Popular Z51 Performance Model Now Used as Basis for the EPA’s 2022 Corvette Fuel Economy Ratings


Popular Z51 Performance Model Now Used as Basis for the EPA's 2022 Corvette Fuel Economy Ratings

If you were to compare the new 2022 Corvette’s official EPA fuel economy ratings to those issued back in 2020, you would see an increase of 1 MPG in the city, but a drop of 3 MPG on the highway. That drop in the highway rating wasn’t because there were any significant changes to the LT2 powertrain, it’s because a majority of buyers are selecting the Z51 Performance Package.

Despite the better Highway EPA rating for the non-Z51 Corvettes, the EPA requires automakers to report fuel economy ratings based on sales volume to ensure the figures are “representative” of the number of Corvette’s sold. With the Z51 equipped in nearly 70% of Corvettes sold, the Z51’s fuel economy numbers are more representative of the brand.

Chevrolet Performance spokesperson Trevor Thompkins offered this statement about the EPA ratings in an email to us, saying “The EPA fuel economy numbers are based on which package is most popular. For 2021, Corvette Stingrays equipped with Z51 accounted for nearly 70 percent of Corvettes sold, because our customers are looking for the highest level of performance. Due to the success of the Z51 package, we will be reporting model year 2022 EPA fuel economy numbers based on the Z51-equipped Corvette Stingray’s results – 16 city, 24 highway and 19 combined.”

The main difference between the base and Z51 packages is the Corvette’s gearbox. The Z51 Performance Package offers shorter gearing than the base non-Z51 package and its aerodynamics package provides more drag on the car than its non-Z51 counterpart, to the point that its overall top speed numbers are 10 MPH less than the non-Z51 Corvettes. It’s also been rumored that Z51s with the additional 2 quarts of transmission fluid in the DCT might see a decrease in MPG performance.

EPA Fuel Economy Rating for the 2022 Corvette Stingray

Corvette’s engineers did tell us that the Corvette’s powertrain did receive some updates for the 2022 model year dealing with emissions, and it appears those updates helped with the increase of the City’s 1 MPG increase.

“The 2022 Corvette Stingray shows a 1 MPG gain in the city even with Z51 included because all 2022 Corvettes feature an upgraded direct injection fuel system, improved engine calibration, and an enhanced Active Fuel Management range,” Thompkins said.

While Corvette owners aren’t necessarily purchasing the C8 Corvettes for their EPA fuel economy ratings, they will be the first to tell you that highway numbers are usually much higher thanks to the Corvette’s active fuel management system and the ability to cruise in a V4 configuration where half the cylinders are shut down. CorvetteBlogger contributor Jeremy Welborn previously detailed a trip to the NCM that showed his 2020 Z51 Coupe averaging 29.7 MPG.


[VIDEO] 2020 Corvette Shows Off 535 Mile Fuel Range, Averages 29.7 MPG on Trip to NCM
OFFICIAL: The 2020 Corvette Stingray’s EPA Fuel Rating is 15/27 MPG
[VIDEO] 2020 Corvette Stingray Fuel Economy Clues Discovered During NCM Presentation



  1. The government looking at every aspect of everything now! Because it represents 70% of the version sold right away they have to make adjustments to the mpg figures to compensate for that. Everything being put under a microscope now! It’s a 3 mile per gallon difference not a substantial decrease in highway miles per gallon. Plus picking up 1 mpg in the city is barely noticeable unless you drive extremely conservatively and most Corvette owners do not.

  2. This is the government’s way to have the treehuggers pout at the corvette and say what a bad person must be driving that car. Killing polar bears and melting ice bergs

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