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Review: 2020 Chevrolet Corvette 2LT (Non-Z51)

This is the only Corvette that matters. This one, right here. Not in the sense that the Clash was once "the only band that matters." Quite the opposite, in fact. People used to say that about the Clash so you understood they were too sophisticated to listen to Led Zeppelin or Boston. (While at the same time not being sophisticated enough to listen to Ornette Coleman or something like that.) It was meant to be a marker of superior discretion, albeit not that superior. Snob appeal for Main Street, if you will.


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A note of appreciation is expressed to Jack for an excellent article.


Jack, Don Sherman, and others in other Corvette publications, have contributed to an understanding  of all the aspects of the C8; LT2 engine, DCT, aluminum frame, etc.  They have provided significant insight into the engineering, development, and
performance achievement of the C8.

I believe there is more to the equation for the C8s great acceleration times than just more hp/torque, a rear weight bias providing better traction, and, therefore, less torque management.  Specifically, it has much to do with the C8s ridiculously high numerical, low gear, base-4.89 and Z51-5.17 final drive ratios.

Comparing the C8 to my C6 2013 man-trans Grand Sport, the performance of which I am familiar with, the C6 GS 0-to-60 time is right around 3.8.  That is attained
with a lower numerical, higher gear, 3.42 final drive ratio.  The power-to-weight ratio of my GS is around 7.7, the C8 is around 7.2.  Those numbers are not that disparate as to afford the C8 a one second+/- faster time.  Albeit, a 3.42 vs a 4.89 or a 5.17 final drive ratio is.

I would venture to say if the C8 were equipped with a "more conventional" 3.42 final drive, the times would be closer to my GS 3.8 than its 3.0 - 2.9, probably around 3.5, give or take.  Still fast, but not what Corvette Team was gearing for [pun intended].

We all know one of the goals of Corvette Team was a 3, or more zealous, sub-3, 0-to-60 time.  That could not have been accomplished with a curb weight of around 3535LBS, 490/495HP, with a "more conventional" final drive ratio.  That dog wouldn’t hunt.  To be sure, Tadge and company computed, calculated and did simulations to figure out exactly just what ratios would be needed in order to achieve the C8 planned goal.

At my age, 73, I recall when 4.10s and 4.56s were the final drive ratios of choice for drag racing.  Holy kryptonite, a 4.89 and 5.17 are radical in comparison.  Heck, given an abundantly high numerical, low gear, final drive ratio, I could get my Suburban to run a 3!  Just sayin'.

Mike Waal
Chestertown, MD

retired tire guy & rubber guy, 40 years in the tire industry, 1/3 of those with Michelin