2020 Chevrolet Corvette C8 With Z51 Package Does 0-60 in Just 2.9 Seconds

GM claims the C8 Stingray is the quickest base model Corvette in the model's history.

General Motors

There's nothing more American than a red-blooded sports car testing its guts in a flat-out zero-to-60 mile per hour sprint. On Thursday, General Motors used its time at SEMA in Las Vegas to announce the long-awaited official acceleration times for the newest member of the Corvette family, the C8 Stingray, and they're genuinely impressive.

GM says that its base model 2020 Corvette will make the run in three seconds even, a time which shaves more than half a second off its predecessor's best mark. But upgrade the mid-engined sports car with the mildly priced Z51 performance package and you unlock a new achievement: a zero-to-60 MPH time of 2.9 seconds and a quarter-mile run of just 11.2 seconds.

This is possible thanks in part to the C8's impressive naturally aspirated power plant. While GM's SAE-certified rating for the Corvette's LT2 engine is a robust 495 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque, dyno tests suggest that the car is significantly more powerful that the automaker leads on. Some tests have even read as high as 558 horsepower and 515 pound-feet at the wheels.

The optional Z51 package introduces a host of upgrades that add a modest $5,000 to the C8 Corvette's base price of $59,995. Specifically, the improvements include a performance exhaust, tightened suspension, larger Brembo brakes, and an electronic limited-slip differential.

But what potential buyers won't find on the menu, regardless of trim, is the option to equip the car with a manual transmission. While this could simply be due to the increasing take rate on automatic variants in years past, GM suggests that it's really about the driving experience. Terri Schulke, GM global chief engineer of transmissions, even mentions that the goal from the beginning was to make the C8's dual-clutch, eight-speed gearbox mimic the engaging and enjoyable driving experience one might have from a bespoke supercar.

All things considered, the C8 Corvette is a hell of a deal if the biggest factor in the buying process is off-the-line acceleration. Looking back on the 2019 Corvette ZR1 (which is GM's cream-of-the-crop Corvette), it barely outpaced the C8 by making the sprint at 2.8 seconds—a mere tenth of a second faster than the new Stingray with the Z51 package.