Motor Trend Dynos the 2020 Corvette Stingray and Finds It Produces More Power than Advertised


Motor Trend Dynos the 2020 Corvette Stingray and Finds It Produces More Power than Advertised

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.

Motor Trend

[VIDEO] Is the C8 Corvette’s Forward Visibility Worse than the C7 Corvette as Car and Driver Claims?
The 2020 Corvette Stingray Takes Down the 2020 Porsche 911 Carrera S in First Comparison Test
[VIDEO] Matt Farah’s ‘One Take’ Track Test of the 2020 Corvette Stingray Z51 Coupe



  1. Not sure but I think a long time ago I saw that there was a formula that could take into account the weight of the vehicle, tires, Cd, and other factors and determine a range of horsepower from the quarter mile drag times and speed.

  2. Question…is a 15% loss still a legit estimate given mid-engine layout (i.e. less drive train between engine and wheels)?

    Even if it’s less, impressive numbers.

  3. In light of Da Math, the following numbers are also interesting.
    5% loss = 562 hp
    10% loss = 589 hp
    15% loss = 615hp
    …Estimated at the crank.
    We need more details about this mill.

    Begs the question; I wonder if the “given” SAE 15% driveline and accessory losses are in need of some reassessment? Automakers have gotten much better at controlling these parasitic losses.

    And also… Chevy lied. 😉

  4. Now everyone calm down.

    It was one car.

    Pre-production with some sort of mule motor.

    That being said, I want that mutt.

  5. I wouldn’t get too excited …… A random check of an assembly line car would be more accurate. One has to remember there was a lot of testing for this mid engine combination to include timing, cams, computers, fuel supply injectors as well as head development. The final choice of a ” reliable combination in a series of mechanical assemblies ” is slated for the production example. GM is not going to certify it as a sub three second 0-60 transport in every condition. Like politics, magazines play exclusives to gain readership. As a senior , and many of us will be as buyers , why would 500 plus horse power make a difference on the way to coffee or show off our new toy ?

    Remember the GTO magazine test results when a 421 was slipped in place of the 389 ? The flawed 0-60 times made it an international hit. Great car, fun times, while executives sat back and took credit.

  6. It might be prudent to just leave well enough alone. If the auto press makes a big deal out of this, GM might actually be forced to detune the LT-2 to conform to their 495 HP numbers. Think that one over folks.

  7. I have no doubt that the LT2 is a phenomenal engine. But unfortunately, I don’t think this test of a preproduction vehicle, with a motor that was likely hand built at GM’s tech labs in Detroit and doesn’t yet have the final tune programming, has any relevance to the vehicle that will be on sale to the public. When MT dynos one off the line at Bowling Green I’ll be interested in the result. Until then, all the motors are essentially custom-built bespoke power plants with tolerances likely far tighter than can be realized in assembly line production, running who knows what ECU programming.

  8. It’s like nobody read the Chris Harris take-down of Ferrari press cars in 2011. Search for that article, it will make y’all extremely angry. From 1995-2015, at the very least, Ferrari banned journalists from driving customer cars. Harris drove a few anyway, and after a couple’ years he exploded online about the differences between the cars Ferrari gave him and the cars his friends had bought. The Corvette team has made it clear that the 458 is “their inspiration”. Do you hate Fake News? I do too…..

  9. Chris Harris: “Sad to say it, but the ecstasy of driving a new Ferrari is now almost always eradicated by the pain of dealing with the organisation. Why am I bothering to tell you this? Because I’m p***ed with the whole thing now. “It’s gotten out of control; to the point that it will soon be pointless believing anything you read about its cars through the usual channels, because the only way you get access is playing by its rules.”

    The article:

  10. Some of these supposed Vetteheads make me sick…

    Can ANY of you doubters who claim, “Chevy once lied about HP!!!” idiots EVER give an example of when Chevy gave the testers a “Ringer” car?
    To publish? In this environs? Really?
    Name the last time, fool….

    Never. ALWAYS underderspec. NEVER a “ringer”. In this day-and-age, with this much attention because of the HUGE change, it would be suicidal.

    Do you REALLY think Chevy would put out a “SUB 3-SEC 0-60” quote from the head engineer, and be lying by overt 100 HP?

    I HOPE the’re “lying”…By 110hp low!!!
    Because do you some of you REALLY think the production Vette losing a full second off the published and bragged about by the head engineer 1/4 mile time, would NOT affect sales of the most important release of any Vette ever???????


  11. Ford was sued in 2000 for exactly the opposite problem – overrating the horsepower of the Mustang Cobras resulted in a recall of all 2000 model Mustang Cobras. I’m sure GM wasn’t keen on repeating that mistake.

Comments are closed.