• We have tested both the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Z51 and the 2019 Porsche 911 GT3 RS, and here are our results stacked against each other.
  • A video circulating on YouTube shows the two high-performance, track-capable cars on the track, and soon we’ll be setting a lap time in the now mid-engine Corvette at Virginia International Raceway (VIR).
  • We lapped the 2019 Porsche 911 GT3 RS at VIR in 2:41.6 and expect to set a time close to 2:53 in the C8 Corvette.

    It shouldn’t surprise you if we say that the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette is a performance bargain. The new Corvette makes 495 horsepower from a mid-mounted, naturally aspirated 6.2-liter V-8, does zero to 60 mph in 2.8 seconds, and starts at $64,995. That’s supercar-rivaling territory at a non-supercar cost. On the topic of rivalries, the Porsche 911 is the Ohio State to Chevy’s hometown Michigan Wolverines, but can the C8 Corvette keep up with Porsche’s most powerful naturally aspirated 911 at the track?

    Alex Bernstein Car and Driver

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    Porsche

    The 2019 Porsche 911 GT3 RS starts at $190,050—more than double the price of a 2020 Corvette—and is powered by a rear-mounted 520-hp naturally aspirated 4.0-liter flat-six that revs to a shrieking 9000 rpm. If we’re comparing horsepower and engine sound, Porsche has Chevy beat there. The Corvette’s newly acquired mid-engine setup makes 495 horsepower and spins up to 6500 rpm.

    During our testing, and despite slightly less horsepower, the mid-engine, Z51-equipped Vette tied the GT3 RS at a 2.8-second sprint to 60 mph. The GT3 RS did crush the Corvette in the quarter-mile, though. We achieved a 10.9-second quarter-mile at 129 mph, while the Corvette posted 11.2 seconds at 122 mph. Launching off the line at time-warping speeds might be impressive, but it doesn’t amount to anything when setting fast lap times. In our testing, the Porsche killed the Corvette once again, this time in 60-to-120-mph acceleration, speed differences likely to occur in setting lap times, covering that speed in 6.5 seconds compared to the Corvette’s 7.9-second run.

    2020 Chevrolet Corvette C8

    Marc UrbanoCar and Driver

    2019 Porsche GT3 RS

    Jessica Lynn Walker Car and Driver

    Acceleration isn’t everything, though. On a 300-foot-diameter skidpad, the Z51-equipped Corvette, with 1.03 g’s of lateral grip, couldn’t even come close to the GT3 RS’s 1.24 g’s. The Porsche attained more lateral grip than the Corvette on the skidpad due to its taut chassis and ultra-sticky Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 R tires, while the Corvette we tested wore less aggressive Michelin Pilot Sport 4S rubber, included in the Z51 Performance package. However, on the track while cornering, the GT3 RS benefits even more from its race-car-like aero pieces and heavy downforce.

    They’ll have to stop, too. The Z51 Corvette, equipped with larger brake rotors compared with the base C8, went from 70 mph to zero in 149 feet. Its front rotors are increased from 12.6 to 13.6 inches, and the rear rotors go up from 13.3 to 13.8 inches. The Porsche, however, stops sooner. During our testing, the GT3 RS stopped from 70 mph in a short 128 feet. It’s equipped with vented, cross-drilled carbon-ceramic discs measuring 16.1 inches in the front and 15.4 inches in the rear.

    As customers are starting to take deliveries of their new C8 Corvettes, we’re starting to see more videos of them pitted against other high-performance cars. In a video circulating on YouTube, user Speed Phenom, the same kid who posted a 10.665 quarter-mile in his 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500, had a fun track day with his 2020 Corvette Z51 with a friend in a rather poorly driven GT3 RS.

    Speed Phenom mentions that it’s not a race, just fun, but just know: we’ll be posting lap times in a 2020 Corvette at Virginia International Raceway soon, as part of our annual Lightning Lap feature. In 2019, we lapped the GT3 RS at VIR in 2:41.6. We expect to set a time close to 2:53 in the C8 Corvette, about one second faster than the C7 Stingray in 2014, because when we pitted a C7 Corvette against a C8 at Grattan Raceway in western Michigan, the C8 was just about one second faster.

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