2020 Corvette Has A Busy Weekend With Some Short-Circuit R&D

Remember the good ol’ days, when the internet was full of mid-engine C8 rumors and folks pontificating on how this bold new move was going to re-invent the way we drive our cars? Well, we’re finally getting the pudding to solidify as we get our first glimpse at how the new car actually performs out in the wild. And, it has surely been wild so far!

If the shortest of your short-term memory is still intact, you’ll recall how just last week, the world was rejoicing that the stockpile of C8s resting behind the Bowling Green Assembly plant were beginning to take the truck ride to their respective owners. Even before the wrappers were removed, video cameras and live streams were documenting the car’s arrival.

What do you do while you’re waiting for your C8’s odometer to click past the 500-mile break-in? Add NITROUS!

While some folks were diligently researching what wax would keep their cars looking like new, others were sitting at the garage door, torches in-hand, anxiously wanting to know how much more their new Corvette could become. Technicians and mad scientists were working overtime this past weekend at drag strips all over the country and an army of YouTubers and enthusiasts were there to document it all.

C8 And The TX2K

Folks in the Lone Star State are rabid car enthusiasts and the TX2K event is a great place to wring out your ride. The C8 Corvette made its debut at the high-horsepower event, and even though the venue was closed to spectators, there were plenty of YouTubers and live streams to bring the action to the web.

There were plenty of cameras on-hand to document the C8’s activities at TX2K. The LG-prepped C8 prepares to make its first pass down the strip.

The folks at LG Motorsports brought out their brand-new 2020 Corvette, and with the help of a 100-shot of spray, were able to find the first chink in the car’s armor. The crew drove the C8 from their facilities in Anna, Texas to Houston for the event and to get a few miles on the odometer.

The car's passenger-side driveshaft didn't like the 100-shot of nitrous very much and required a cab for the rest of the trip down the strip.

The first run was as the General intended, naturally-aspirated. Leaving off of the foot brake without launch control garnered a 12.11 at 118 mph. With just a few quick twists of the Nitrous Express “golf bag”, a 100-shot of nitrous stood at the ready. Apparently though, the C8 was slightly out of shape after sitting in the assembly plant’s parking lot for so long. Hitting the spray in first put the car into a tailspin, which is best described by the folks at LG. “The car didn’t like spraying in first and would not shift to second until we let off the nitrous and the throttle,” a spokesperson for the company posted on their Facebook page. Even so, the car still ran a 12.09 but at 124.

Undaunted by the separated side-shaft, the crew at LG Motorsports are already digging into the car to find areas that would need upgrading down the road.

If the car had any disagreement with the second run, the third pass threw the car into a full-on protest. Later in the night, they got the chance to run the car one more time. The car left the line great. When the driver hit the nitrous in second, the passenger side axle said “no thanks!” The car was unceremoniously roll-backed out of the facilities.

Bleachers For Benchmarking

It’s no secret that GM uses competitor cars to benchmark their new offerings with the competition. This weekend, much of the same comparison was being done at Atco Dragway between the new 2020 Corvette and StangMode’s 2020 GT500 Mustang. One of the takeaways from this particular video is that much like a set of bleachers, there are many different levels of “benches” at play.

For starters, many of the comments made note that the base model C8 (with only 495 horsepower) was up against the top-model Mustang, which is rated at 760-horsepower. Of course, price had its part in the argument as well. The IROC series has shown over the years that the driver can make a huge difference in the outcome of a race, all things being equal, and we’re sure there’s a little bit of that going on in this video as well. This video has it all. But, one thing that it doesn’t have, is a condescending demeanor.

495-horsepower vs. 760? StangMode obviously has his preference, but we didn’t think he took any unnecessary shots at the new C8.

With a name like StangMode, and driving a brand-new GT500 Mustang, it doesn’t take much gray matter to know where his purse strings are directed, but he doesn’t take unnecessary jabs, just some good-old, warranted ribbing. While not blatantly portrayed in the video, a short roll through the comments section will show the Chevy vs. Ford battle is still going strong.

Less Is More?

Quarter-mile field experiments will tell you how fast a particular car can be, but they can also tell you the best way to get there and which parts aren’t up to the task. Carlyle Racing teased the internet with a quick photo prank of tossing a Nitrous Outlet bottle in the frunk of owner Mike Carlyle’s C8. The ensuing fervor pushed the folks at Carlyle to punch a few holes in the car’s shell to actually route the hoses and wires to add a 50-shot of spray to the rear-mounted LT2.

What started out as a joke, wound up bringing home the fastest pass of the weekend.

Interestingly, Carlyle’s attempt proved the most fruitful, thanks to a half-shot of spray and the addition of drag tires on their C8. The Mickey Thompson ET Street SS tires didn’t seem to stress the driveshaft when combined with the 50 horsepower jets in the nitrous system. But, the E.T. was greatly improved with a 10.65 at 130 mph. You can read more about Carlyle Racing’s weekend to remember HERE.

Chevrolet’s marketing department would like to personally thank each and every YouTuber and fan who uploaded photos and videos of the car since they’ve started rolling off of transporters. And for those who are daring enough to take a not-quite-broken-in Corvette to the race track, doing double-duty sparring of competitors both on the track and the web so that we could see what works and what didn’t, we are forever grateful.

In the end, the car is surely going to only get quicker. We’ve seen some folks find new markets for upgrades, while others are already cutting deep into the 10-second range. Either way, you could say that the 2020 Corvette had a very productive weekend, even with a variety of results.

About the author

Andy Bolig

Andy has been intrigued by mechanical things all of his life and enjoys tinkering with cars of all makes and ages. Finding value in style points, he can appreciate cars of all power and performance levels. Andy is an avid railfan and gets his “high” by flying radio-controlled model airplanes when time permits. He keeps his feet firmly grounded by working on his two street rods and his supercharged C4 Corvette. Whether planes, trains, motorcycles, or automobiles, Andy has immersed himself in a world driven by internal combustion.
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