It’s a known fact that the Corvette C8 has a bespoke break-in period of 500 miles. It clamps down on the torque available, the rev range available, and forces you to break in the engine somewhat gently.
However, one question that has been brought up is: Does that break-in period also limit available horsepower?
Speed Society on YouTube decided to find out by putting a new C8 on the dyno!
One interesting thing about the dyno runs is that the measurements had to be taken with the dynamometer set to all-wheel-drive mode, with the power spindles driving the front spindles. This is because there are speed sensors in the front of the C8 that throw error codes and engine detuning if the front wheels are not spinning.
Once Speed Society dialed in the loss of power due to the car also having to drive the front spindles of the dyno and putting that calculation into the computer, they did a pull at 488 miles on the odometer.
Result? 425 wheel HP average, with two runs at 427 and 424 wheel HP respectively.
They then cruised the C8 on the dyno until the 500 mile unlock occurred, then shut the car off for a while to let it cool down.
Once it was back at normal operating temperature, they did another pull.
The result? 449 wheel HP.
So the answer is yes, you do get more effective horsepower after the unlock, to the tune of approximately 24 more HP. That is quite the improvement, as putting on an aftermarket exhaust and headers might net you 20 horsepower.
Chevrolet really did their homework with the Corvette C8, and it shows that getting to 500 miles gives you a little more punch to your right foot once the car unlocks.
We can only hope that once production resumes in earnest, 2021 and beyond models will be tested as well in the same fashion to verify the results. With science, you always want to check twice!