Fight, fight, fight, fight! Can anyone else picture this moment from their childhood? For me, I was straining my neck to see the altercation. The two 11th grade boys involved each got in a couple of good swings before school security showed up. Highlight of the year.
You, like me, may remember another moment from that day. Walking down the halls hearing the murmurs that a fight was going to go down. Groups of kids placing hypothetical, or real, bets on who would win. Others talking up the physical ability of each boy. “He’s taller, he has bigger arms, he’s quicker.” No one knows how it got started, but everyone has a side. The lead up to the fight was almost a bigger deal than the fight itself.
Currently, as we await delivery of the Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 and the Corvette C8, we are in school, waiting for the final bell to ring. After school, the two most anticipated cars of 2020 will fight on track and everyone has their opinion on each of the fighters. Here’s ours.
Both of these cars started out as sports cars but have crept their way into supercar territory while remaining under $100,000. The C8 starts at $59,995 while the GT500 comes in a litter higher at $72,900. However, the GT500 trades you that extra cost for 265 horsepower more than the C8 (760 HP vs. 495 HP). In the power/cost metric then, the GT500 is a better deal.
Chevrolet claims that the 495 HP will get the C8 from 0 – 60 in 2.9 seconds. Ford claims that the GT500 will get there in 3.3 seconds using its 760 HP. Clearly, then, the C8’s lighter weight makes up for the lesser horsepower. For the few people that will ever take these cars on an incredibly long runway, the C8 will get all the way up to 194 mph, clobbering the GT500’s 180 mph. If this fight is all about speed, the C8 seems to have the edge.
However, as we routinely tell people, straight-line speed isn’t everything. A large part of these two cars entering the “supercar killer” territory is their ability to corner well. Both of these cars reign in their American Muscle with gigantic disc brakes (the GT500’s from Brembo and the C8’s by Chevrolet). Things are kept calm, cool, and collected all the way through the corner with adaptive damper trickery (it’s called magnetorheological, we’ll let you look it up if you aren’t a suspension buff).
What you want to know before school gets out here is that the C8’s mid-engine set up completely shifts the weight of the car and how it feels in corners. One of the best quotes we’ve seen is that the C8 feels like the car is literally turning around you – we can’t wait to test that claim. With the weight balanced in the middle, the C8 should take on corners with poise and speed. The GT500, on the other hand, does not stray far from a past formula. Massive weight in the front and power in the back (Rear Wheel Drive) means that coming into a corner the GT500 will reveal its weight, potentially causing some issues. The GT500 could want to let the weight shift around and then light up the rear wheels (think our Hellcat currently). The GT500 may look cool going around corners, but the C8 should have the edge.
Right now, you are probably thinking, “so C8 then. It has a clear advantage.” You aren’t wrong. All the stats point to the C8 being a faster track car. The buzz around the school hallways might be that the C8 is going to win, but we’re not so sure. There aren’t numbers or stats to back it up, but from all the videos of reviews and hot takes that we’ve been watching, it doesn’t seem so cut and dry. We just have a feeling that the GT500 is going to surprise us all and give the C8 a great fight. See you after school.