# New Corvette z51 versus the Shelby gt500 by Jason Fenske

## In this video

#### Jason Fenske

hello everyone and welcome in this video we have a showdown between two incredible American sports cars the new Corvette z51 versus the Shelby gt500 and what we’re going to be discussing is why the lower horsepower Corvette z51 actually is faster to 60 miles per hour versus the gt500 now I actually got the chance to check out both of these in person at Monterey car week and I think the new gt500 is one of the best-looking cars out there today as far as modern cars are concerned I love the way it looks and I really like the way the new Corvette looks as well but looks are subjective looks don’t really matter I’m sure some people out there think both of them are hideous or perhaps like one a lot more than the other the numbers are important regardless these are objective measurements and it turns out the z51 as chevy claims will hit zero to 60 in 2.9 seconds versus the mid threes for the gt500 3.5 seconds about so with the gt500 760 horsepower significantly more than the Corvette’s 495 so how in the world is that Corvette able to accelerate faster 260 miles per hour we’re also going to look at some other parameters so I’ve got all kinds of different numbers here some of them we know some of them we don’t know looking at weight and looking at the gt500 4000 225 pounds versus three thousand five hundred seventy seven pounds so is that why it’s slower no that’s not why it’s lower even if this number is accurate right here which we don’t know for certain but the gt500 is certainly going to be heavy even if this is accurate it still has a much better power-to-weight ratio with just five point five six pounds per horsepower versus seven point two three pounds per horsepower now I know some people are going to get upset because we’re using freedom units in this video but it’s a video about to freedom cars so we’re using freedom units and then we’ll get into a little bit of metric later because it’s actually easier to do math with so looking through these weight distribution z51 4060 split so 60% on those rear tires which are driving it versus the gt500 5644 so only 44% of the weight on those rear tires now is that why this difference occurs well not necessarily so a vehicle this weight distribution and rear-wheel drive could still out accelerate a vehicle like this depending on other factors so it’s not going to tell the whole story our wheelbase is very similar both about 107 inches the center of gravity height both of these are guesses this is from the previous Corvette this is from a little bit higher than the gt350 so I anticipate kind of close enough with these at least for our guesstimating in this video and then that point six second difference between the zero to sixty times however if we look at the zero to 100 times the Corvette is now slower seven point six seconds two hundred miles per hour versus six point seven seconds to a hundred miles per hour so what does that tell us well it tells us that the gt500 is going to be traction limited it’s not able to put down all 760 of its horsepowers below 60 miles per hour but then above those speeds it’s actually capable of using them and it’s going to have a lower 100 time than the Corvette which is starting to run out of power here because it’s only got four ninety-five verses that 760 all right so knowing these times one way we can try to understand why are they different is by trying to figure out what is the theoretical limit that each of these could accelerate to if they had infinite power so just purely based on traction how fast could either of these vehicles accelerate to 60 miles per hour and so what we’ve have right here it may look like a mess but I promise you it’s very simple in this section right here we have what are we looking for in this case 0 to 60 limit and everything in purple is our equations that we’re going to use then here in red we have all the math for the Corvette z51 and then here in blue we have all the math for the 4 gt500 and so the real thing that we need to figure out here is how much weight can we get on those rear driven tires and the reason being is because the maximum force that we can accelerate our vehicle with is equal to the coefficient of friction of the tires multiplied by the normal force the amount of weight that we have resting on those driven tires and as you accelerate obviously you’re going to load up those rear tires so we need to take into consideration that load transfer so that’s why I said earlier you know this isn’t detrimental if this vehicle had a really high center of gravity well then it could lean that way back on those rear tires and then still accelerate at a very good pace so we’re gonna do the math for each of them here and that’s based on this equation where we look at the frictional coefficient and then we’re just looking at a difference in where the center of gravity lies as far as on this x-axis and then on this y-axis here as far as how tall is that center of gravity and so for both tires we’re going to assume a frictional coefficient of 1.3 that’s not entirely accurate we don’t know what the actual frictional coefficient is and the Corvette is on ps4s tires versus the gt500 is on cup two tires which should be a little bit stickier but the gt500 is also heavier which is going to reduce that frictional coefficient a little bit so we’re just gonna say we’re gonna call it even as far as I’m concerned at one point three four the frictional coefficient of the tires so we can start to plug in the numbers here using this equation to find out what is that maximum theoretical acceleration limit based on the load transfer that’s occurring and so if you plug in the numbers for the kind of a Corvette here we get 0.99 GS so almost capable of accelerating at 1g which is very impressive using those 1.3 coefficient of grip tires and then we can use the equation velocity equals acceleration times time to find our theoretical zero-to-sixty limit which is 2.76 seconds so as you can see grip is actually not the limiting factor in the Corvette’s 0 to 60 time it is probably power on that top end of that 60 miles per hour where it starts to run out so it could be a little bit faster if it had more horsepower now for the gt500 we do the same thing now remember so this weight is closer to the front of the vehicle so less of it to transfer to that rear the listener of gravity is slightly higher we don’t know what that center of gravity is but we’re just assuming very similar to the gt350 could be a little bit higher and so we do the math for that and we get a maximum peak acceleration of 0.75 GS and so you know what’s happening right here well the difference is the Corvette is able to put 76% of its weight of the load on those rear tires under a hard launch versus this gt500 is only able to put 58% of the weight on those rear tires and so as a result its peak acceleration is limited because of how much load transfer it has so if you were to raise the center of gravity if you were to sit on top of the car perhaps and still have access to the steering wheel and pedals you could actually probably get a better a 0 to 60 time it’d be dangerous you probably shouldn’t do it how could it be a neat experiment trial regardless we go back to our equation velocity equals acceleration times time and we plug that in here to this equation our numbers that we have and time or 0 to 60 theoretical limit is three point six three seconds and this is why math is so cool because we’ve kind of known for a long time you know Ford is put out there zero to 60 in the mid threes and so let’s say it’s three point five seconds well all we have to do to get to three points five seconds is slightly raise our center of gravity here and this is predicting that three point six is that theoretical limit now with 760 horsepower it’s very unlikely that power is the issue it can spin these tires all day grip is the issue here and so grip is limiting us because of how much load transfer we have to a zero to sixty time of about 3.5 seconds which is exactly what Ford is put out very cool but it helps explain why the Corvette is faster 260 miles per hour all right now let’s apply that same logic to the zero to 100 so we have seven point six seconds for the Corvette core and Driver estimates six point seven seconds for the gt500 so let’s see if the six point seven second number actually makes sense we’re gonna do so assuming it’s accelerating at its maximum grip with that maximum acceleration of point seven five g’s so once again we go back to our lovely equation velocity equals acceleration times time and that gives us a maximum acceleration time from 0 to 100 miles per hour of 6.1 seconds so that’s the theoretical limit based on grip and so what we’re seeing here is that as you start to get to those really high speeds 100 miles per hour is quite high you’re gonna have quite a bit of aerodynamic drag and so actually or does eventually become an issue as you’re trying to hit a hundred miles per hour 760 getting you there in about 6.7 seconds the number actually seems to make good sense based on theoretical limit of where that tire could be it is higher than that which you would expect and you know you’ve got a decent out of power but you also have to overcome that arrow drag now one of the impressive figures that Ford has put out for the gt500 is that it can go from 0 to 100 miles per hour back to zero in just 10 point 6 seconds and we don’t know what this is for the Corvette so that’s what I wanted to figure out you know what will the comparison be as the Corvette gonna be capable of doing this quicker or is the gt500 actually quicker at doing so and so there’s some different tools we can use here but obviously we’re gonna need to figure out how much time does it take to go from 100 miles per hour down to 0 miles per hour and then we can just simply add that to the 0 to 100 time now Corvette does give us a distance from 60 miles per hour to zero and they say that distance is 108 point 4 feet I do not believe this number I think this is a highly conservative number and I think the braking distance is gonna be much better than that partly why I will show you here mathematically and so breaking from 60 miles per hour down to 0 we can figure out the distance required using this equation distance equals one-half velocity squared over a now we know what our distance is it’s 108 point four feet so we plug in the other numbers and we can find out what’s our maximum acceleration force and that turns out to be one point one one jeez now the disappointing thing about this is in our previous math we’re using one point three and step one point one one meaning that if this was the actual grip of the Corvette it would not be capable of a 0 to 60 of 2.9 seconds it would instead be about three point three or three point four so that’s why I don’t believe it to be correct also because Motor Trend has tested previous generation Corvettes and they can stop in 90 feet so I don’t think it’s gonna do worse than this also in my Tesla Model 3 which weighs 40 100 pounds using the same tires I have stopped shorter than 108 feet so significantly heavier vehicle capable of doing so I don’t believe this number that’s a long and way of saying that I don’t trust I think it’s going to be significantly better probably closer in the 90s as far as what that actual number is now for the gt500 we can calculate that simply using that grip which we discussed previously the coefficient of grip of 1.3 so we plug that number into our distance equation here and we get a braking distance of 92.5 feet so that will be our comparison on 92.5 honestly it’s probably going to be higher than that so if we take car drivers estimate of 3.9 seconds from a hundred miles per hour we can figure out the maximum acceleration in that and that is one point one seven GS and so from that this is better than what we are guessing here earlier from that one point one seven GS we can figure out what is the distance according to car and drivers estimate and that would be about 103 feet so somewhere in the you know 93 to 103 feet the gt350 is stopping around 110 so maybe pushing on the later side of that but with these cup two tires it should be capable of a very good braking distance now we want to figure out how much time it takes to decelerate from 100 miles per hour back down to zero miles per hour so we can once again go back to our equation velocity equals acceleration times time and if we use Chevy’s acceleration number for deceleration their peak breaking of 1.11 G’s that would give us a hundred miles per hour down to zero miles per hour in 4.1 seconds if we use that Motor Trend test figure of 90 feet braking distance from 60 miles per hour that gives us a peak deceleration of one point three three six G’s and then we can use this acceleration number to figure out how much time from a hundred miles per hour in other words 146 0.67 feet per second it would take to slow to zero and that would be three point four seconds and so now we can kind of piece it all together so our braking distance you know they claimed 108 point four I’m gonna say maybe that’s around 94 this gt500 that’s going to be 93 to the 103 perhaps 110 like the previous gt350 100 to 0 time we’re going to be in the three point four to four point one second range and so we add that to our zero to 100 time comparing that versus the gt500 and that’s going to put us in the eleven point oh two eleven point seven seconds time which either way wherever it falls within this range is going to be longer than the gt500 ten point six seconds zero to 100 to zero now pretty impressive all around both of these vehicles are pretty quick to say the least and so looking at the quarter mile times the Corvette doing it in eleven point three seconds Ford claiming under eleven seconds for the gt500 so not a huge difference there and reason being is because this is getting such a good launch with that two point nine zero to sixty versus this is making up for it in the rest of that quarter mile where it’s going to start getting up to really high speeds once it can start to put all of that power down so impressive the very close speeds here but very different ways of going about it and the Corvette you know in that useful you know daily driving region zero to 60 miles per hour under the speed limits is going to be the quicker car and then once you get on a track perhaps this thing will start shining as a result of all that horsepower really going to see these cars in person and also the cutaway of the Corvette Monterey car we can kind of see you know the engine location just how massive that space is for the trunk the air filters there and how the air flows the radiators up front on the vehicle really cool cutaway of the vehicles and neat to kind of break down how these two vehicles both are we will drive accelerate very differently so thank you all so much for watching and if you have any questions or comments of course feel free to leave those below.

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