During the testing of the 2020 Corvette Stingray, Motor Trend had planned to conduct a real-world fuel-economy test but that test was scuttled after their partners didn’t have the right equipment for the mid-engine sports car. So Plan B was to take the new sports car to a dyno facility to see what kind of power was actually being generated from the Corvette’s LT2 V8.
You can imagine that Motor Trend conducts these kinds of tests all the time and the Mustang dyno they visited was often used for the magazine’s tests. But once they had the 2020 Corvette Stingray battened down on the dyno wheel, that’s where things got weird.
The dyno measures the amount of horsepower and torque generated at the rear wheels, and the general rule of thumb is to assume a 15-percent drivetrain loss in power from the manufacturers’ stated numbers. GM’s SAE testing of the 2020 Corvette Stingray’s LT2 was certified at 495-hp and 470 lb-ft of torque. So a 15-percent drive train loss on those numbers should have resulted in the dyno showing around 421-hp at the rear wheels.
On Motor Trend’s first test, the dyno results showed 558 hp and 515 lb-ft of torque at the wheels, which means the engine was offering an estimated 656 hp and 606 lb-ft of torque at the crank. A far cry from the LT2’s SAE certified 495-hp and 470 lb-ft of torque. Multiple runs in 5th gear generated similar results so when they ran it again in 6th gear, the numbers came in at 478-hp and 536 lb-ft of torque, which translates to an estimated 562 hp and 630 lb-ft of torque. Their final dyno run would generate similar results.
There’s some speculation in the article about why the numbers are so far off from the certified SAE results. Motor Trend shares some of how SAE certifies engines as well as some of the input they received from Chevrolet. Of course, the Stingray they were testing was also a pre-production model whereas the SAE certification for the LT2 V8 happened just days before the reveal of the car at the California Blimp Hangar in July.
This is an interesting development and Motor Trend says that they ran a 2020 Ram 2500 pickup truck on the dyno afterward which produced normal results for the vehicle. (Motor Trend notes that the Dodge doesn’t do SAE-certified testing).
It’s always better to under-promise and over-deliver but these dyno numbers are way off what Chevy is advertising. We’ll have to keep an eye open for any other dyno tests conducted on the 2020 Corvette Stingray, and hopefully one that’s not a pre-production model, to see if it comes up with the same or similar numbers to these.
Head over to Motor Trend to see all the photos and graphs from their dyno test with the 2020 Corvette Stingray.
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