[MUSIC PLAYING] This is Edmunds’ Chevrolet Corvette. Yes, if you haven’t heard– we bought one. You can read all about what it’s like to live with at Edmunds.com or by clicking the links below. But we’re going to talk about that right now. We’re going to talk about drag races. As you can see, I’m lined up against a Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 and a Porsche 911. Now, how does this stack up against those two as it relates to going fast in a straight line? Well, this is kind of mid-pack. It has 495 horsepower from a naturally aspirated 6.2 liter V8. It’s going an 8-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. In fact, all the cars here have dual-clutch automatic transmissions.
And it weighs 3,600 pounds– or thereabouts– giving this a power-to-weight ratio of 7.4 pounds per horsepower. Now, that’s significantly higher than the Shelby GT500 next to me being driven by Alistair. Now, he has 760 horsepower– again 760 horsepower in the supercharged 5.2 liter V8 under the hood of that thing. But that may not be the advantage you think it might be, even with 5.5 pounds per horsepower. Hey, Alistair– how are you going to deal with the weight of that thing and also all that power? ALISTAIR WEAVER: Uh, clearly with immense talent, Carlos.
CARLOS LAGO: Are you driving, or is somebody else? ALISTAIR WEAVER: Keep laughing of your own jokes, son. CARLOS LAGO: He does sign the paychecks here. No, but how is that going to work? You’ve got 760 horsepower, 4,200 pounds-ish, I mean, talk about over-endowed.
ALISTAIR WEAVER: Yeah, it’s the first time anybody’s ever said that about me. 56 of the weight is at the front, which is not good news. Rear wheel drive, of course, but I have got 760 horsepower, so I think I’m going good shape. But I am driving it myself. We’ve had this car on the test track. We know that the fastest route is to do it manually. So unlike you cheater boys, I shall be driving this properly. CARLOS LAGO: The words of a man with something to prove.
ALISTAIR WEAVER: An inferiority complex.
CARLOS LAGO: Now, on the far end is a Porsche 911– a car that we don’t own, unfortunately. It’s being driven by Reese and even though it costs $116,000, as it sits over there, it’s a base Carrera, so it just has 379 horsepower, giving it a power-to-weight ratio of about 8.9 pounds per horsepower. But that may not necessarily be the disadvantage you think it might be. Hey, Reese, what business do you have showing up to this drag race of American cars with just 379 horsepower?
REESE COUNTS: OK, hold on. So the Shelby may make more than twice as much power as I’ve got but, Alistair is going to have a hell of a time trying to put that down. And I’d argue this has got the best chance here. I’ve got most of the weight over the rear axle, so I’ve gotten plenty of traction. And I think Porsche’s probably got the best launch control. So I don’t think you guys should be as confident as you are. I think I could surprise you.
CARLOS LAGO: You may have something on the launch there, but we’ll see how it does against the Corvette. Remember, this– though, it’s not rear-engined, it still has the mast right by the rear axle. So it will be interesting to see how this does against that rear-engine Porsche.
REESE COUNTS: And Porsche has been building rear-engine cars for how long now? This is Chevy’s first attempt at a mid-engine thing, so we’ll see how that goes.
CARLOS LAGO: All right, let’s get to it.
REESE COUNTS: So to set up launch control in this, all I have to do is switch the drive mode button to Sport Plus, which is the most aggressive setting, push my foot on the brake, push my foot on the gas– a little light comes on that says, Launch Control Activated, the engine settles around 5,000 RPM, I release the brake and go from there.
CARLOS LAGO: All right, to put the Corvette in launch control. I’m going to put the drive mode in Track by twisting this dial here. I’m going to enter the Performance Traction Management settings, which is an option unique to this car and this doesn’t apply unless you have PTM. I’m going to hit the traction control button twice to activate the PTM Mode Selector, and dial in– say, Sport 2. Once I’m in that setting, left foot firmly on the brake pedal, and then we’re ready to go. Right foot firmly on the gas pedal. I’m going to see about 4,000, 4,5000 RPM and I’m going to release the brake and then hold on. Pretty easy stuff.
ALISTAIR WEAVER: So like the other two are basically cheating by letting the electronics do the work, I’m actually going to drive this myself. We’ve had the car on the Edmunds test track. We know that it is marginally quicker if you ignore the launch control system and effectively do it yourself. So this is the plan– I’m going to have my left foot on the brake, I’m going to take a little throttle with my right foot, and then, at the point of the go, I’m going to be very smoothly on with the power, off with the brake, let it light up and then feed the power as we start to feel the traction come in. I am launch control, but I’m also Usain Bolt. I know that I won’t be the fastest off the line, but come the second 50 meters I’m going to come flying through the middle to take victory. Oh, yes.
CARLOS LAGO: Before we get it started, make sure to like, comment, and subscribe. And also, be sure to visit Edmunds.com. Alistair, where should they be going to at Edmunds?
ALISTAIR WEAVER: You should check out our new feature– Edmunds.com/sellyourcar where you can get a cash offer for your car. So sell your car with Edmunds, buy a Mustang, go drag racing. CARLOS LAGO: That’s Edmunds.com/sellyourcar or sell my car– Edmunds.com/sellmycar. ALISTAIR WEAVER: That’s right, Carlos. Well done. Gold star.
CARLOS LAGO: Get it right one of these days– Edmunds.com/sellmycar. Now, we go drag racing.
[ENGINES RUMBLING] MAN ON LOUDSPEAKER: Drivers ready. [ENGINES REVVING] 3, 2, 1, go! [ENGINES REVVING] REESE COUNTS: Yeah! CARLOS LAGO: I’ve got to beat the Porsche! Come on! ALISTAIR WEAVER: Oh, god, that’s awful. CARLOS LAGO: Oh! By a hair! By a hair and GT500 is nowhere to be seen. Woo! I think he goes by a hair, Mr. 911. REESE COUNTS: Yeah, I got a hell of a launch.
CARLOS LAGO: I don’t know where the Mustang is at. Maybe it went so fast it ended up behind us. REESE COUNTS: That was supposed to be the ringer with all the power– twice as much as this 911 and nowhere to be found. CARLOS LAGO: Well, Alistair, I think you’ll be first back to the start line, at least. Reese, tell me about that launch.
REESE COUNTS: So this thing launches hard. Hold the brake, hold the gas, and it light revs at 5,000. All this weight over the rear– I just hooked and went. Yeah, that was a– I don’t know. I got everything right that run. CARLOS LAGO: I’m surprised how quickly this thing shifts out of first. It’s a real quick shift into second gear– like there’s just tire spinning it does anything it can to get in second gear to quick– keep applying throttle. The timing– it’s computer on the dash showed me I did 0-60 in 3.6 seconds. But Alistair, what happened with the Mustang?
ALISTAIR WEAVER: This is a bad surface for it. It’s dusty, we’re in the middle of the desert, it’s super hot and it’s just so traction-limited. The weight’s in the wrong place. And of course, you’ve only got two-wheel drive. CARLOS LAGO: Are you saying that 760 horsepower is difficult to put through two tires? ALISTAIR WEAVER: I fish-tailed all the way down through third gear. So it never really got the– got the run on the second– never got it’s second wind and came through the middle. CARLOS LAGO: So we’re going to try the GT500 in launch control and see how that fares against these two. REESE COUNTS: Alistair is really going to struggle in that Shelby, but if he gets a good launch, I’m probably toast. That thing pulls so hard once the power gets on and I just can’t match it. The trap speed down the quarter is so much higher. But we’ll see.
CARLOS LAGO: Turns out we have all your mass over the rear axle you can launch way higher when it comes to engine speed because that mass is just going to press down on the rear tires even more than you could get from a front-engine car. That’s the advantage, kids. You want that junk in the trunk. ALISTAIR WEAVER: So I have Launch Control on through the myriad of menus in the Mustang. Left foot hard on the brake. Right foot dally up then we should hear a little pop, pop, pop, pop, pop. Dump the brake, which also dumps the clutch and away we go. But I still think I’m going to have the feather– feather the throttle, as it sort of fish-tails down the road. Last time, we were actually still fish-tailing in third gear. OK, I think I’ve got another plan. I think there’s a bit of a lag between him shouting go and then Launch Control kicking in. So it’s a bit like that lethal weapon movie– I’m going to have to go on the– or who was the sprinter that said, go on to B of bang? CARLOS LAGO: Go on one. REESE COUNTS: This is just a lesson in traction management. ALISTAIR WEAVER: Yeah, I think so.
CARLOS LAGO: We going to try it again. I don’t know what I can change to beat the Porsche, except for cheating and leaving earlier– and I may just try that but man, that Porsche– ALISTAIR WEAVER: Are you getting beaten, Carlos, in Vette? CARLOS LAGO: Like, by a hair. Anyway, we’re going to try this again and I got to do this country and do this car better by beating that under-powered German-engineered Porsche. ALISTAIR WEAVER: Glorified Volkswagen beetle. REESE COUNTS: If I knew the German anthem, I’d start singing but– MAN ON LOUDSPEAKER: Drivers ready? [ENGINES REVVING] 5 4, 3, 2, 1– Go! CARLOS LAGO: Oh, Alistair jumped the line– and he still can’t make it happen. And I’ve got the Porsche! I’ve got the Porsche! I’ve got a nose on the Porsche! Woo! Come on! [BELL DINGS] Oh, and then the Mustang goes soaring by– like a teenager on the freeway with his hazard lights on. [LAUGHS] The race was over, and then suddenly Mustang appeared out of nowhere. REESE COUNTS: I mean, if we were on a half-mile, this would be a different story, but– CARLOS LAGO: So Alistair, what happened with that run? ALISTAIR WEAVER: I’d just been tweaking a little bit to almost launch with no gas at all and then you just– just be smooth– just try and be super smooth. Um, it’s fish-tailing. I don’t know if you can see it, but I’m actually still getting movement. I’m applying a little bit of correction, just to keep it in a straight line. And then it’s only when it gets to kind of the last cone and we get towards the end of the quarter mile that I’ve got everything deployed and then I just real you in. And that’s when you really feel the power come on. CARLOS LAGO: I feel like having to be smooth with the GT500 is like NASA Space Control telling Buzz Aldrin and crew to be smooth with the Saturn V Rocket, you know– just ease on it, ease on it. Reese, I feel good because I beat you.
REESE COUNTS: I mean, are we sure about that? It was pretty close. CARLOS LAGO: I could see your headlights. I could see the front of your headlight from where I was sitting. That’s not– that’s not pretty close. That is a win and I’m going to call it.
[ENGINE REVVING] So now we’re going to get set up for a roll-on race. All three cars are going to line up at the same speed, and then as soon as we cross the start line, we’re all going to hit the gas and see what happens when we’re already moving. This test simulates what might happen if you were– I don’t know, hypothetically, on a freeway and next to somebody and you wanted to demonstrate to them what your 6.2 liter V8 sounded like– or 5.2 liter V8, or 3-liter flat-6? 3.60-liter flat-6? I forget, exactly. For the Corvette, I’m going to put it in Track Mode– not because you’d be commuting on the freeway in that mode, but hey, I want all the competitive advantage I can get. And I’m going to try second gear, I think. We’ll see how it goes.
ALISTAIR WEAVER: So a rolling race, we’re going to sustain about 40 miles an hour, hit the cones. I’m hoping that we’re going to choose the right gear. And then this should– should hold traction and we should win this race. It could be the return of the Mustang. What is incredible, and to this car’s credit is, as soon as you can deploy the traction then it was almost like just sucking in the other cars. And these guys were saying to me while we had a quick break– it was kind of crazy how fast this thing suddenly overtook him at the end of the quarter mile. MAN ON LOUDSPEAKER: All right, guys, we’re rolling.
ALISTAIR WEAVER: OK, so we’re going to just stay at about 40 miles an hour through there. Through the corner, bang on 40. Throttle control. OK, we’re going to risk this. I was thinking about short-shifting to third, but I think we’re going to roll onto the throttle hard in second. Here we go. Hit that cone and go. Come, on, Baby. CARLOS LAGO: Oh, get the start– oh my god. Oh, my god. ALISTAIR WEAVER: I’ve just blown them away. Goodbye, everybody! CARLOS LAGO: The Mustang’s gone. The Mustang is gone. ALISTAIR WEAVER: That was insane, how fast this thing is. CARLOS LAGO: The Mustang– it just disappeared. What happened? I thought I was doing something wrong. Alistair, what did that feel like? ALISTAIR WEAVER: I almost forgot to change gear because I was too busy looking in the rear view mirror. It just shows, doesn’t it? I mean, once you can deploy this power, this thing is an absolute monster.
CARLOS LAGO: That’s a one-horse race. You– we were never even close to the Shelby. I started hitting the gas pedal harder because I didn’t think I was hitting it hard enough by how quickly that thing moved away. That’s insane! ALISTAIR WEAVER: I think it’s restored some honor. I think any just sort, of you know, a trophy-like Grand Prix– that’s not really what life is about, is it? It’s about that kind of mid-range grunt. CARLOS LAGO: So Reese, what have you learned about the Porsche here? REESE COUNTS: It’s a lot better than I thought it was going to be. Porsche knows how to build a car that will just nail it off the line and do it over and over and over again.
CARLOS LAGO: I think it proved what we said– I think it proved what we said earlier is that Porsche 911 always punch well above their weight class. Alistair, tell me about the GT500. What have we learned? ALISTAIR WEAVER: For a while there, Carlos, I was getting pretty embarrassed and starting to imagine all the YouTube comments in my head. Of course, in a rolling race, the power can kick in, the traction is there, and it just destroyed the other cars. And also, this thing so much fun– so much fun.
CARLOS LAGO: You know, I got to say, overall, I’m proud of the Corvette’s showing– doing everything it could with just a naturally aspirated V8. And I think it was a really cool test, because it showed us the importance of not only horsepower, but also how far your race goes and also weight placement, because I don’t think any car could do what that Porsche could do unless it had the engine and transmission setup exactly where that was. So good race, all. Even though the GT500’s front-engine layout and less-effective launch control means it doesn’t get off the line as quickly as the C8 and the 911, its surplus of power allows the Shelby to quickly close the gap as the race goes on.
At least, that’s what happened when we tested it. There, at the test track, where you only need one good launch to record a number, the GT500 was the quickest to the quarter mile of these three. But this drag race shows what happens in the real world and on a street surface. There, getting the perfect launch is even trickier, thanks to a maddening delay between the time you release the brake pedal and the time you start moving forward– not to mention all that power you have to manage. With stickier tires and a stickier surface, like a prepared drag strip, there is no question the GT500 would win, but that’s not what happened here. Now, how do we explain the Porsche’s performance versus the Corvette? Well, we filmed this drag race at higher elevation and in the heat, which likely affected the C8’s naturally aspirated V8 more than it did the 911’s turbo-charged 6-cylinder. That’s going to wrap up this drag race and roll-on race video. We hope you guys enjoyed watching it as much as we enjoyed actually doing it. Make sure to like, comment, subscribe. Also, visit Edmunds.com, especially Edmunds.com/sellymycar. And we’ll see it next time. Tootles. [ENGINES REVVING]
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