When the mid-engine equipped Chevrolet C8 Corvette emerged several years ago, it was a potent sports car offering, but it was also a blank canvas in some ways. This canvas invited plenty of questions and what-if scenarios, including what a potential Z06 model looks like? Chevrolet has given us the glorious answer with the unveiling of the 2023 Corvette Z06.
Flat Plane V8 Steals The Show, Makes Z06 Track Monster
The real star of the show is the 5.5 liter V8 that is mounted in the mid-engine position. Unlike other supercar entries that have introduced turbocharging to their V8 offerings, the Z06’s engine is naturally aspirated, which is a nod to the old-school performance style. While the lack of boost may seem a bit distracting at first, Chevrolet hopes that the 670 hp on hand will help keep you firmly focused on the action.
The LT6 V8 in the Z06 may only be slightly more potent than the 668 hp motor found in the CT5-V Blackwing, but the Cadillac can only dream about climbing into the borderline stratospheric sections of the rev band that the Z06 can reach, with the flat-plane V8 screaming to 8,600 RPM. The one slice of bad news for fans of older Z06 models is that this latest iteration of the Z06 will not come with a manual transmission. The quest for quicker lap times and some novel track-focused technology caused the shift it yourself option to bite the dust with all Z06 models sending the power to the rear wheels through an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.
Chevrolet did not release the official 0 to 60 time for this monster Vette, but the bowtie brigade instead highlighted just how much engineering went into some of the performance hardware. The cylinder block is made out of aluminum, while a six-stage dry sump oil system helps provide optimal cooling at high speeds and even comes bundled with the ability to scavenge extra oil out of the crank bay.
Purposeful Exterior Styling Makes Z06 A Delight On The Eyes
Like other Z06 models of the past, Chevrolet claims that every curve, crease, and feature on the Z06 was designed to play some role in performance, especially in handling, cooling, and aerodynamics. The front and rear fascias are exclusive to the Z06. While the basic design carries over from the standard C8, Chevy engineers gave the car wider fenders to help fit larger wheels and stickier tires, with Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires being the default rubber. Buyers looking for more performance can opt for Sport Cup 2 tires which are part of the optional Z07 upgrade.
As mentioned, the front and rear fascias are exclusive to this car, with the front being equipped with bigger intakes to help cool not only the engine and the transaxle but also the front brakes. The rear fascia features a new set of exhaust pipes, a bigger rear diffuser, and a massive trunk-mounted spoiler. Buyers can replace the standard kit with two optional aero packages. While the first one adds a larger front splitter, front-mounted dive planes, and an upgraded spoiler, things get much more serious when adding the Z07 package.
The Z07 is the one that truly transforms the Z06 into a supercar slayer with an upgraded suspension, a tweaked version of the MRC 4.0 system, and Brembo ceramic brakes with larger front rotors. Regarding rotors, Chevrolet claims that the Z07 version of the Z06 is the only Vette in the lineup with larger rotors on the front versus the rear (15.7 and 15.4 inches, respectively.) This also allows the Z06 to confidently take on rivals like the Ferrari 488 Pista and even the Mclaren 720S.
Bespoke Interior Pushes Corvette Into The Big Time
When older Z06 models were not slicing through the corners of your favorite race track or back road, they were also known for having interiors that looked like they were built as a collective afterthought with cheap plastics and awful seats. The standard C8 Corvette was a welcome step in the right direction, but the Z06 is where everything truly falls into place.
Splashes of carbon fiber on the steering wheel and the central transmission tunnel set the mood, while more decadent leather accents and a fully digital instrument cluster enhance the premium feel of the cabin. While the Z06 is no Cadillac, it’s a noticeable step up in prestige compared to the past two Z06 models that came before it. Seven interior colors are available, and customers can even choose from three different seat options. Finally, for those genuinely focused on the details, Chevrolet will offer two different carbon fiber colors and six seatbelt colors in the options list.
When Will We See The 2022 Corvette Z06 In Dealerships
Chevrolet didn’t give a timeline for when the Z06 will make its way to dealerships (or pricing for that matter), but the brand did reveal that production of the 2022 Z06 will kick off in the summer of 2022 in its Bowling Green, Kentucky Plant. Look for more information such as the final 0 to 60 time and the entire options list to make their respective appearances closer to the Z)6’s official launch. While we’ll have to endure the cold spell of winter, at least the Z06 will be around like a ray of figurative sunshine once Jack Frost loosens his icy grip.
Carl Malek has been an automotive journalist for over 10 years. First starting out as a freelance photographer before making the transition to writing during college, his work has appeared on numerous automotive forums as well as websites such as Autoshopper.com.
Carl is also a big fan of British vehicles with the bulk of his devotion going to the Morgan Motor Company as well as offerings from Lotus, MG, and Caterham. When he is not writing about automobiles, Carl enjoys spending time with his family and friends in the Metro Detroit area, as well as spending time with his adorable pets.