine when fitted with the performance exhaust available on the Z51 performance package.
And that’s a perfectly acceptable number. This is the base-level Corvette, so everyone expects the Z06 and ZR1 versions will have hundreds more horsepower--enough to match anything from rivals coming out of European manufacturers.
However, now we’re getting reports that the numbers given out by GM might be a little low. The review embargo on the new Chevy Corvette was lifted last week and that meant reviewers were able to drive around and tell people what they thought of the new Stingray. It also meant that publications could publish their findings when they put the 2020 Corvette on a dyno track.
What MotorTrend found out was that that the new mid-engined ‘Vette makes way more power than advertised.
On their first pull, MotorTrend's computers reported a rear-wheel horsepower of 558 and a rear-wheel torque of 515 lb-ft. Given the expectation that between 10-15% of the car's power is lost in the drivetrain, that means the car's engine is making anywhere from 600 to 650 hp at the crank.
That's a lot more than 495. That's proper supercar-levels of power.
It's also a little curious. Why would Chevy low-ball their flagship car's numbers like that? To find out, MotorTrend asked them and was told that the company certifies its power figures through the Society of Automotive Engineers. Rather than just run the car from zero to redline as done in most dyno tests, the SAE performs a slower, more rigorous test that gradually ramps the engine. This causes it to get much hotter and thus reduces its performance overall.
Smaller, faster tests, GM explained, might reveal larger numbers.
MotorTrend didn't buy this explanation, and neither do we. It seems that Chevy has pulled a Toyota Supra here, which famous advertised its horsepower at 335 when in actuality it's closer to 375. Chevy seems to have done the same with the new Corvette, but nobody knows why.