Earlier this week we posted a video that was making the rounds on YouTube that featured a 2020 Corvette Z51 keeping up with a 991.2 generation 911 GT3 RS on Southern California’s Willow Springs Raceway.
Well, our friends at Car and Driver are here with some statistical data that demonstrates how unlikely the video’s outcome actually is.
First, a look at the cars themselves. The Porsche tips the scales at 3,153 pounds which are motivated by a rear-mounted, 4.0L flat-six that spins all the way up to 9,000 RPM and makes 520 horsepower. As many here already know, the eighth generation of America’s only true sports car is propelled by a new, but familiar, 6.2L small block V8 which is now located between the cockpit and the rear axle. In Z51 guise, it makes 495 horses and hits its redline at 6,500 RPM. In the weight department, the ‘Vette is more of a linebacker (but a very mobile one) to the 911’s cornerback, with a curb weight of 3,647. The Stingray does enjoy a torque advantage over most of its adversaries though, which remains true here. Its out-twists the 3RS by a whopping 124 lb-ft (470 to 346).
How does all of that translate into real world performance? For this, we bring in C&D’s science! The new Corvette’s oft-quoted 0-60 time of 2.8 seconds matches the RS’ but after that, ‘Vette drivers will be seeing a lot of the Porsche’s big rear wing. People willing to give their Porsche dealer $190,000+ will reach 100 mph just over half a second before Corvette buyers (6.6 seconds to 7.2 seconds). They’ll also hit 150 in 15.9 seconds (compared to the Corvette’s 19.4 seconds). According to Car and Driver’s instrumented testing, the sharpest knife in Porsche’s non-turbocharged drawer covers the quarter mile in 10.9 seconds at 129 mph. The Corvette does the same feat only slightly slower at 11.2 seconds and 122 mph.
While all of this is fun to geek-out about, C&D is quick to point out that standing straight line speed “doesn’t amount to anything when setting fast lap times,” and continues with, “you can see that the Porsche will likely pull on the Corvette when coming out of corners. The Porsche killed the Corvette in 60-to-120-mph acceleration, covering that speed in 6.5 seconds compared to the Corvette’s 7.9-second run.”
Their case gets even stronger when they delve into the two cars’ handling stats. On their 300 foot skidpad, Car and Driver recorded the Porsche at an insane 1.24 lateral g’s while the Z51 could only muster a 1.03 reading. They do chalk some of that up to the 911s hardcore tires. It wears the grippiest units in Michelin’s arsenal, the Pilot Sport Cup 2R while Z51 equipped 2020 Corvettes ship wearing much friendlier Pilot Sport 4S rubber.
Next comes a “brake” down of the cars’ stopping power. Per the article, “The Z51 Corvette is equipped with larger brake rotors than a bone stock C8 and those bigger discs, fronts are 13.6 inches and the rears are 13.8, provide more fade resistance and help the Z51 bleed-off 70 mph in 149 feet. The Porsche, however, stops sooner. During our testing, the GT3 RS stopped from 70 mph in 128 feet.” This is due to the use of carbon-ceramic discs on the RS which measure 16.1 inches in the front and 15.4 inches out back.
When you put all of these variables together, it is easy to see how the GT3 RS could be the only car with under 600 HP to ever lap the Nurburgring in under 7 minutes while the mid-engine Corvette reportedly stopped the clock at the ‘Green Hell’ in 7:29.9, solidifying C&D’s point that these cars are in different leagues in terms of track prowess. We say, for triple the base MSRP, they had better be!
In case you missed the video that started this whole conversation, we have embedded below: