There's no question that Chevrolet manufactures some of the tastiest high-performance cars. The American brand may be known for their pickup trucks and their recent bid to lead the charge on electric vehicles, but they also produce some of the quickest street-legal vehicles around.
But, that being said, which is the fastest Chevy? Spoiler alert: It's not the Spark. (Sorry, Spark.)
Is It the Corvette Z06?
The 2017 Corvette Z06 captured everyone's attention right out of the gate. It's got that super Batmobile vibe. It has an angular yet aerodynamic outline, with air vents everywhere. It's sleek, it's low, it's aggressive. Chevy really turned a corner in design with this particular model, and I think I speak for a large portion of the automotive community when I say, "Me likey."
However, it's not the fastest Chevy sports car. Not even with that 6.2L supercharged V8 engine that pulls a mighty 650 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque. Not even with magnetic ride control, with its real-time shock absorption that makes the track seem like glass.
Those driving a 2017 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 with a manual transmission will take the trip from 0-60 miles per hour in 3.2 seconds. If waiting three seconds sounds tiresome, try the automatic transmission version, which shaves that down to 2.95 seconds. You'll also get the quarter mile in 10.95 seconds.
Chevy meant for this to be a real supercar contender, and then they turned around and broke their own record.
Ohhh... So It's the Corvette ZR1!
The Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 is definitely a fast car. It is faster than the Z06. It's also one of those cars that absolutely turns heads everywhere it goes, which can be dangerous, if you happen to encounter one while it's going its top speed of 212 miles per hour.
The difference is a supercharger that's 52 percent larger, 95mm throttle bodies, a halo hood that turns the whole front half of the car into an intercooler, and 13 strategically placed heat extractors. Oh yeah, and the rear wing provides up to 950 pounds of downforce, which is balanced by a newly designed front underwing.
Ready for the numbers? The engine is still a 6.2L V8, supercharged, of course, but Chevrolet went ahead and tuned that up so it could make 755 horsepower and 715 lb-ft of torque.
The result? You get to make the journey from 0-60 in 2.85 seconds, the quarter in 10.6 seconds, and hustle up to 100 mph in 6 seconds even.
And yet, this is still not the fastest vehicle produced by the automaker.
Is the Camaro ZL1 Chevy's Fastest Car?
Oh, sweet summer child. No. The Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 is a very cool, very competent vehicle, but it is not Corvette fast.
While it is also equipped with a supercharged 6.2L LT4 V8 engine, and yes, that is a 1.7L Eaton Supercharger, and yes, it is happy to see you, even the fastest Camaro does not break the three-second threshold.
That's not to say it's out there plodding along. The 2021 Camaro ZL1 enjoys a smooth 650 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque. Coupe models equipped with a manual transmission can enjoy a smooth 3.7 seconds between 0 and 60 miles per hour. Selecting the available 10-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters whittles that time down to 3.5 seconds.
Yes, the Camaro ZL1 is sexy and fast, but it still leans more into "muscle car" territory than the "supercar" zone.
2021 Corvette Stingray... Final Answer
Ding-ding! We have a winner.
The C8 generation of Corvette is the fastest to date. Though Chevrolet officially lists the C8's 0-60 time as 2.9 seconds, multiple sources have confirmed they've made it in 2.8 or even less.
Of course, there are plenty of variables at hand, including the driver, the track, and so on. But, there's also the mid-engine design to consider, the dual-clutch eight-speed automatic transmission, and the trappings included in the latest version of the Z51 Performance Package. This package includes such tasty treats as electronic limited-slip rear differential, dual-mode exhaust, and some serious brakes to match that speed. It also helps to add the optional FE4 magnetorheological dampers (if you also have difficulty pronouncing that word, you can just refer to it as Magnetic Ride Control).
Interestingly enough, most publicly posted quarter mile times for the C8 are slower than those of the ZR1, averaging in the 11 second range. However, if you really want to get into the details of the C8 versus the ZR1, there are plenty of race videos between the two posted online. And, since the modern Corvette has the ability to record and analyze its own race performance, you can actually see where the C8 out-performs the ZR1 and vice versa from folks who have uploaded their data to the internet. Pretty cool.
One very buzz-worthy notion surrounding the Chevrolet Corvette is that the 6.2L supercharged engine is getting old. While the latest C8 versions are definitely sticking their hoods in supercar territory, many critics feel that the only way to really get there is to modify the engine. 2.8 seconds isn't a lot of time, so in theory, the could build an engine so fast, that it actually defies physics and accelerates in reverse time. But, that's some Doc Brown stuff for another article.
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