2019 Corvette ZR1 – Manual vs. Auto

April 19th, 2018

The 2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 has had tongues flapping and chins wagging since well before its physical release, several weeks ago. The excitement is well deserved.

The 2019 ZR1 is the most capable Corvette mass-produced to date. It can produce an astounding 755hp and 715 lb.-ft. of torque (in stock trim) and it is equipped with some of the most advanced aerodynamic features ever seen on a production automobile.

This article will compare several videos in an attempt to determine whether the ZR1 equipped with the 8-speed automatic transmission is nearly a full-second quicker (in the quarter-mile) than the same ‘Vette with a 7-speed manual transmission.

It seems that Rick Hendricks Chevrolet put a brand-new (502-miles) ZR1, with an automatic transmission, through the trap in 10.1-seconds @ 135 mph. A few states away, another young man in his own stock 2019 ZR1 (manual transmission) was rowing through the gears on the track at the Cecil County Dragway in an effort to break into the tens. The second car was able to run a high 10-second pass (10.94 @ 133 mph).

Many factors are in play here. Neither driver seems particularly adept at reacting to the tree. Second, the passes occured at separate locations; one in Maryland and the other in Virginia. Third, and definitely most pertinent, the Hendricks car was on drag radials and the kid was on stock rubber.

So, take a look for yourself and decide if the kid (who is a good stick shift driver) could knock off an eighth-of-a-second (or so) with a set of drag radials. I usually assume that the automatic car is quickest but you know what they say about those who make assumptions.

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