The 2020 Corvette Stingray may have only made its debut recently, but Road & Track magazine already got its hands on a Z51 performance package-equipped model for its 2020 Performance Car of the Year group test, which was held at Thunderhill Raceway in Willows, California.
During that test, Road & Track‘s editor-in-chief, Travis Okulski, put in a few hot laps with the Sebring Orange test car they had on hand to see just how fast the first-ever mid-engine production Corvette was around Thunderhill Raceway’s west course. To our delight, Road & Track filmed the lap with a pair of GoPros and later posted the lap online, allowing us to get a second-hand look at how it handles, brakes and accelerates on the winding circuit.
Road & Track wants viewers to know that Okulski isn’t a professional driver (though he is an amateur, licensed club racer), this was the first day he had been at Thunderhill’s west course and that he wasn’t going for an all-out course record—he just wanted to turn in a representative time for the car. So don’t get too carried away with critiquing the driving, or speculating how much faster the Corvette could go—the goal here is just to give viewers a good idea of the car’s performance capabilities. We think you’ll find that the driving on display is quite fast and tidy, anyway.
As we covered in a previous article, the 2020 Corvette Stingray gets a few performance-related goodies when equipped with the Z51 performance package, including harder dampers, manually adjustable spring seats, larger front and rear brakes and Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires. Corvettes with the Z51 package also receive enhanced cooling, a different axle ratio and front brake cooling ducts. A performance exhaust system also bumps output of the 6.2-liter LT2 V8 engine from 490 horsepower and 465 pound-feet of torque to 495 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque.
You can watch one of the first-ever hot laps with a production 2020 Corvette Stingray in the video embedded below. Feel free to share your opinion on the car’s perceived track performance in the comment section, too.