Due to the situation surrounding the United Auto Workers strike with General Motors, production of the C8 generation Chevrolet Corvette faces an uncertain future. As such, very few 2020 Corvettes have been produced and very few journalists have had the chance to hop behind the wheel. Among the publications that have had access to the car for a prolonged amount of time, MotorTrend decided to use its time wisely by dyno testing the new Corvette.
As we've recently seen from the BMW Z4 and the BMW-powered Toyota Supra, the dyno tests have yielded excellent results with even greater power than the estimates from both BMW and Toyota. And it appears the Corvette may be underrated from the factory as well.
The Corvette was run several times on the dyno, each test yielding substantially different results. Chevy says the 6.2-liter LT2 V8 produces an SAE-certified 495 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque, factoring in the traditional 15 percent drivetrain loss. MotorTrend's initial runs rated the car at 558 hp and 512 lb-ft (or 656 hp and 602 lb-ft at the crank without drivetrain loss). An issue with the gear ratios may have caused the discrepancy so the car was tested again with results of 478 hp and 544 lb-ft at the wheels (562 hp and 640 lb-ft at the crank).
Chevy explained the most logical cause for the higher output figures is the strict set of rules set by the Society of Automotive Engineers. GM and other manufacturers use the SAE measurement procedure, which pulls the RPMs up slowly rather than accelerating quickly. This process causes more heat in the engine and likely less power, therefore, it is not uncommon for engines tested by the SAE to register higher output on a single dyno pull.
Another explanation could be the car's eight-speed dual-clutch transmission, which Chevy says may net less than the 15 percent drivetrain loss seen with a traditional automatic. MotorTrend's final numbers from the test may not be 100 percent accurate but for now, the publication feels certain the 2020 Corvette is making more power than advertised based on its performance metrics.