Can sophisticated tech overcome raw power?

The new Chevy Corvette C8 is a stellar performance machine – and it’s only the entry-level model. While hotter versions remain a mystery – they can’t get here soon enough – the C8 Stingray is proving itself quite capable on the track. How capable? Well, the 600-horsepower Lexus GS drift car it’s racing has its work cut out for it in this new Hoonigan video that sees this odd pairing race 1500 feet to see which is quicker.

The Corvette’s stats are well known at this point: 6.2-liter V8 LT2, up to 495 horsepower (369 kilowatts) and 470 pound-feet (673 Newton-meters) of torque, eight-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox, and rear-wheel drive. The Lexus GS sports a turbocharged 2JZ 3.0-liter straight-six paired with a six-speed manual gearbox that pumpers power to the rear wheels. The mill makes 600 hp (447 kW), though it’s motivating a car that’s 200 pounds (90 kilograms) heavier than the Corvette – 3,800 lbs to 3,600 lbs.

Gallery: 2020 Chevrolet Corvette: First Drive

The first race has the two rocketing down 1,500 feet (457 meters) of asphalt from a dead start. Both launch well, though the Corvette’s quick-shifting gearbox, which comes equipped with paddle shifters, begins to pull away from the Lexus, which never recovers. The second race starts from a roll, and here the Lexus is able to get, grow, and maintain a lead that nets it its only victory. The third is also a rolling race, though the Corvette keeps the gearbox in automatic mode to help claim its second win and overall victory.

The Lexus may have had more power, but it had greater difficulty putting it to the ground. The Corvette’s rear-engine layout certainly helped, though it’s also a far newer vehicle with more technology helping to put the power to the pavement effectively. The Corvette just goes, while the Lexus squeaks and squeals its tires trying to find traction. However, it probably doesn’t help that the Lexus isn’t designed for grip.