2022 Chevy Corvette loses 3 mpg on the highway, EPA says — or does it?

The EPA has posted fuel economy figures for the updated 2022 Chevrolet Corvette, and at first blush, they’re not great. Checking in at 16 mpg city, 24 mpg highway and 19 combined, the Corvette has gained 1 mpg in the city but appears to have lost 3 mpg on the highway – where every Corvette owner will tell you the torquey, low-revving sports car is its most fuel-efficient. And guess what? It’s your fault. 

Well, maybe not you, specifically, but Corvette buyers. As it turns out, the Z51 model, which includes a shorter final drive ratio (meaning the engine spins faster for a given forward speed), was the most popular one ordered for 2021. Because the EPA requires automakers to certify a car’s fuel economy based on volume, the Z51’s lower highway efficiency is now considered representative of Corvettes sold with the 6.2-liter V8 and dual-clutch transmission, which – for the time being anyway – happens to be all of them. 

“The EPA fuel economy numbers are based on which package is most popular,” GM spokesperson Trevor Thompkins told Autoblog. “For 2021, Corvette Stingrays equipped with Z51 accounted for nearly 70 percent of Corvettes sold, because our customers are looking for the highest level of performance. Due to success of the Z51 package, we will be reporting model year 2022 EPA fuel economy numbers based on the Z51-equipped Corvette Stingray’s results — 16 city, 24 highway and 19 combined.”

And while we’d have normally expected a shorter final drive ratio to dictate a lower city fuel economy figure too, this is where the 2022 Corvette’s updates come into play. 

“The 2022 Corvette Stingray shows a 1 mpg gain in the city even with Z51 included because all 2022 Corvettes feature an upgraded direct injection fuel system, improved engine calibration and an enhanced Active Fuel Management range,” Thompkins said.

As Corvette Chief Engineer Josh Holder told us back in June, the injection system operates at a higher pressure now, which helps to lower emissions and provide greater stability at idle. The 2022 model keeps its 490 horsepower rating in base trim and 495 horsepower rating with the performance exhaust system. The 0-60 mph time for the Z51 car remains at 2.9 seconds, too. 

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