You’d expect the new Corvette Z06 to pack some serious power — and you’d be right.
Following up on the Stingray, GM finally unveiled the production version of the 2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06. And as you’d expect from what has historically been a potent and formidable sports car, this next-generation model is packing some more power. Actually, ‘some’ would be a major understatement — it’s packing a lot more power. Remember the 668 horsepower CT5-V Blackwing? Yeah, it’s more powerful than that.
Granted, the 5.5-liter flat-plane crank V8 — yes, that is indeed what we’re getting here, putting all those rumors to bed — fires out 670 horsepower, just two more than the Blackwing. However, the Z06 is naturally-aspirated, so this is the most potent N/A engine ever fitted into a production car. Quite a feather in GM’s cap, and it does make you wonder just how berserk the ZR1’s inevitable launch will be.
On the flip side, since there is no forced induction here, the torque figure comes in at 460 lb-ft. That’s slightly less than even the Stingray’s 470 lb-ft, though the standard ‘Vette packs a larger-displacement, naturally-aspirated engine. Again, the LT6 engine sitting midships in the Z06 packs an ace up its sleeve: a stratospheric 8,600 RPM redline. So, not only do you get a nice, linear power band from the naturally-aspirated layout, but the engine GM’s engineers designated for this car is an absolute screamer. Peak power, for the record, comes in just shy of that redline, at 8,400 RPM — there’s your incentive to rev it out (when conditions permit, of course).
The Z06 has a race-derived heart
That 5.5-liter LT6 V8 comes from the C8.R racer, where it’s performed since 2019. Per Chevrolet, “the rigors of endurance road racing helped engineers refine the engine’s performance and durability.” To that end, it houses an all-new aluminum cylinder block casting, though it does share its 4.4-inch bore spacing with Chevy’s other small-block engines.
The 2023 Chevy Corvette Z06 also has a new dual-overhead-camshaft cylinder head, with CNC-machined intake ports and combustion chambers — ditching the overhead valve design found in the Stingray’s 6.2-liter engine. Forged pistons and connecting roads, titanium intake valves and dry-sump oiling system should (hopefully) pay dividends on the track, where GM wants most buyers to use their Z06s. The 8-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission remains in the Z06, though it packs a shorter 5.56 final-drive ratio to improve acceleration.
This Z06, with all its upgrades, should make the 0-60 charge even faster than its Stingray counterpart. It’s not like the Stingray was any slouch either, so we’d expect a run somewhere in the mid-2-second range.
Suspension, chassis changes
Naturally, you can’t expect the 2023 Chevy Corvette Z06 to put out 175 more horsepower than the standard C8 and not do something about the chassis and suspension. While the basic architecture from the Stingray remains, you do get larger brakes. 14.6-inch rotors help slow things down up front, while you get even larger 15-inch rotors at the rear. The new Z06 uses staggered 20-inch wheels (20×10-inch at the front, 20×13-inch at the back), with 275-millimeter front tires and 345-millimeter rear tires. Standard rubber comes in the form of Michelin Pilot Sport 4S, though you can get Sport Cup 2s with the Z07 performance package.
As standard, the new Corvette Z06 comes with an adjustable rear spoiler, while there’s another carbon fiber aero package as well. That adds a larger front splitter, a pedestal-mounted rear wing, front-corner dive planes (canards) and underbody aero strakes for the best downforce and maneuverability.
Sticking with packages, the Z07 option brings in more aerodynamic changes and Magnetic Ride Control suspension tweaks, in addition to the stickier tires. Chevrolet says the carbon fiber rear wing and ground effects contribute 734 pounds of downforce at 186 mph — more than any other factory Corvette to date. While Magnetic Ride Control 4.0 features as standard equipment on the base Z06, you’ll get some more specific tuning with this package. Carbon ceramic brakes? Yep, those come in this package too, as does the option for carbon fiber wheels. The Z07 package where you’ll get larger front brakes than rear brakes, with 15.7-inch rotors on the front, and 15.4-inches at the rear.
Some unique interior touches
Though the 2023 Chevy Corvette Z06 largely shares its interior layout with the existing Stingray, there are some unique touches. There’s an available carbon fiber-wrapped steering wheel, for a start. The carbon fiber interior package level 2 adds (you guessed it) more carbon fiber accents, if the mood takes you. This time around, you can also get the Z06 entirely trimmed in Adrenaline Red. Across the range, the new Z06 offers 12 exterior color options, seven wheel packages, three seat choices and six seatbelt options. Two levels of that carbon fiber trim package are available, as well as a “Stealth Aluminum” option. If you’re keen on certain brake caliper colors, you can also choose from six of those.
Pricing is not yet available for the next step up in the Corvette lineup. It will be available in both left and right-hand drive, though, and will go on sale next summer. On that basis, we should have more specific pricing details (once GM works those out) sometime in the spring. Just a hunch: Expect prices to kick off in the $90,000 to $100,000 range.