GM cross-town rival, Ford Motor Company, has obtained a Chevy C8 Corvette Stingray for benchmarking purposes, according to a report in our sister publication Ford Authority. The car the Coupe body style with Torch Red paintwork and the Z51 Performance Package).
The purpose of Ford benchmarking the C8 Corvette is not directly obvious, but the Blue Oval does offer at least two Mustang models – the Mach 1 and Shelby GT500 – that could be considered C8 rivals within Ford’s current North American line-up to the Corvette Stingray. Their performance and pricing are similar, but the GT500 is clearly more powerful. The Stingray is currently the only model in the Chevy Corvette range, but it’s well known that it will be joined by several more powerful models. The most dramatic of these will be the C8 Zora, whose hybrid powertrain is expected to produce around 1,000 horsepower.
The way the positioning works out, Corvette begins where the Mustang leaves off, in terms of performance. Furthermore, the Mustang Shelby GT500 is supercharged and front-engined, while the Corvette C8 Stingray is naturally aspirated and mid-engined.
But the one thing that the C8 and the Shelby GT500 both have in common is that they are fitted with dual-clutch automatic transmissions.
Another perspective is that Ford is not looking at the Corvette Stingray as a Mustang rival at all. Earlier this year, Ford Authority reported that the company had filed to trademark the name Thunderbird with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on January 13th.
There hasn’t been a T-bird since 2005, but that doesn’t mean there couldn’t be one in future. Perhaps such a vehicle could be a rival to the Corvette, just as the first-generation model was back in the 1950s.
As Ford now knows very well (if it didn’t before), the C8 Corvette Stingray is powered by GM’s 6.2L V8 LT2 engine, which is rated at 495 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque with the Z51 Performance Package, or 490 horsepower and 465 pound-feet of torque without it.
The C8 Corvette is built exclusively at the GM Bowling Green plant in Kentucky. It is the first mid-engine vehicle in the 68-year history of the nameplate, and the first mid-engine Chevrolet production car ever.