Despite the slowdown in everything that is normal life to most Americans, Chevrolet’s long-awaited C8 Corvette’s are still being delivered into the hands of dealerships and those who jumped aboard and placed their orders last summer. And like a kid with a gift before them on Christmas morning, a global pandemic isn’t about to stop some from unwrapping their new toy and finding out what it’s capable of.
Among those receiving their new C8 was actress and social media figure Emelia Hartford. Hartford took delivery of her car on March 15, and with the help of Peitz Performance in Cypress, Texas, made a number of bolt-on modifications to find the straight-line performance potential of the car. We should stress that, at this time, the prime limiter in performance is a factory PCM that has yet to be unlocked, although we can assure you a number of brands in the industry are working tirelessly, day and night, to make that happen so that aftermarket tuners have the keys to the kingdom, so to speak.
The other, which was seen played out during TX2K20 with a broken-down C8 on a wrecker, is that the factory axles cannot take the abuse of nitrous directly at the hit, meaning you also must ramp the power in later in the run.
In just three days, Hartford and company procured and installed a 100-shot nitrous kit from the folks at ZEX, swapped the stock plugs for a colder-burning set, bolted on a set of Nitto NT05R drag radials, and put some skinnies up front to reduce rolling resistance. She then took the car to Houston Raceway Park and made run, after run, after run.
With temperatures in the mid-70s and the humidity high as usual, Hartford clicked off a best run of 10.732 at 127.16 mph, coupled with a 1.572 short time and a 6.873 at 102.52 mph to the half-track mark.
“This car can take a lot more abuse than you can dish out,” she says. “Must’ve done 40-plus passes on nitrous and she didn’t bat an eye or even get hot. I’m not trying to blow or ruin her, that’s never my intention.”
Ohio’s Mark Carlyle, running in late-winter weather conditions prime for making horsepower, was the first into the 10’s with his C8 and is believed to still hold the record with a 10.65. Hennessey Performance, it was revealed last week, has already twin-turbocharged a C8 and in doing so surely has more horsepower than these two examples on small shots of nitrous, but again, without the unlocked PCM, potential is limited.
In due time, though, we’re certain to see these cars in the nines, eights, and beyond.