In case you haven’t heard, sinkholes aren’t the only threat to the Chevrolet Corvette. Sales of the quintessentially American sports car have dwindled recently, leaving some to wonder whether the ‘Vette was headed towards its own extinction level event. That’s probably not going to happen, but it remains true that the C7-generation Corvette is criminally under-appreciated—especially considering how it can stack up against—and even defeat—some of the finest supercars Europe can offer.
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All right, so half of you reading this are rolling your eyes, while the other half are cheering “hell yeah” and high-fiving a bald eagle drinking a Bud Light. But don’t take it from us—instead, check out this head-to-head battle between an $80,000 Chevy Corvette Z06 and a $160,000 Mercedes-AMG GT R staged by Sport Auto on a racetrack in France. Spoiler alert: The Corvette Z06 punches far above its price point.
Despite one costing twice as much as the other, the two have more in common than one might think at first. They’re both two-seat sports cars with big engines sending power to the rear wheels. The AMG is obviously a little fancier and features a dual-clutch transmission and active rear steering, but the 6.2-liter supercharged V-8 (650 hp, 650 lb-ft of torque) in the Z06 is actually more powerful than the smaller twin-turbo V-8 (577 hp, 520 lb-ft) in the Mercedes.
Riding on identical Michelin Pilot Sport Cup2 tires, the two squared off in damp conditions on a track called the Ring of the Rhine in France. In the end, the Corvette actually came out on top by two-tenths of a second with a blistering 0:58.12 flying lap, despite the driver having to wrangle its old-school seven-speed manual transmission. Even more impressively, the ‘Vette is just six-tenths of a second off the time set by a Lamborghini Huracan Performanteon the same track.
There’s just one caveat. In an identical test between the Mercedes and Chevrolet conducted by Sport Auto last year at the Hockenheimring in Germany, the AMG came out on top. So while there’s some variance in the result depending on the track, one thing’s for sure: The Corvette is still one of the better performance deals out there.
One is half the price of the other—and just as quick around a track.
If you like this story then read about the all new Corvette Automatic Transmission