To date, we have seen many GT500 battles against Corvette. Both cars are arguably the pinnacle of overall American performance right now, with the ability to go fast in a straight line and around the corners. What is interesting is the very different approach that each car takes to achieve this performance.
A recent video from Throttle house YouTube highlights this in a new way. We have often seen a Shelby GT500 fully dressed with its expensive set of carbon fiber tracks comparing to the C8. This time, Shelby mixes all the aero add-ons and works with only the management package installed. Meanwhile, the Corvette shown here has the Z51 package which helps with handling, but also adds a little more power and better gearing to the mix. So equipped, these cars are almost identical in terms of price
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Of course, under the skin, cars are far identical. One is a two-seater mid-engine sports car with 495 horsepower behind the driver. The other is a four-seater front-engine monster with a full 760 hp howling from its supercharged V8. The only things equal in this mix are the tires, the two cars running on Michelin Pilot Sport 4S rubber. On paper, it should be a Shelby massacre.
However, this race is not on paper. It sits on the tarmac and, when stationary, Shelby’s power advantage is reduced by traction problems. The Corvette and its rear-facing weight distribution offer a much better launch, and you just have to keep the Shelby away at the other end. This time, the underdog wins.
Take drag racing to a slippery start, and that’s another story. The Corvette always has a good launch, and its gearing keeps the car competitive – for a little while anyway. There is no way to stop Shelby’s excessive power, and he is easily headed for a race victory. Two very different cars, but interesting, they seem rather well matched in this scenario.
This also applies in a hot lap competition. With a small road course at their disposal, the hosts train the two cars over a session of five laps. The result? We’ll leave that to the video, but we’ll say it’s close – very close. Do we dare to say that cars are almost equal?
There is however an elephant in the room with all of these C8 vs. Shelby comparisons. The GT500 is the absolute pinnacle of Mustang performance, while the Stingray will eventually become the entry-level Corvette. You wouldn’t be wrong to call it an apple-or-orange comparison, but that certainly doesn’t stop people from lining up these cars. And why not? With similar prices and performance, these apples and oranges actually go very well together.