Here’s Why The ‘Delayed’ 2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Is Worth The Wait

The Chevrolet Corvette has been a staple of the American automotive community for decades. Chevy, before venturing into the world of high-performance vehicles, sought to distribute the idea via the Corvette nameplate. Many generations of the ‘Vette’ have graced the tarmac, with some even taking the liberty of shredding a few.

Updated October 2021: If you’ve been waiting patiently about more information regarding the new Z06 Corvette, you’re certainly not the only one. We’re happy to inform you that we’ve updated this article as Chevy has finally released more information about the upcoming performance model.

Running its eighth generation, the C8 Corvette has had quite the reception since its launch not too long ago. Because of its impressive performance at a relatively accessible price, the Corvette C8 was quick to gain traction. The winning formula was so good that production can’t keep up with the excessive demand.

It was inevitable for purists to build anticipation for an even mightier mid-engined Corvette. The Corvette C8 Z06 would eventually grace the community within a year or two. Yes, the Z06, even though it was speculated to arrive later this year, is pushed back further.

Thanks in part to the pandemic and the increased demand for the regular model, the Z06 is pushed back to enter production summer 2022, meaning it will appear as a 2023-year model. That being said, there’s enough reason to sit and wait.

If this is how the C8 Corvette Z06’s gonna sound, ladies, and gents, we’re in for a treat.

Chevrolet Corvette Z06: Flat plane V8

For those of you who understand engines, “Flat-plane” V8s are up there when it comes to aural pleasure. The Ferrari 458 had it and the Ford Mustang 350 and 350R made use of the same principle in their engines. In essence, for those who find terminologies complicated, the engine’s gonna rev high and sound absolutely delightful.

As for the supposed 2023 C8 Z06, Chevrolet is planning to use a 5.5-liter flat-plane crank naturally aspirated V8. Power figures are expected to be around 670 horsepower with a whopping 460 pound-feet of torque, and all this is sent to the rear wheels through an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. In comparison, the existing C8 comes equipped with a 6.2-liter V8 that’s good for 495 horsepower.

The Z06’s all-new 5.5-liter V8 is actually the most powerful naturally aspirated V8 engine to ever find its way into a production car, destroying the 2014 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Black Series and its 622 horsepower 6.2-liter in the process.

By the looks of things, Chevrolet is extensively testing and tweaking the Z06 to take on the likes of many of the turbocharged competitors in the market. The V8 alone could end up being the sole reason for purchase, as the Mustang 350 siblings demanded a hefty premium in the used car market. This comes courtesy of Ford discontinuing both of them.

RELATED: Here’s How The Toyota 86 Compares With The Corvette C8 Z06

Chevrolet Corvette Z06: Chassis Upgrades, Aero, And Interior

According to Corvette executive chief engineer, Tadge Juechter, they went with a mid-engined setup specifically for models such as the Z06. “When we went mid-engine, the justification for it wasn’t the standard car. The higher-horsepower cars benefit the most from getting all of that traction in the back.”

As is customary with spicier versions of sports cars, expect noticeable improvements in the overall chassis setup. The Z06 will have a few to make it dynamically stand out from its regular sibling. For starters, it comes with 20-inch front and 21-inch rear forged aluminum wheels. There’s also the option of carbon-fiber wheels made by Carbon Revolution.

The rims are also wrapped in some serious rubber. The Corvette team had Michelin create a new version of its Pilot Sport Cup 2 R. The front gets 275/30ZR-20 tires and there are 345/25ZR-21s at the rear.

The main reason behind the taller wheels is due to the much larger brakes. The standard iron rotors measure 14.6 inches at the front and 15 inches at the rear, which is a substantial 2.0 and 1.2 inches larger than what’s found on the Z51 Stingray. The Z07 package comes with 15.4- and 15.7-inch carbon-ceramic rotors.

Pretty much everything in the suspension setup is far stiffer than what’s found in the regular C8. Opting for the carbon fiber wheels, which are much lighter and stiffer, allows the engineers to change the tuning of the steering and magnetorheological dampers. You read that right, those calibrations are actually wheel specific.

Being a mid-engine car, it offers improved aerodynamics than the C7, so while the Z07 package has a relatively low wing, it creates both considerably more downforce and lower drag than the massive wing that was fitted on the previous ZR1. Its rear wing works together with a front splitter and canards to improve stability at high speeds and during cornering, but perhaps somewhat surprisingly, none of the aerodynamic elements are active.

If there are people who enjoy daily driving full-fledged supercars, then the Corvette C8 Z06 should do it effortlessly. While that seems slightly out of place for a track car, it’s not that far fetched though. The Z06 with its C8-derived attributes is expected to fare well in being a comfortable daily driver.

The Z06 will have eleven exterior color choices, some of these were recently added to the base Stingray’s color palette. The Z06 will be available both as a coupe and a convertible, and features three roof options, just like the Stingray. The coupe can have a body color, visible carbon fiber, or transparent roof, whereas the convertible can come with a body color or carbon fiber roof, either visible or painted.

The track-focused Z07 performance package comes with carbon ceramic brakes and five-spoke carbon fiber wheels. The wheels either have a visible carbon weave or they’re painted black. The Z06 without the track package only has one wheel style, but it is available in six different finishes.

Interior-wise the C8 Z06 gets a new Adrenaline Red interior, and black trim is also available among five other options. The Z06 also gets a carbon fiber steering wheel with carbon paddle shifters. More carbon is available for those who pay for the interior trim package.

RELATED: Here’s Everything We Know About The 2022 Corvette C8 Z06

Chevrolet Corvette Z06: Price And Release Date

Pricing for the upcoming Corvette C8 Z06 is expected to be around $90,000. As mentioned, it will be sold as a 2023 model, so the release date will be late 2022 or early 2023. Other special Corvettes are assumed to be pushed back as well. Those would include the Corvette ZR1, a plug-in hybrid, an EV, and the hypercar-challenging Zora. Since GM hasn’t confirmed anything, we’re left to the side with unofficial reports.

With Chevrolet literally redefining how a sports car should be, we as enthusiasts are overwhelmed with excitement. Yes, the suspense is a bit of an annoyance, but seeing what to expect in the end is worth the wait. Since we may not see another V8 in the coming years, it’s important to embrace cars like these. Cars that help us appreciate the bygone era where once the bigger your engine the faster you are.

Nowadays, it’s amazing what a four-cylinder is capable of. With emissions taking a good chunk of the emotion away, manufacturers who embrace the internal combustion engine should be given a proper ovation!

Sources: GM Authority, Car and Driver

C8 Corvette Z06 Spied Without Padding


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.