How the 2020 Corvette C8 Horsepower Rating Was Measured

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Photo credit: Chevrolet

The 2020 Chevrolet Corvette has come into view for the world at large, including the folks at MotorTrend who have experienced the 6.2-Liter Small Block “LT2” that presents drivers with a heart-racing 495 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque. This is one vehicle that sets out to gain new followers and owners with a fantastic look and unmatched agility. The 2020 Chevrolet Corvette was made to continue Chevrolet’s passion for speed and high-performance. So, with all the strength of the engine, how is its horsepower measured? Let us reveal how that process is taking into account and verified. 

The Making of a Corvette Horsepower Rating

Former Chrysler engineer and current technical director Frank Markus worked with MotorTrend and ran through testing on six dyno pulls on a production 2020 Chevy Corvette in fourth through sixth gears. Testing the output, which ranged 478 horsepower and a strong 536 lb-ft of torque at the wheels. Chevy engineers revealed to MotorTrend how the losses were measured. Output was measured at 562 horsepower and 630 lb-ft of torque at the crankshaft. The difference in power discrepancy, according to Chevy, is the engine’s official numbers on horsepower and torque are certified by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). 

The Rules of Testing and Certifying Horsepower

SAE follows a defined listing of standards and regulations when determining the listed horsepower and torque ratings. SAE is present through all engine testing and has final say over the recorded efforts of a particular engine’s ratings. When is the testing measured? RPM is ramped up slowly and stabilizes before accelerating is tested as the recording does not involve a pull from either idle or redline. A single chassis dyno pull can record a higher output and the truth remains a vehicle will be unlikely to generate less than a rated output. 

Verifying this requires taking a look into the SAE database that contains certifications for the 6.2-Liter V8 LT2 engine with the unrestricted exhaust system that was accounted for at the Pontiac Engineering Center in Michigan on April 9, 2019. Jordan Lee, a chief engineer of the Corvette’s engine, approved the certification on July 15, 2019. This powerful engine was rated at 495 hp at 6,450 rpm and 470 lb-ft of torque at 5,150 rpm. Today, that is the engine that makes the 2020 Corvette stand out amongst the competition. 

 “Pretty tough to fudge the results as all production engines must be within 2 percent of the certification claim,”  said Gary Pollak, a Program Manager at the Society of Automotive Engineers.

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