16. July 2013
Jumbo shrimp is often considered to be oxymoronic. But anyone who has gone to a place like Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse and ordered the shrimp cocktail knows, shrimp can be rather prodigious in size.
Yet this whole idea of seeming contradictoriness came to mind regarding the latest boast about the forthcoming Chevrolet Corvette: the 2014 Stingray will be “the most fuel efficient sports car on the market.” That is, it will offer “more than” 455 hp. . .and an EPA-estimated 29 mpg highway.
(The standard 6.2-liter LT1 V8 provides 455 hp; when the optional dual-exhaust system is speced, it delivers 460 hp.)
“Jumbo shrimp” meet “fuel-efficient sports car.”
In point of fact, it is actually better than the 29 mpg because the Corvette equipped with a seven-speed manual operates in a default “Tour” mode, but there is a driver-selectable “Eco” mode. The Tour mode provides 28 mpg highway. But the Eco mode gets it up to 30 mpg. (The 29 is the average of the two.)
How does it do it? Largely because when the Eco mode is selected, Active Fuel Management is activated. And when the engine is at light engine loads—which can be the case while cruising down the highway—four of the eight cylinders are disabled.
According to GM, while the Porsche Carrera S is rated at 400 hp, it returns an EPA estimated 27 mpg highway. The Porsche Cayman is rated at 30 mpg highway, but it has a mere 275 hp.
The corporation also notes that the new Jaguar F-Type S has an output of 495 hp, but gets 23 mpg highway.
The Audi R8 V10: 510 hp and 19 mpg highway.
But somehow I think that anyone who is interested in a 510-hp sports car probably isn’t going to be all that concerned with the highway miles per gallon.
Still, the Corvette accomplishment is rather notable no matter how you figure it.