Showdowns between Porsche and Corvette always end in Porsche’s favor.
The word “always” is a dangerous one to use, but in this case it fits. There hasn’t been a time that I can recall when a Chevy Corvette has beat out a Porsche 911 or even a Cayman.
I suppose a Corvette vs. Cayenne showdown might end in Chevy’s favor, but that’s not a track competition anyone’s been too interested to complete.
European handling and balance of power simply destroys the American Corvette’s horsepower advantage. Every time.
Well, until now.
Chevrolet has apparently learned some lessons from all of its whuppings at the hands of Porsche. Everything it’s learned in its perpetual chase of the Germans has lead to the new 2015 Corvette Stingray; a car that is, finally, almost defeating Porsche on the track.
The Detroit News recently took a Corvette convertible and tested it against a Porsche Cayman. Yes, a topless American car went up against what might be the best-handling Porsche in history. No contest, right?
The author says,
The Vette gulps asphalt, its front maw gaping as if to devour the Cayman up ahead. As it reaches its prey…
…another thicket of turns. The Cayman slips away again through the Turn 11-12 chicane. And so it goes lap after lap. The Porsche darts. The Stingray surges. Yin and yang.
It’s why this rivalry rivets us. Two athletes getting the job done in different ways.
Different ways, similar result. While more competitive than ever, the key point here is that the Corvette *almost* caught up to the Cayman.
The conclusion was similar in another test.
The 2014 Porsche Cayman S is the sports car distilled down to its most pure components. It mixes power and handling in such perfect proportion that driver aids are laughably unnecessary. And its higher build standard yields a sophistication the Stingray can’t match. The little Porsche lacks the Corvette’s bravado (it won’t even do burnouts), and it struggles in any objective measure of speed relative to the Stingray.
But it doesn’t matter. The Cayman S is a masterfully executed sports car that makes the numbers virtually irrelevant.
If comparing only on speed, yes, the Corvette can compete. On actual driving dynamics, though, the Corvette can only come close.
Will a mid-engine C8 Corvette change all that? Probably not. But it sure is fun to watch Chevy up its game and keep itself looming large in Porsche’s rear-view mirror.
Do you see the Corvette as a competitor to Porsche?
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