It should come as no surprise that the all-new Chevrolet Corvette Z06 is shaping up to be a proper world-beater. More powerful and aero-laden than ever before, the mid-engined track-day Corvette is undeniably serious. Thanks to the team over at Throttle House, we now have a chance to see how the latest C8 stacks up against the mighty Dodge Demon in a drag race.
The Dodge Demon is a specialized variant of the Challenger Hellcat tailor-made for this sort of ¼-mile endeavor. Just 3300 examples were ever produced. Under the hood sits a supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 engine, which produces 840 hp and 770 lb-ft of torque on race gas. That power is fed to the real wheels by way of an 8HP90 eight-speed automatic transmission complete with a trans brake. Dodge says the package is good for a 9.65-second ¼-mile pass under ideal conditions, which is right up there with the fastest cars on the road. That said, the Demon has the same traction issues as other Hellcat products, which makes recreating that claimed time a bit of a challenge. Combine that with the muscle car’s 4000-pound plus curb weight and the Z06 matchup seems a bit less one-sided.
The Corvette Z06 on the other hand is a proper sports car, and it’s not designed for lining up at every stoplight you come across. That said, the Corvette is no slouch from a dig. Thanks to that car’s 5.5-liter LT6 flat-plane V-8 engine, the Z06 has 670 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque to work with. That makes the LT6 the most powerful naturally-aspirated V-8 to ever enter series production. The engine is mated to GM’s quick-shifting eight-speed dual-clutch gearbox, which ensures the car can launch off the line with authority. GM says the Z06 can rip off the ¼ mile in just 10.6 seconds. While that might be slower than the Demon on paper, things play out a bit differently in reality.
The first race is a standard ¼ sprint from a dig. Before the race, the Demon had its tires set to the optimal pressures and heated thoroughly with a burnout. That alone highlights how competitive the crew believes the Corvette will be. As the race begins, the mid-engine layout of the Z06 helps it hook up off the line, while that quick-shifting dual-clutch gearbox keeps the engine on boil. Despite the massive power advantage of the Demon, the heavy muscle car is unable to wind the Corvette back in during the run. Before the two cars have left the starting area completely behind, the Chevrolet has put a few car lengths on the Dodge. That doesn’t change by the end of the strip, with the Corvette easily scoring its first win. That said, Throttle House’s Thomas Holland wasn’t able to fully get into the pedal until halfway down the track as traction was at a premium.
Things are a bit closer when it comes to the second race, which saw both cars start from a roll. This style of race eliminates most of the traction issues found when racing from a standstill, helping the Demon make the best use of its 840 hp. This is immediately evident, as the two cars stay mirror-to-mirror for this run. In the end however, the Z06 is able to hold off the Challenger by a nose length. The Demon crossed the line with a higher trap speed, which suggests it would’ve pulled off a win had the race been a bit longer. Not that it matters, as the 1/4 -mile is the muscle car standard.
While this straight-line speed is impressive, the Z06 is really made for conquering corners. Once we start to see these things lined up against other supercars on the racetrack, other automakers might be in store for a similar routing.