2023 C8 Corvette Z06: everything we know

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For almost 70 years, the Chevrolet Corvette has been a staple in the sports car market. With the mid-engined Corvette Stingray C8 debut in 2019, however, the Corvette underwent its biggest transformation to date. Now, however, GM is working hard to prepare the track-oriented Z06 model. Here’s everything we know about the next sports car so far.

Update: The 2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 made its official debut on October 26, 2021. A full breakdown of the new American sports car can be found here.

A naturally aspirated power plant

The C8 Corvette Z06 will be powered by a 5.5-liter V8 engine derived from the unit that powers the Corvette Racing C8.R. Known internally as the LT6, this V-8 features dual overhead camshafts and a flat crankshaft. With this Ferrari-esque setup, the Corvette Z06 is expected to spin up to around 9,000 rpm and produce an output of 617 hp. That figure would make the LT6 the most powerful naturally aspirated V8 to date from an automaker, surpassing the 597bhp rated output of the Ferrari 458 Speciale. The LT6 promises to be quite garish, as evidenced by a recent teaser video uploaded by Chevrolet. That engine note will also be pumped through a unique center-exit exhaust layout. The engine will be mated to an upgraded version of the C8’s eight-speed Tremec dual-clutch automatic transmission, which is expected to deliver even faster gear changes.

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Track-focused improvements

The C8 Corvette Stingray itself is a competent track car. Of course, in keeping with Z06 tradition, the hotter C8 model will arrive with some specific tweaks to further improve performance. Chevrolet’s Magnetic Ride Control suspension system is a no-brainer for the track-oriented model. The wider body will likely be used to cover the Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2R tires spotted on the prototypes. Muscle Cars and Trucks were the first to report that the tires will measure 345/25 ZR 21 at the rear and 275/30 ZR 20 at the front, which should help increase mechanical grip. Recent spy photos have also shown the Z06 to be fitted with a set of lightweight carbon fiber wheels, which are rumored to be related to the track-oriented Z07 package.

This same prototype spotted by the Nordschleife was also equipped with a serious aerodynamic package, including a massive rear spoiler, dive planes and a large splitter up front. These aero elements are not only more extreme than what we’ve seen on the Z06 before, but they’ve been reported as active units. It should be noted that these exotic grade aero bits should be part of the Z07 package as well.

Comparative analysis of the best

Although GM has not officially presented the Z06 in any capacity until now, prototypes have been regularly captured by spy photographers. The thick camouflage makes it difficult to select the specific design features of the C8 Z06, but the same can’t be said for the vehicles it travels with. General Motors seems to compare the C8 Z06 to models like the Ferrari 458 and the Porsche 911 GT2 RS. Both premium sports cars have been spotted alongside various Z06 prototypes over the past few years or so, hinting at the performance targets GM has set for the car. Considering that the GT2 RS just took back the Nordschleife production car lap record, Chevrolet is clearly taking the Z06 very seriously.

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It will probably cost around $ 85,000

The C8 Corvette Z06 is expected to follow a similar pricing model to the Z06 that came before it. That means customers can expect to spend around $ 85,000 for the privilege of bringing one of these machines home, which is roughly $ 25,000 more than a standard Stingray. Of course, the average sale price will undoubtedly be higher than that, as buyers load up on options. Not exactly cheap, but the level of performance offered should be quite high for this price. The GT2 RS that the Z06 compares with an MSRP of $ 293,200 in comparison.

It will arrive on October 26 for the 2023 model year.

Chevrolet confirmed in mid-August that it would unveil the C8 Corvette Z06 on October 26, 2021 as a product of the 2023 model year. Early reports initially suggested that the C8 Corvette Z06 was destined to debut this summer before the debut of the 2022 model year, but that’s no longer the case. The delay isn’t much of a surprise in an era of semiconductor chip shortages and supplier issues related to COVID, but a disappointment nonetheless. Whether or not this delay pushes back other high-performance Corvette models expected to join the lineup is unclear at this time.

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