FindItMore | If you are in the market for a 2020 Corvette, you have undoubtedly given some thought to the Z51 Performance package. According to Ted Britt Chevrolet of Sterling, VA, the Z51 Package is designed by Chevrolet to do one thing well: compete on the racetrack. Accordingly, here’s what’s in the Corvette 2020 C8’s Z51 Performance Package:
Corvettes with the Z51 package come with track-ready Michelin Pilot Sport 4S ZP summer tires, sized 245/35ZR-19 upfront and 305/30ZR-20 in back. The Pilot Sport 4S ZP is Michelin’s Max Performance Summer run-flat tire developed in conjunction with some of the most demanding vehicle manufacturers. The asymmetric tread pattern of the Pilot Sport 4S ZP features side-by-side, 24 Hours of Le Mans-derived compounds. The outer shoulders of the Pilot Sport 4S ZP utilize a new dry-focused hybrid tread rubber for improved dry handling and braking over the previous generation tire, while the center ribs and inboard shoulder feature a silica-infused wet compound designed to increase wet braking performance. The internal construction of the Pilot Sport 4S ZP features twin steel belts reinforced by a spirally wound hybrid reinforcement ply. Specifically tuning the application of the cord filament provides Michelin engineers the ability to balance tension and strength providing extremely responsive handling.
Revised Suspension Tuning
Firmer body control is needed at track cornering speeds, so the Z51 model’s control-arm suspension runs higher front and rear spring rates and significantly firmer passive dampers. For an additional $1895 owners can opt for their Z51 to be fitted with the magnetorheological adaptive dampers (E4 Magnetic Selective Ride Control system.) The FE4 system’s three dry-weather modes (Tour, Sport, and Track) enable Z51-equipped cars to ride with exceptional smoothness on the road and still deliver race-car handling on the track.
A splitter fitted to the lower leading edge of the front bumper cover adds 400 pounds of downforce that significantly improves high-speed stability. Small V-shaped deflectors under the nose direct air around the front tires and are specific to the Z51 package.
Increased Cooling Capacity
Chevrolet’s Z51 Package adds a third radiator into the air intake on the driver’s side to increase the cooling capacity. It works with the two standard radiators located on either side of the nose. The Z51 is also equipped with a transmission cooler. A pair of rear under-car brake scoops are included with each Z5 in addition.
Better Final-Drive Ratio
Chevy fits the Z51 with a numerically higher final-drive ratio to improve acceleration. Base C8s get a 4.89:1 final-drive ratio, whereas Z51s are fitted with a 5.17.
For more consistent racetrack performance, the Z51 is equipped with larger brake rotors compared with the base C8. Front rotor size goes from 12.6 inches to 13.6 and the rear rotors expand from 13.3 inches to 13.8.
Electronic Limited-Slip Differential
Corvette’s Z51 benefits from an electronically controlled limited-slip differential (LSD). The LSD works to stabilize the rear end during cornering, but it’s also calibrated to help the Corvette accelerate from a standstill without wheelspin when accelerating hard.
Performance Traction Management
In addition to the Z51 Package, performance seeking owners should consider the optional FE4 damper package. This package interfaces with the Corvette’s Performance Traction Management (PTM) system. PTM enables the driver to fine-tune how much the stability-control system intervenes in Track mode. Settings for wet and dry conditions allow for a range of rear-tire slip during acceleration, particularly when exiting a corner.
The Z51 package includes a dual-mode exhaust, which bumps horsepower from 490 to 495 and torque from 465 pound-feet to 470.
So, as you can see, the 2020 Corvette’s Z51 Performance Package adds a tremendous amount of additional track capability to the Base Corvette. If raw performance is of interest to you, certainly consider “going Corvette’s Z51.”