The Corvette keeps up surprisingly well, considering its power deficit.
On paper, Chevrolet's ferocious new mid-engine Corvette is no match for the Ford Shelby GT500 Mustang in a drag race. The Corvette's power deficit stands at more than 260 horsepower - a difficult gap to overcome in the best of circumstances, even if the Corvette is hundreds of pounds lighter. In weight-to-power-ratio terms, the GT500 enjoys a low rate of just 5.5 pounds per horsepower, versus around 7 pounds per horsepower for the 'Vette.
Even still, the folks at Hennessey Performance Engineering decided to line the two brand new performance cars up for a couple of drag races, first from a dig, and later from a 40-mph roll.
From a dig, the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette pulls away from the new Shelby GT500 from launch, before the Shelby walks right past it further down the strip. If there is a surprise here, it's how long the Corvette manages to keep its lead - a feat managed by the 'Vette's epic launch grip, courtesy of broad, grippy tires and a rearward weight bias from its rear-mid-mounted V8.
From a 40-mph roll, the Mustang's straight-line victory is more decisive, the Shelby GT500 pulling away from the word "go" before finishing a comfortable distance ahead of the new Corvette.
Hennessey Performance is fiddling with both the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette and the 2020 Ford Shelby GT500 Mustang, with a couple of performance-enhancing tuning packages aimed at both models - including a twin-turbo kit for the GT500 that boosts peak output to a reported 1,200 horsepower and 1,000 lb-ft on E85 or 109-octane race gas.
As a matter of fact, the tuning firm already has demonstrated a running, driving C8 Corvette with a twin-turbo setup, producing 643 peak horsepower at the wheels with just 5 psi of boost, but with absolutely no tuning. All told, the firm will be shooting for1,200 crank horsepower from the setup, assuming they're granted access to the car's virtually un-hackable ECU by GM.