Corvette z06 2020

Corvette z06 2020 DEFAULT

The 2022 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Will Pack a Screaming NA V-8 Engine

Turns out Chevy's saving the turbos for an even more powerful C8 model.

The frustrating part when writing one of our "What We Know" stories is that the info in it becomes obsolete the moment we know more. Take the upcoming C8 version of the Chevrolet Corvette Z06. Thanks to a source at GM, we now know a lot more about the racier model.

Are you ready? The next Corvette Z06 will have a naturally aspirated 5.5-liter flat-plane twin-cam V-8 that spins to 9,000 rpm. Again, naturally aspirated and redlines at nine grand. Can we get a hallelujah? If we may, a Lamborghini Huracan Evo's 10-cylinder engine spins to 8,500 rpm, while the Lambo Aventador SVJ's V-12 only hits 8,700 rpm. The Ferrari 812 Superfast? It says 9,000 rpm on the tach, but everyone knows (wink) that its superlative V-12 is only good until 8,900 revs. No, only the discontinued Porsche 911 GT3/GT3 RS/Speedster's 4.0-liter chunk of rear-mounted perfection spins all the way up to 9,000 rpm. Well, the upcoming 992 GT3's engine (probably) will, too. As will the new C8 Z06.

How Much Horsepower?

We're guessing that this, for now, unnamed engine's output will come in at right around 625 hp, with well over 400 lb-ft of torque (figure 485 lb-ft). Not quite as much as the old Z06's supercharged 6.2-liter LT4—650 hp/650 lb-ft of torque—but who cares? To use Porsche as an example for a moment, the 911 Turbo makes more power than the 911 GT3. Yet, every car geek wants the GT3. Back to that power for a moment, over 600 naturally aspirated ponies from only 5.5-liters is impressive. Assuming we're right about the 625 hp number, that means the Z06 will pack 99 horses more than the world's next most powerful naturally aspirated V-8: the 526-hp Voodoo V-8 found in the Shelby GT350/GT350R. To put this possible 625 hp in perspective, the sadly deceased Dodge Viper cranked out 645 hp from a massive 8.4-liter V-10 engine. To quote our source, the Z06's engine is, "going to be a screamer."

Back to the Shelby GT350's flat-plane Voodoo V-8 (526 hp, 429 lb-ft of torque, redline at 8,250 rpm) for a moment; its 5.2-liter displacement is going to be the closest to the Z06's. That's oversized for a flat-plane engine, and Ford deals with this by placing a large, rubber dampener on the non-transmission side of the crankshaft to eat unwanted vibrations. We're not sure how Chevy is dealing with the unscrew-the-head bolts third-order vibrations inherent to flat-plane V-8s (vibrations that grow more violent as displacement grows), but the bowtie brand has been racing with (essentially) this same, albeit detuned engine (500 hp, 480 lb-ft of torque) in the C8.R, so some sort of solution must exist. Chevrolet had to buy back an awful lot of heat-soaked C7 Z06s thanks to a class-action lawsuit, which led the company to enact much more stringent testing procedures. We bet the big-displacement vibration issue is a non-issue.

Turbo Time?

What about those two turbochargers we thought we knew about? Well, turns out we were right, just about the wrong car. Like Chevy has done for the past two generations, there will be a high-horsepower ZR1 version of the C8. That car will get two turbochargers piped into its 5.5-liter engine (along with all the accompanying cooling hardware). We think 800 hp seems about right from this variant of the twin-cam engine.

There will also be a gasoline-electric hybrid variant that uses the twin-turbo V-8 and at least one electric motor to produce a total system output of 1,000 hp (or more). Expect it to bear the name Zora, after the father of the Corvette, Zora Arkus-Duntov. One sad bit of news (so we hear) is that there will not be a C8 Grand Sport. Why not? We do not know. We're just hearing it's not in the cards—don't shoot the messenger. However, there will be an all-electric Corvette. Unfortunately, we know next to nothing about that model...for now.



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Now that the bubble of anticipation surrounding the mid-engine Corvette has burst, excitement is building for the even-mightier Z06 model. With an exotic flat-plane-crank V-8 engine, the 2023 Chevy Corvette Z06 will sound unlike any Vette that's come before. It'll also look meaner than the mainstream C8 thanks to flared fenders, larger air scoops, and aerodynamic addendum that actively adjusts to maximize high-speed downforce and cornering traction. Along with its exclusive powertrain and enhanced appearance, the super Chevy will inherit all the best features and technology from the regular model. Although we still don't have all the juicy details about the new Z06, here's what we know so far.

What's New for 2023?

The first mid-engine Corvette Z06 is expected to go on sale in early 2022 as a 2023 model. As is tradition, it's a more hardcore, track-focused version of the standard Vette, complete with bolder styling cues and serious performance attributes. Chevy will officially debut the Z06 on October 26.

Pricing and Which One to Buy

It should make sense that, since Chevy hasn't officially revealed the new Corvette Z06, we can only speculate on how much it'll cost. Its front-engine predecessor started at about $25,000 more than the base model, so we think it's safe to add that number to the starting price of the 2022 Corvette, which starts at around $62k. That means the 2023 Z06 should open at around $87,000 when it eventually goes on sale.

Engine, Transmission, and Performance

The upcoming Corvette Z06 will receive a special engine that should make it sound similar to the supercars it's trying to dethrone. The naturally aspirated 5.5-liter V-8 features a flat-plane crank, which means it should rev to between 8500 and 9000 rpm. This engine is expected to make over 600 horsepower, and its Ferrari-like howl is all but guaranteed to send shivers down the spine of bystanders. The unconventional V-8 will hook up to an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive. Considering that the 495-hp 2020 Corvette Z51 we tested rocketed from zero to 60 mph in just 2.8 seconds and completed the standing quarter-mile in 11.2 seconds at 122 mph, the Z06 will be even quicker in a straight line. A set of wider, stickier tires and more powerful brakes will help it corner harder and stop shorter than the regular Vette, too. Chevy will also strengthen the structure and recalibrate the suspension tune on the Z06 to help make sure its performance advantages are most obvious at the racetrack. A host of active aerodynamics that automatically adjusts to optimize downforce will join the party for this new generation. We'll have to wait until we get our hands on one to evaluate how its myriad improvements compare with the outgoing Corvette Z06.

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Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG

Neither Chevy nor the EPA has indicated how efficient—or inefficient—the 2023 Corvette Z06 will be in the city and on the highway. Since the company's flat-plane-crank V-8 is currently only found in the Corvette C8.R race car, we don't have any government ratings for comparison. Once the Z06's fuel-economy figures are released, and we have the opportunity to test one on our 75-mph highway route, we can evaluate its real-world mpg. For more information about the Corvette Z06's fuel economy, visit the EPA's website.

Interior, Comfort, and Cargo

The Bow Tie brand went above and beyond to ensure that the mid-engine Corvette's interior could not be called boring. While the design certainly transcends what's found on every other Chevy model, the square steering wheel and wall of climate-control buttons on the center console are unusual elements, to say the least. Still, the cabin layout caters to the driver, and the list of standard and optional features is extensive. This includes a 12.0-inch fully digital gauge cluster, a head-up display, heated and ventilated seats, and wireless charging. All of this and more will continue inside the new Z06. We expect its track-worthiness to be made apparent through additional carbon-fiber and microsuede interior accents as well as a set of even more aggressively bolstered seats. The Corvette's capacious rear trunk should continue to provide a spot for drivers to carry two sets of golf clubs.

Infotainment and Connectivity

Cooked into the Corvette's multilayered dashboard is an 8.0-inch touchscreen that supports Chevy's Infotainment 3 Plus system. While we've only had minimal exposure to this specific setup, we found it to be mostly intuitive and responsive. We're confident the Z06 will share the same interface and features, which include Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a Wi-Fi hotspot. Likewise, two separate Bose stereos are expected to be offered: a standard 10-speaker system and an optional 14-speaker setup. The new Z06 will continue to offer the Performance Data Recorder, which allows you to record video of everything from your track exploits to relaxed country-road cruises. And if you dare leave your Z06 with a valet, there's a setting that keeps track of any nefarious activities the car-parker might try.

Safety and Driver-Assistance Features

While the regular C8 Corvette only has a handful of driver-assistance technology, such as blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert, we expect those features to be available on the Z06. For more information about its crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites.

Warranty and Maintenance Coverage

Chevy provides all of its models with a middle-of-the-road limited and powertrain warranty. While the company offers more complimentary maintenance than automakers who skip the free service altogether, it's one of the shortest such plans in the industry.

  • Limited warranty covers three years or 36,000 miles
  • Powertrain warranty covers five years or 60,000 miles
  • Complimentary maintenance is covered for the first visit

More Features and Specs

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For nearly 70 years, the Chevrolet Corvette has been a staple of the sports car market. With the debut of the mid-engined C8 Corvette Stingray back in 2019 however, the Corvette underwent its largest transformation yet. Now though, GM is hard at work prepping the track-oriented Z06 model. Here is everything we know about the upcoming sports car so far.

A Naturally Aspirated Powerhouse

The C8 Corvette Z06 will be powered by a 5.5-liter V-8 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-plane crankshaft. Thanks to that Ferrari-esque layout, the Corvette Z06 is expected to rev up to around 9000 rpm and produce a reported 617 hp in the process. That figure would make the LT6 the most powerful naturally-aspirated V-8 yet from an automaker, surpassing the Ferrari 458 Speciale's rating of 597 hp. The LT6 promises to be quite the screamer, as is made evident 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 come mated to an upgraded version of the C8's eight-speed Tremec dual-clutch automatic, which is expected to provide even faster gear changes.

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Track-Focused Enhancements

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

That same prototype spotted by the Nordschleife was also equipped with a serious aerodynamics package, including a massive rear wing, 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 to be active units. It is worth noting that these exotic-grade aerodynamic bits are expected to come as part of the Z07 package as well.

Benchmarking the Best

While GM has not officially shown off the Z06 in any capacity thus far, prototypes have been regularly captured by spy photographers. The thick camouflage makes it difficult to pick out specific design characteristics of the C8 Z06, but the same can't be said for the vehicles it travels with. General Motors appears to be benchmarking the C8 Z06 against the likes of the Ferrari 458 and the Porsche 911 GT2 RS. Both high-end 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 the GT2 RS just recaptured the Nordschleife's production car lap record, Chevrolet is clearly taking the Z06 quite seriously.

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It Will Probably Be Priced Around $85,000

It is expected that the C8 Corvette Z06 will follow a similar pricing model as the Z06 that came before it. This means customers can expect to spend about $85,000 for the privilege of taking one of these machines home, or about $25,000 more than a standard Stingray. Of course, the average sales price will undoubtedly be higher than that, as buyers load up on options. Not exactly cheap, but the level of performance on offer is expected to be quite high for that price point. The GT2 RS that the Z06 is benchmarking carried an MSRP of $293,200 by comparison.

It Will Arrive on October 26 For the 2023 Model Year

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

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  • The upcoming Z06 will be the first performance variant of the new mid-engined C8 Corvette.
  • It will use a naturally aspirated 5.5-liter V-8 engine with a flat-plane-crankshaft design.
  • Expect it to arrive sometime in 2021 with a starting price of around $85,000.

This story originally appeared in the May 2020 issue of Car and Driver as part of our 25 Cars Worth Waiting For package. Our sneak preview of the most exciting cars coming in the next few years draws on knowledge from leaked product-development plans, spy photos, and loose-lipped insiders mixed in with information that has already been officially released. The reporting for this story was completed in February and early March, before the auto industry began feeling major effects of the coronavirus pandemic. As many automakers are now delaying or pausing development programs, the debut and on-sale dates reported here may change.

The upcoming Chevy Corvette Z06 will be the first of several upcoming ultra-high-perform­ance variants of the C8 Corvette. We expect it to go on sale in early 2021 as a 2022 model, starting at about $85,000. It's a return to the stripped-down-for-action, high-revving, track-worthy Vette embodied by the 505-hp 7.0-liter V-8-powered C6 Z06 of 2006 through 2013.

This time, the Z06 will use a naturally aspirated DOHC 32-valve 5.5-liter V-8. Plus, it has a flat-plane crank, just like a Ferrari V-8. It should rev to between 8500 and 9000 rpm, spit out 600-plus horsepower, and shriek like something from Ferrari. It feeds an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transaxle driving the rear wheels. This is no mere speculation; a detuned version of this engine is already powering the C8.R race car.

Illustration by Ben Summerell-Youde/Fox SyndicationCar and Driver

The Z06's new V-8 packs a power curve shaped like a bodybuilder's bicep. The switch to a mid-engine configuration maximizes traction, allowing Chevy to better utilize its mega-horsepower engines for battling everything on the exotic-car spectrum. A muscled-up version of the base C8's architecture will be in play, with wider rubber, stronger brakes, a recalibrated suspension tune, and upgraded powertrain cooling. Flared fenders cover the mechanical bits, and new-for-the-Vette active aerodynamics pin it to the track.

There's a chance small-block loyalists won't want a Corvette that sounds like a Ferrari. But if you've ever heard the bellicose shout of a 488 Pista, you know that's a low risk.

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Z06 2020 corvette

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