Earlier this week, the era of the mid-engine Chevrolet Corvette officially began as the first units were shipped to dealerships around the country, where happy owners were eagerly awaiting their C8 Stingray. In many cases, dealership representatives shared images of the trucks, loaded with C8s wrapped in protective white plastic, followed by shots of the cars being unwrapped and delivered to the dealership.
In some cases, those were followed by more pictures of those same C8 Corvette Stingrays, either posted by the dealership showing the new owner with the car, or posted by the owner, bragging about their new Chevy sports car.
General Motors didn’t formally announce the beginning of deliveries, but the company did issue a press release when the first 2020 C8 Corvette Stingray rolled off of the Bowling Green Assembly line back on February 3rd. At that point, the automaker stated that deliveries would begin in late February or early March. Some might argue that we are past “early March”, but let’s be honest – with everything going on in the world right now, GM did a great job of getting the first C8 Stingrays delivered as soon as possible.
Keep in mind that not only is GM working around the growing concern of Coronavirus, but the labor dispute and strike last year pushed the entire Corvette program back a bit. Ultimately, we have little doubt that Chevrolet wanted to get the first C8s to owners sooner than mid-March, but we imagine that the end result will prove to be well worth the wait.
Technically, the very first normal production-level 2020 Corvette Stingray was delivered late last week to NASCAR owner and famed car collector Rick Hendrick. Hendrick a whopping $3-million for the rights to own C8 #00001. It is black with black wheels and it was delivered to his City Chevrolet dealership in North Carolina, where it was displayed under the #46 race car from the movie Days of Thunder.
While many owners around the country are taking delivery of their C8 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray and hitting the road, some owners are getting right to improving the performance capabilities. One of those owners is Mark Carlyle of Carlyle Racing, a well-known expert in the world of building very fast Corvettes. He recently took delivery of his Sebring Orange C8 and he got right down to business, starting with a baseline dyno run.
On that baseline dyno run, Carlyle’s bright orange Corvette laid down 440 horsepower and 408 lb-ft of torque at the rear wheels. For a car that makes 495 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque, those are solid numbers, losing just 11% of horsepower and 13% of torque through the short distance between the engine and the wheels. Mind you, those numbers were recorded with just 25 miles on the odometer of the Carlyle Racing C8, so with some breaking-in, the new LT2 is likely to put down slightly better numbers.
After that stock dyno session, Mark Carlyle has already started to modify his new Stingray, starting with Forgeline wheels wrapped in Mickey Thompson tires. His shop is also working on a nitrous setup for the C8 today, so it might not be long before Carlyle’s new Corvette is making gobs more power.
While we are bound to see plenty of other shops modifying the new C8 Corvette, Carlyle Racing is at the forefront of that effort, adding big power before most owners have seen their car. You can be sure to find more updates here as Carlyle Racing announces their progress with the new Stingray.
Patrick Rall is a professional writer and photographer with a passion for all things automotive. Patrick has been sharing his automotive expertise in automotive journalism from Detroit for more than a decade covering the Big Three. Having grown up in his father’s performance shop, he spent extensive time at the oval track and drag strip – both driving and wrenching on various types of vehicles. In addition to working as a writer, Patrick previously worked as an automotive technician before moving on to a business office position with a chain of dealerships, and this broad spectrum of experience in the industry allows him to offer a unique look on the automotive world. Follow Patrick on Youtube and Twitter.