With the Z51 package, the Corvette is said to hit 60 mph in 2.9 seconds. A base Corvette completes the same task in 3.0 seconds flat, according to Chevrolet. Chevy’s promise at the reveal event was “under three seconds,” and the Z51 with its extra 5 horsepower and 5 pound-feet of torque is able to make good on that promise. The difference between 2.9 seconds and 3.0 seconds is rather minimal, so don’t be too down on yourself if you buy a C8 without the Z51 package. Chevy didn’t reveal times for the C8 Convertible. It also states: “Performance numbers may vary, as different climates, tire conditions and road surfaces may affect results.” No surprises there.
Quarter-mile times are also available. Chevy claims both the base and Z51 package Corvette will complete the quarter mile in 11.2 seconds. The only wrinkle here is the respective cars’ speed at the end of the drag strip. The base car will be doing 123 mph, while the Z51 package car will be doing 121 mph. Chevy told us the lower final speed is entirely due to aerodynamics — the Z51 package adds a front splitter and rear spoiler that produces more downforce than the base Corvette, adding aerodynamic drag in the process.
For some comparison, the 2019 ZR1 ran to 60 mph in 2.8 seconds. That’s barely faster than even a base Corvette now, a testament to the optimization of the entire car with the mid-engine layout. We can’t even begin to fathom how quick higher-performance variants of the C8 will be down the road, but it’s going to be fun to watch where the Corvette goes from here.
We also learned that C8 production is officially delayed until February 2020 today. Chevy didn’t say when in February, but the delay was entirely due to the UAW strike. Expect the first deliveries to be at the tail end of winter or the beginning of spring.