The launch is always important and can often make the difference between winning and losing, and the shorter the race, the more that is the case because there’s less track to make up for it. With instant torque, all-wheel-drive, and clever traction control that wastes no power and allows no wheel spin, the Model S will shoot off the line with disheartening efficiency and consistency.
The Chevrolet Corvette C8 Stingray, on the other hand, has none of that. While it’s a perfectly respectable sports car – particularly when the price is also considered – its setup makes it more suitable for pure driving rather than drag racing. The mid-mounted engine means it has unprecedented balance boosting its handling and mid-corner composure to new levels.
However, there are no corners in a drag race, so it’s other parts of the vehicle that play a more important role. Parts like its engine – a 6.2-liter V8 with 495 horsepower and 470 lb-ft (637 Nm) of maximum torque. That’s definitely plenty of power (particularly for an aerodynamic car that weighs 3,373 lbs (1,530 kg), but the big letdown for the C8 when it comes to straight-line acceleration is that it sends its power to the rear wheels alone.
Knowing there wouldn’t be much of a contest, the Tesla driver decides to give the C8 a head start. He delays his run by 1.65 seconds, which is close to an eternity in drag racing. Unfortunately, the Stingray driver was sleeping in his seat as his reaction time was just over one second – not nearly an eternity, more like a lifetime.
In the end, the 0.63 seconds delay at the start was not enough for the C8 to outrun the electric sedan. The Tesla finished ahead with a trap speed of 101.79 mph (163.8 km/h) and a time of 6.82 seconds. Once it got going, the result never looked in doubt.