Yesterday, Chevrolet took the wraps off its plans for the 2022 Corvette with the new model year bringing in a couple of cool special editions, engine tweaks and a $1,200 price increase. What wasn’t shared were any details on the C8 Corvette Z06. After the Bash at the end of April, I’ll admit to being somewhat hopeful that details would still come, but it now appears that the C8 Corvette Z06 will make its debut as a 2023 model year.
There have been several scenarios discussed regarding the launch of the Z06 performance edition, and at this point, everything is just speculation. One constant that we know is that Chevy has been trying to get the Corvette back to a regular production cycle and with the 2022 models starting up in September, they are doing just that.
My guess at this point is that the Z06 Reveal happens next Spring, with the 2023 models including the Z06 starting production in the summer of 2022. Some others have predicted a reveal later this fall, and then moving up the start of the 2023 model year to the Spring of 2022 to accommodate it. A while back we had a Chevy sales rep confirming a July 2021 reveal, but we don’t think Chevy would reveal the new Z06 so far in advance of when it intends to start building, so I think we are back to the regular production calendar.
One of the clues that we are getting closer to the reveal will be the additional sightings of engineering teams driving the camouflaged Corvettes around different parts of the country. So far the engineering team has been made up of the core Chevy engineers, but once they get to a certain point of development, they will begin releasing versions of the pre-production Z06 to third-party engineering firms like Roush and others whose job will be to put on as many validation miles as possible.
Think back to the development of the 2019 Corvette ZR1 and how we had multiple sightings of the cars not only in the Detroit area but there was a group here in South Florida that summer prior to the reveal that was driving a loop around the state and going back and forth on Alligator Alley, the highway that cuts across the Everglades from Naples to Miami. Another group started in California (remember the first wreck of the Blue C8) and worked their way up to Oregon and Washington that garnered attention as well.
We are pretty confident that the C8 Z06 will be ready for primetime once Chevy gives the green light. Corvette Racing is doing the engine development with the new 5.5L flat-plane crank V8 engine as its being torture-tested on some of the greatest racing circuits in the world. We are also expecting some new revelations between now and the reveal to come out that show how serious the Corvette Team is in making the Z06 competitive against the world’s best sportscars.
As Corvette enthusiasts, we always want to know everything all at once and the “waiting is the hardest part” to coin a Tom Petty song. But we should also be glad that Chevrolet and its suppliers have some time to try to get back to normal following the pandemic and the various supply issues that were created from shutdowns and restarts in the global economy. I can’t even imagine launching the Z06 in the current environment where it seems like everything is up in the air.
So while we are somewhat let down that there will be no Z06 for the 2022 model year, don’t say that it’s late or it’s been delayed, because as Corvette Team members will tell you, “How can something that hasn’t even been announced is now considered late?”
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