2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Z51 Dyno Test

Spinning the Rollers in the C7

  • 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Dyno Test

    2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Dyno Test | August 21, 2013

1 Video , 15 Photos

2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Z51

Here it is, the world's first independent chassis dyno test of the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, or C7.

You already know all about the C7's LT1 engine because you read our Gen 5 engine backgrounder. You know that it is equipped with direct injection for the first time, and that at the flywheel it churns out 460 horsepower and 465 pound-feet of torque (with optional performance exhaust). Heck, you're such a devoted reader that you've memorized our Corvette Stingray Road Test.

To learn more about the manner in which the C7's power is delivered to the wheels, we strapped a 2014 Corvette down to MD Automotive's Dynojet chassis dyno.

2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Z51

Specifically, the car you see here is an early-VIN Z51 with the performance exhaust option, which adds 5 hp and 5 lb-ft of torque. So, yeah, you're buying that exhaust for the sound. And it's a sound that will be familiar to anyone who has been within earshot of a Corvette at any point in the last 15 years or so. The LT1 may be heavily revised, but it's still a pushrod, big-cube, crossplane V8, and it still sounds like one.

Here's how it performed on the dyno:

2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Z51

Back when GM's engine nerds first told us about the LT1, they stressed its big gains in low-speed torque. They weren't kidding. It's one stout mill down low. At no point between 2,000 and 6,000 rpm does the Stingray generate less than 350 lb-ft of torque.

There's also an upward bump in the torque curve at 3,800 rpm that coincides with the exhaust bypass valves snapping open to unleash the LT1's full-throated bellow. This bump is a characteristic not normally seen on GM V8s (they typically exhibit a rounded dome of a torque curve) but nobody's likely to complain. As a result of the bump, peak torque of 407 lb-ft (at the wheels) arrives at 4,900 rpm just before it precipitously rolls off on its way to the fuel cut.

Peak power of 411 hp (again, at the wheels) arrives just a thousand revs after the torque reaches its maximum, but clearly this is an engine with a broad-shouldered and flexible power delivery.

For kicks, here's how the C7's dyno result compares to the LS3 in our erstwhile long-term 2010 Camaro SS. The Camaro was originally rated at 426 hp at the flywheel.

2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Z51

Note the across-the-board gains despite no change in displacement, rev ceiling or even valve lift (the LT1 uses virtually the same cam profiles as the LS3) between the LS3 and LT1.

2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Z51

The Stingray's direct injection (DI) is key to the engine architecture's newfound vigor. DI's cooling effect facilitates a bump in the compression ratio and improves volumetric efficiency by not plugging the intake ports with fuel mist.

OK, Ford fans. Here's where you get to gloat. Below is how the Stingray stacks up against the 2013 Ford Shelby GT500's supercharged monster mill. Additional words aren't really needed here, only to add that these cars are a bit like apples and kiwis despite their price similarity.

2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Z51

Nevertheless, the LT1 is a worthy addition to the Corvette legacy, especially when you consider that what we see here is the base Corvette. It's the new normal, and there are the inevitable higher-zoot C7 variants in the pipeline.

2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Z51

When we tested a different C7 at GM's Milford Proving Ground, it laid down a startlingly high trap speed of 117.3 mph. It's an open question whether the car you see here — fueled as it is with California's best premium fuel of 91 octane instead of the 93 or 94 octane that was in the Milford car — can duplicate that performance. One that we'll be answering very shortly.

The manufacturers provided Edmunds these vehicles for the purposes of evaluation.

Most Recommended Comments

By redgeminipa
on 08/22/13
7:14 AM PST

Instead of always bitching and moaning about California's low 91 octane, why doesn't Edmunds consider moving to a neighboring state? You know, one with lower taxes, prices and better fuels? The entire USA doesn't live in congested, grotesquely expensive California. I'm sure the whole staff would save enough in taxes alone to justify moving out of state.

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By spdracerut
on 08/22/13
7:44 AM PST

First off, that's a heck of an engine. Very impressive torque curve. @redgeminipa, it's simple economic forces at work here. Supply, demand, and cost curves. High demand, low supply = high cost. I personally love living out here in LA. And I've lived in Florida, Texas, Michigan, and spent vacations traveling through and spending time in about another 30 states. I'll take LA thank you very much; the benefits outweight the costs, hence the high 'demand' and high 'costs'.

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By jeffinoh
on 08/22/13
1:40 PM PST

Does the engine connect to a vacuum cleaner? Cuz this Vette sucks more than ever!!! How many of you guys are buying one??? Nobody can afford one? Hmmm...

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