The ch Chevrolet Corvette and 2020 Toyota Supra are two of the hottest sub $60,000 sports cars on the market right now.
I’ve been lucky enough to drive them both and now I’m going to try and answer one simple question, which is the best.
Let’s talk about engine performance on track handling.
On road comfort and of course pricing.
And then let’s see if we can’t find ourselves a winner.
Let’s start by looking under the hood, which is a very different procedure for the front engine soup pro than the mid engine Corvette.
The supers traditional layout relies on a three liter inline six with a single twin scroll turbo.
Yes, basically identical to what you’ll find in the BMW four.
Here in the Supra makes an impressive 335 horsepower and 365 pound feet of torque directed to the rear wheels exclusively through an eight speed automatic transmission.
That combination is good enough to get the super from zero to 60 in an official 4.1 seconds, but wait until next year for the 2021 model year.
Antonio is bringing a whopping 50 more ponies to the table upping the super to 382 and bringing the zero to 60 down to 3.9 seconds.
Over in the back of the Corvette you’ll find more than twice the displacement, a 6.2 liter naturally aspirated VH making 490 horsepower and 465 pound feet of torque, connected to an eight speed dual clutch transmission.
It’s been said there’s no replacement for displacement.
And the output here would seem to back that up.
As with the zero to 60 time, try three seconds flat, or just about a full second quicker than the super well that DCT surely helps acceleration really comes down to grip horsepower and weight with both cars offering rear wheel drive and both weighing in at about 3400 pounds.
That massive power vanish when the Corvettes just can’t be beaten.
But of course we’ll have to remember that advantage comes at a premium.
We’ll talk through pricing later.
But base price on a three litre Supra is about 10 grand cheaper than the Corvette.
And as we’ll see, in some ways, it’s actually better equipped for that price.
Now, as much as I love three pedal driving given the choice between automatic and DCT, I’ll take the DCT any day of the week.
But it’s worth noting that this isn’t just any slush box in the Toyota.
This is the ZF eight speed autodesk found on many sports cars, including plenty of BMW is naturally enough and it’s remarkably responsive so much so that you actually struggle to feel the difference.
Around town the super is definitely the smoother shift though using away from traffic lights and dawdling through town without any distraction whatsoever.
That said the Corvette also does quite well and this environment lurching occasionally at very low speed part throttle shifts, but otherwise it was totally fine when I took it idling down the Las Vegas Strip on the racetrack.
That’s a bit of a different story.
So lets talk on track performance.
I’ve done a lot of laps in both of these cars.
And the difference isn’t as extreme as you may think.
The Corvette, though mid-engine has clearly been tuned to be welcoming to novice drivers.
That isn’t to say its fully balanced, in fact its quiet neutral.
But this isn’t the razor edged exotic killer that I think a lot of people were hoping for when the car went mid engine.
That I’m sure is coming when Chevrolet gets cranking on the endless performance variance.
As it stands the C8 with the $5,000 E51 package, which stiffens up the suspension a fair bit tends towards understeer by default, but just a bit of trail braking takes care of that meaning if you know what you’re doing out there in the track You can take advantage of that excellent ABS and you should have no problem getting the nose of this car to the Apex.
Well get on the power to quickly and that tail will indeed step out even with the stability control turned on.
The various Safety Systems, the last Gen Corvette were remarkably good a training in the power but still letting you have fun.
And it certainly seems like the new CA is picking up where they left off.
Plus with an upgraded performance data recorder now offering high Def footage overlaid with all sorts of fun telemetry.
The CA definitely can fill the void as respectable track day tool.
The supra, meanwhile is a different beast.
It actually does quite well on the track.
But it still feels just a little bit reluctant out there.
The thing you’ll notice first is a lot of body roll, which is discouraging.
But when you push the Supra it actually turns in really nicely and has terrific overall grip.
And with a 5050 weight balance, it’s very nicely poised.
Light steering makes it a doddle to hustle around the track for long sessions.
While it took me some time to get used to the feel of round up really enjoying my time behind the wheel.
If we’re talking lap times there’s no doubt the power advantage of the Corvette will win out.
Handling to the Corvette is definitely more sure footed.
But then in my book neither of these are really hardcore track day toys.
Both are intended for street action first The vast majority of these two cars will never turn a wheel in proper anger.
But between the two, the Supra is clearly the one more suited for touring duties.
It starts with the relative efficiency figures.
The Supra is rated for 24 mpg in the city and 31 on the highway.
The Corvette try 15 in the city in 27 on highway.
Yeah, I know nobody’s buying these cars for hypermiling but that’s definitely a sign of the different intentions here.
The 2020 Supra like the mark for before it is really meant to be a fast but comfortable tour.
And yes, I know everybody thinks of the bunker supers in the Fast and the Furious and granturismo but those cars were all tuned to be like that.
Off the dealership lot the Supra was very different and much more subtle thing that continues in 2020 in between these two cars the super is the far nicer place to be.
The new Corvettes.
interior is busy at best and slightly claustrophobic.
The control layout is curious.
And while I appreciate a driver focused interior, literally putting a wall of buttons between the passenger and the infotainment system is a questionable choice for a road going machine.
Materials here are better than we’ve ever seen in a Corvette before and the fit and finish is genuinely very good.
But the overall experience falls short of what’s found in the Toyota That said it’s not all charm inside the Supra the biggest issue.
It’s also obviously just a reskin version of what you’ll find in a BMW.
If you were talking to a fan like I am, you’ll find yourself oddly disoriented, swatting inside the Supra.
Also the dramatically sculpted roof looks fantastic and does give someone headroom.
But I lost count of the number of times I bumped my head on the door frame, getting in and out.
It’s also worth noting that you get adaptive suspension to standard on the Supra.
And it does a great job of being cosseting on the street, though, as I mentioned above, has a little too much roll for my tastes on the track.
On the Corvette, adding Chevrolet’s magnifying suspension will cost you $1900.
And that’s on top of the $5,000 you’ll need to spend to get the Z51 performance package.
But if you wait until 2021 that can be a standalone option.
We can’t wrap this up without talking about price.
You can get into a three liter super for just about $50,000.
From there the only real options are Color and whether you wanna pay 1200 bucks for the driver’s safety package and $2400 for better speakers and nav.
I would definitely pick the first at least, because the notion of spending $50,000 for a street car without adaptive cruise in 2020 feels a little bit crazy.
On the Corvette side of things, that $60,000 starting price really is just that, a start.
The base Corvette isn’t exactly a stripper but start ticking boxes for performance parts special colors, interior trim, and engine detail kit plus other odds and ends.
You can easily find yourself on the wrong end of $80,000 If we compare base model to base model to keep that price delta to a minimum, I confess I’d have a hard time choosing between the two.
The Super is doubtlessly the better equipped and more comfortable the two and since I’m an owner of a 91 to it Mr 2. I confess to have a bit of a saucepot for the brand.
But really that just made me feel all the more disoriented when I first sat in the super and look the twitter logo on the steering wheel.
But then had to reach down and touch an eye drive knob to change the radio station.
The supers lack of Android Auto is also a real bummer.
Then there’s the Corvette which offers far more performance on track and on the road plus a generally more engaging drive, but at a slight cost of everyday drivability and economy.
Plus there’s that are both interior and exterior styling that I still haven’t warmed up to.
Not that I’m entirely in love with how the super looks.
It’s honestly a really tough call because they’re both great cars.
Were I interested in track days it’d be the Corvette all the way.
But for me, I really wouldn’t be taking either of these cars of the track.
There are better options for that at this price point.
And so given that I think I’d probably go for the Supra, I think anyway.