Can a 2022 Chevrolet C8 Corvette Keep up With a Nissan GT-R NISMO?

By supercar and sports car standards, the Nissan GT-R is long in the tooth, even with some NISMO upgrades. However, like Doc Hudson in Cars, this old champ can still show newer cars its taillights. But then, if you’re looking to embarrass exotics, the 2022 Chevrolet C8 Corvette is quite capable, too—and significantly more affordable. So, can the upstart mid-engine sports car match the venerable GT-R’s pace? YouTube team Throttle House took to the dragstrip to find out.

2022 Chevrolet C8 Corvette vs. 2022 Nissan GT-R NISMO Special Edition: Performance specs and 0-60 times

2022 Nissan GT-R NISMO Special Edition2022 Chevrolet C8 Corvette Stingray
Engine3.8-liter twin-turbocharged V66.2-liter V8
Horsepower600 hp490 hp (standard)
495 hp (Z51 Performance Package)
Torque481 lb-ft465 lb-ft (standard)
470 lb-ft (Z51 Performance Package)
TransmissionSix-speed dual-clutch automaticEight-speed dual-clutch automatic
Curb weight3867 lbs3535 lbs
0-60 mph time2.8 seconds (Car and Driver)2.9 seconds (Z51, Car and Driver)

If you just look at their price tags, racing a 2022 Nissan GT-R NISMO Special Edition and C8 Corvette seems horribly imbalanced. A ‘regular’ GT-R NISMO costs over $200K, while even a fully-loaded 2022 Corvette costs about half as much. Plus, if you just care about performance, a 2022 Corvette 1LT Z51 Coupe stickers at roughly $69K.

But once you dig into their performance specs, the 2022 GT-R NISMO and C8 Corvette start looking at true rivals. Their 0-60 mph times, for example, are nearly identical. Furthermore, these super sports cars should run surprisingly close together in real life. Car and Driver’s long-term C8 Corvette Z51 recorded a 3.5-second 5-60 mph run when it was barely run in. Meanwhile, a 600-hp GT-R Track Edition needed 3.8 seconds to do the same.

However, it’s worth noting that Car and Driver recorded that time in a pre-2020 car. In 2020, Nissan gave the GT-R NISMO upgraded turbos and lightweight carbon-ceramic brakes as well as replaced some aluminum body panels with carbon-fiber ones. You can literally see the carbon that makes up the GT-R NISMO Special Edition’s hood, as it’s exposed. In addition, the GT-R NISMO got new tires and some transaxle refinements that year, Car and Driver reports.

Yet even with these upgrades, the GT-R can’t dismiss the C8 Corvette that quickly.

In a ¼-mile drag race, are AWD and turbocharging better than RWD and lightness?

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One reason why the Nissan GT-R NISMO is still a dominating force in 2022 is its AWD system. In theory—and usually in practice—more power going to more wheels equals faster acceleration. And with launch control, the GT-R can mitigate some of the trickiness that comes with blasting an AWD car off the line.

But the C8 Corvette has launch control, too. Furthermore, it has more gears in its transmission, meaning Chevrolet could better optimize the ratios for both top speed and acceleration. Also, the C8’s RWD mid-engine layout theoretically shoves more weight on the drive wheels during launches. So, even if it only drives two wheels, those wheels are getting a temporary traction boost.

However, while Throttle House raced both cars in a ¼-mile drag race from a standing start, it also held a rolling race. And that eliminates all launch control benefits. Plus, while the C8 Corvette arguably has the advantage at low speeds, the Nissan GT-R NISMO starts pulling ahead once its turbos spool. Car and Driver ran a pre-2020 Track Edition car down the ¼-mile in 11.1 seconds with a 126-mph trap speed. In contrast, the 2022 Corvette needs 11.2 seconds to do the same at 122 mph.

Still, these are on-paper numbers. What happened IRL?

Is the 2022 Chevrolet C8 Corvette as fast as the Nissan GT-R NISMO Special Edition?

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Sadly, for Bowtie fans, the 2022 Chevrolet C8 Corvette couldn’t keep up with the Nissan GT-R NISMO. In both the standing-start and rolling races, the GT-R walked away from the C8, finishing ahead by several car lengths.

Admittedly, there is a hybrid Corvette coming, possibly with AWD and four-digit power. So, if and when the next-gen GT-R breaks cover, the rematch might not end the same way. Still, even if the current-gen Nissan GT-R has old bones, it has plenty of life left in them.

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