How in the heck does the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray get to 60 miles per hour in under three seconds? Witchcraft? Is Mark Reuss sitting on the roof of the Renaissance Center conjuring spirits? Is Mary Barra sacrificing interns at an altar to Zora Arkus-Duntov? Because 495-horsepower cars don’t get to 60 in under three seconds. They just don’t.
We back that statement with two cars: the current Corvette ZR1 and the McLaren 720S. The top-dog C7 needs 755 hp to get to 60 in 2.95 seconds, while the mighty Mac needs 710 hp for a 2.8-second run. How is the mid-engine Corvette doing a similar deed while down over 200 horsepower on either of those cars?
Engineering Explained’s Jason Fenske has apparently been wondering the same thing, so he broke out the dry-erase board and the camera to explain just how mid-engine Corvette is so quick. And no, it doesn’t involve Corvette Chief Engineer Tadge Juechter standing over a steaming cauldron with a jar labeled “Eye of Newt.”
A big part of the C8’s performance is down to aggressive gearing and intelligent design of the Corvette’s first dual-clutch transmission. Capable of applying the 6.2-liter V8’s 470 pound-feet of torque consistently and across two gears, the new DCT ensures continuous torque through each ultra-quick gear change.
Next up are the tires, wide and sticky Michelin PilotSport 4S. Why are those good for acceleration? Fenske has the math. To be honest, we went a bit cross-eyed with confusion at this point, so it’d be best to let the video explain why frictional coefficient of last-year’s Pilot SuperSport tires is enough to make assertions about the C8. Also benefitting performance is the mid-engine construction, which isn’t much of a surprise. Sticking the engine out back means more weight over the rear axle. There’s more math here.
For a full explanation, we strongly recommend giving Engineering Explained’s latest video a look. Even if you hate math like we do, it serves as a solid explanation for one of the mid-engine Corvette’s most impressive stats.
Source: Engineering Explained