Chevrolet has just intensified the C8 Corvette, adding an all-new V8, the highest naturally-aspirated production V8 anywhere. The LT6 engine is the heart of the Corvette Z06, giving it nearly 700 hp and spinning close to 9,000 rpm, making for a positively track-ready car from Chevrolet.
That LT6 engine, which Chevrolet’s audio clips show sounding better than a V8 Ferrari, is a dual overhead cam engine with a flat-plane crank (the ultralight source of that soundtrack) and a dry-sump oiling system. 670 horses are on tap arriving at 8,400 rpm, and the peak 460 lb-ft shows up at 6,300 rpm. Redline? 8,600 rpm with dual-coil valve springs and CNC-machined intake ports to help you use every revolution. This engine is the basis for the one used in the C8.R race cars since 2019, and Chevrolet says racing has improved performance and durability.
The transmission? It will still be the eight-speed dual-clutch found in the standard Stingray, but here it will get a new 5.56 final drive for enhanced acceleration.
Wider fenders cover wider 10-inch front and 13-inch rear wheels and their 275 front, 345 rear (25 series!!) Michelin Pilot Sport 4S ZP tires. Sport Cup 2 R rubber is optional, part of a Z07 package. A new nose is cribbed from the C8.R racer with larger vents to bring more air into a centre heat exchanger and to cool the engine, brakes, and transaxle. At the back,a new rear fascia makes the exhaust pipes look like they’re floating in the space behind the car.
Stock Z06 will offer a front splitter and rear spoiler that helps to produce 365 lbs of downforce at 299 km/h. A Z07 carbon fibre aero package makes the front splitter larger, adds front corner dive planes, and a pedestal rear wing for even more downforce, making 734 lbs at the same speed, the most of any Corvette ever.
Magnetic ride control is standard, recalibrated for the 2023 Z06, and offering a mix of comfort or track performance. Z07 has special FE7 settings with its own magnetic settings. The Z06 gets launch control, performance traction management for the track, and an electronic limited-slip diff. Chevrolet claims 1.22g on the skidpad with a Z07-pack car and its special options.
Stopping the car are 14.6-inch front and 15-inch diameter rear rotors with six-piston calipers up front. Even larger carbon-ceramic units come with the Z07 package to make sure brake fade disappears, even on the circuit.
A carbon-wrapped steering wheel and paddles are part of the cosmetic changes. Hand-wrapped leather trim is also available for the cabin. Seven wheel packages (with carbon wheels) are on the list and there is an exclusive carbon trim pack.
It’s a long way from the original Z06 package of 1963 that was made up mostly of a larger gas tank for fewer pit stops, and the all-new 2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 starts production next summer. Pricing (and fuel economy) have yet to be revealed.