This is a lineup that should draw gearheads of all stripes. The Porsche Carrera and the Chevrolet Corvette are forever compared as they’re probably the best value vehicles at their price point. The latest version of Toyota’s Supra joins the fray with power similar to the Porsche’s and a price not far off the Chevrolet’s. The best of the mid-tier taking on the perennially popular Porsche 911 on a drag strip and a road course should get a few necks to crane.
Unfortunately, with the layout least likely to produce a decent launch and less real-world horsepower than the others, the Supra is the sleek non-contender here. It’s a stunner, without a doubt, but the two which share the spotlight are long-time rivals.
The Carrera S strengths are its turbochargers, more top-end, and the best layout for leaving the line in a hurry. It also builds boost at a standstill, so its 90-foot time is going to always be the best, provided the tires remain the same. The C8 Corvette should be able to compete much better than its predecessors could in this area now with more weight over the driven wheels, and it has the displacement advantage over the Porsche—something which does make a difference depending on the speeds of the drag race.
In this comparison, it’s the crimson Carrera which is the undoubted best on the drag strip—whether from a dig or a roll. True, the rolling performance isn’t quite as strong as its departure from a standstill, but it just doesn’t have the immediate torque of the Corvette’s 6.2-liter V8, so it doesn’t quite have that immediate response for a rolling race.
Though the slightly heavier ‘Vette makes more torque—470 lb-ft of torque at 5,150 rpm, it’s the Carrera which makes its peak figure from zip. Well, nearly. The Carrera’s 3.0-liter turbomotor generates 390 lb-ft of torque at 2,300 rpm, though Motor Trend recently inspected the output and realized it made a bit more. The critical takeaway is that it’s the entire area under the curve which makes the greatest difference here. Though this Corvette puts up a fight from sixty, there’s no way it can match the Carrera’s relentless shove.
In the following race around their narrow road course, it’s the Corvette which takes the win. Perhaps that may come as a surprise to some, but seeing as this course is quite tight and the Corvette is arguably the better balanced vehicle. Also, there’s no denying the impact the Corvette’s track-spec alignment (three degrees of negative camber in front) has on rotation around this course.
However, the real limiting factor around this technical track is the tires; the Porsche’s Goodyear Eagle F1 is a decent tire, but doesn’t provide the outright grip of the Michelin Pilot Sport All Season 4 underneath the Corvette. Until we have comparable alignments and similar tires, a fair comparison can’t be had, but for now, we can rest assured knowing the Porsche is the dominant force on the freeway, drag strip, or airfield.