2019 Chevrolet Corvette vs. 2020 Audi R8

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the Corvette and the R8 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights and rearview cameras.

Warranty

Chevrolet’s powertrain warranty covers the Corvette 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Audi covers the R8. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the R8 ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

There are almost 10 times as many Chevrolet dealers as there are Audi dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Corvette’s warranty.

Reliability

The R8’s redline is at 8700 RPM, which causes more engine wear, and a greater chance of a catastrophic engine failure. The Corvette has a 6500 to 6600 RPM redline.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are better in initial quality than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet 6th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 21 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 22nd, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are more reliable than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet fourth in reliability, above the industry average. With 9 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 8th.

Engine

The Corvette has more powerful engines than the R8:

Horsepower

Torque

Corvette 6.2 V8

455 HP

460 lbs.-ft.

Corvette Z51 6.2 V8

460 HP

465 lbs.-ft.

Corvette Z06 6.2 supercharged V8

650 HP

650 lbs.-ft.

Corvette ZR1 6.2 supercharged V8

755 HP

715 lbs.-ft.

R8 V10 5.2 DOHC V10

562 HP

406 lbs.-ft.

R8 V10 Performance/Decennium 5.2 DOHC V10

602 HP

413 lbs.-ft.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Corvette Z06 Auto gets better fuel mileage than the R8 (14 city/23 hwy vs. 13 city/20 hwy).

An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the Corvette (except ZR1)’s fuel efficiency. The R8 doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Chevrolet Corvette uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended for maximum performance). The R8 requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

Transmission

An eight-speed automatic is available on the Chevrolet Corvette, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a seven-speed automatic is available for the R8.

The Corvette’s launch control uses engine electronics to hold engine RPM’s precisely in order to provide the most stable and rapid acceleration possible, using all of the available traction. The R8 doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Corvette ZR1’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the R8:

Corvette ZR1

R8

R8

Front Rotors

15.5 inches

14.4 inches

15 inches

Rear Rotors

15.3 inches

14 inches

14 inches

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Corvette Z06/Grand Sport/ZR1’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the R8 (F:285/30R19 & R:335/25R20 vs. F:245/30R20 & R:305/30R20).

The Corvette’s standard 285/30R20 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 30 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the R8’s standard 35 series tires. The Corvette Z06/Grand Sport/ZR1’s 335/25R20 rear tires have a lower 25 series profile than the R8’s optional 30 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Corvette has standard 20-inch rear wheels. Smaller 19-inch wheels are standard on the R8.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the Corvette can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The R8 doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Corvette’s wheelbase is 2.4 inches longer than on the R8 (106.7 inches vs. 104.3 inches).

Chassis

The Chevrolet Corvette may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs up to about 200 pounds less than the Audi R8.

The design of the Chevrolet Corvette amounts to more than styling. The Corvette has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .29 Cd. That is significantly lower than the R8 (.35). A more efficient exterior helps the Corvette go faster and keeps the interior quieter. It also helps the Corvette get better fuel mileage.

Passenger Space

The Corvette has 2.1 inches more front legroom and .1 inches more front shoulder room than the R8.

Cargo Capacity

The Corvette Coupe has a much larger trunk than the R8 Coupe (15 vs. 4 cubic feet).

The Corvette Convertible has a much larger trunk than the R8 Spyder (10 vs. 4 cubic feet).

With its convertible body style, valet key and remote trunk release lockout, the Corvette offers cargo security. The R8’s non-lockable remote release defeats cargo security.

Ergonomics

The Corvette Auto has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The R8 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The Corvette’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge - which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The R8 does not have an oil pressure gauge.

The Corvette offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The R8 doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the Corvette has standard extendable sun visors. The R8 doesn’t offer extendable visors.

The Corvette’s sun-visors swivel front-to-side to block glare from the side windows. The R8’s visors are fixed into the windshield header.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the Corvette keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The R8 doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

Recommendations

The Corvette was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 15 of the last 22 years. The R8 has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

The Corvette was selected by Automobile Magazine as their 2014 Car of the Year. The R8 has never been chosen.

A group of representative automotive journalists from North America selected the Corvette as the 2014 North American Car of the Year. The R8 has never been chosen.

The Chevrolet Corvette outsold the Audi R8 by over 20 to one during 2018.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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