The dawn of a new day is here, bringing with it the sound and fury unlike any previous Corvette ever. This is Chevrolet putting the world on notice. The 2023 Corvette Z06 has arrived.
Chevy’s mid-engine Corvette revolution continues with today’s official reveal of the 2023 Corvette Z06, a precision tool for the track as it is being described. Its body is wider and longer, it’s more powerful than expected, and did we mention that sound from the 5.5L flat-plane crank V8?
“The new Corvette Z06 defines the American supercar,” said General Motors President Mark Reuss. “It builds on the distinctive design and groundbreaking dynamics introduced with the mid-engine Corvette and elevates them to deliver refined but uncompromising track capability with world-class performance.”
America’s newest supercar is powered by Chevy’s revolutionary LT6, a dual overhead cam 5.5-liter V8 which makes 670 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque at 6300 RPM. As racing and performance enthusiasts love naturally aspirated engines for their responsiveness and trackability, the small-block LT6 was a clean-sheet design with the goal to create a naturally aspirated powerplant the would exceed the power of any naturally aspirated production V8 engine ever made. To accomplish that goal, Chevy engineers turned to a flat-plane crankshaft design which combined with the LT6’s short stroke enables the engine to redline at 8,600 RPM.
The LT6 also features forged aluminum pistons and forged titanium connecting rods for low mass and high strength and a six-stage dry-sump oiling system. It also looks like no other Corvette engine before with an all-new active split-intake manifold with 87mm throttle bodies and distinctive Edge Red camshaft covers. A carbon fiber engine cover will be sold separately as an accessory.
A version of the LT6 has powered Corvette Racing’s C8.R racers since 2019 and the direct transfer of technology from racing to street has never been more evident than now with the cars sharing the chassis, similar engine architecture, and exterior proportions. In fact, the C8.R has been described as the Z06 hiding in plain sight.
The LT6 will be hand assembled by master engine builders at the Performance Build Center inside the Bowling Green Assembly Plant. Like the previous engine builds from the PBC, each engine features a plaque on the intake manifold with the signature of the engine builder who assembled it from start to finish.
With racing fused in its DNA, the Z06 was designed to exploit its track capabilities in all areas. Chevy engineers added another heat exchanger in the center of the front fascia to pull in additional cooling just like the C8.R race cars for the engine, brakes, and transaxle. The wider rear fascia also allows for larger air intakes required for cooling the Z06. In fact, the Z06 takes in 50% more air for cooling than the C8 Stingray.
The widebody design gives the Z06 a wider stance that is 3.6 inches wider than the C8 Stingray. This allows for the use of wider tires and wheels with the Z06 offering 20×10 inch front wheels with 275/30ZR20 tires and 21×13 inch rear wheels that are sized for 345/25ZR21 tires. Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires are standard with the Sport Cup 2R tires available with the Z07 Performance Package.
Three levels of increasing aerodynamic support will be offered for the Z06. The standard Z06 features a front splitter and a unique rear spoiler which includes an installable fixed wickerbill on the edges that provides 365 pounds of downforce at 186 mph. Also offered is the available carbon fiber aero package that adds a larger front splitter, front corner dive planes, and a pedestal-mounted rear wing and underbody aero strakes for the maximum track capable downforce and maneuverability. With the carbon fiber aero pack, the 2023 Corvette Z06’s downforce is rated at 734 pounds at 186 mph. It’s the most downforce offered ever on a Corvette.
“Virtually every component that distinguishes the Z06 was developed to support or enhance its capability,” said Corvette Chief Engineer Tadge Juechter. “By leveraging the mid-engine architecture’s inherent advantages, we are able to achieve six percent more downforce than a seventh-gen ZR1 at eight percent lower drag.”
Responsibility for stopping the Z06 will once again fall to Brembo Brakes. The standard Z06 features Brembo’s 14-6 inch diameter front and 15-inch diameter rear rotors, and unlike the Stingray which has four-piston front calipers, the Z06 will be utilizing a six-piston front calipers. The Z07 Performance Package allows for even greater stopping power with carbon ceramic rotors that include 15.7-inch diameter front rotors and 15-4 inch diameter rear rotors. The carbon ceramic brakes are a free-flow option that can be added to the standard Z06 without having to order the Z07 Performance Package.
The Z07 Performance package features include:
- Carbon Fiber aero package (larger front splitter and dive planes, rear wing, and underbody strakes)
- Unique FE7 Suspension with specific Magnetic Ride Control 4.0 calibrations
- Michelin Sport Cup 2 R ZP tires developed specifically for the Z06
- Available Carbon Fiber wheels that deliver a 41-pound weight reduction in unsprung mass
- Brembo Carbon Ceramic brake system
The 2023 Corvette Z06 retains the SLA-type double wishbone front and rear suspension that was first featured on the C8 Corvette Stingray but it has been uniquely tuned for its higher performance capabilities. Magnetic Ride Control 4.0 comes standard on the Z06 with drivers being able to adjust the suspension from touring comfort to maximizing track performance with the Driver Mode selector. Like the Stingray, the Z06 can be tailored to the driving environment which includes Active Handling, Traction Control, Performance Traction Management, and more. The 8-speed automatic dual-clutch transmission has also been customized with a shorter 5.56 final drive ratio for enhancing the Z06’s acceleration capabilities. The Corvette Z06 is able to sprint from 0-60 mph in 2.6 seconds!
On the skid pad, the Corvette Z06 with the Z07 Performance Package is capable of 1.22 g of road hugging grip. The Z06 is so stiff that its track-capable versions are offered on both the Coupe and Convertible with no difference in the suspension calibrations.
Also unique to the Z06 among Corvettes is the exhaust note. The LT6 includes a “four-into-two-into-one” stainless steel headers and centered “floating” exhaust bezels which are designed to maximize the precise tuning and sound of the exhaust note. Chevy engineers customized and tuned the sound of the engine and exhaust note for two years to find the perfect note for the new Z06. Customers will be able to choose between black or chrome tips.
The 2023 Corvette Z06’s performance and good looks is also matched by the quality of materials used in the cabin. New for the Z06 is an available carbon fiber wrapped steering wheels, shift paddles, and a new level 2 carbon fiber interior package. A new stealth aluminum trim option takes all the bright aluminum interior trim that includes the speaker and door bezels and makes them darker. Buyers can also take advantage of a new full-trimmed interior in Adrenaline Red that includes red carpet as well.
The Z06 also has the most personalization options available when selecting the choice of wheels, colors, and trim items. Customers will be able to choose between:
- Twelve available exterior colors
- Seven available wheel packages include five finishes on the standard forged aluminum wheels and available carbon fiber wheels
- Seven interior colors with the ability to expand it to thousands of combinations
- Three seat choices and six seatbelt colors
- Two interior carbon fiber trim packages, plus a new Stealth Aluminum trim option
- Six available brake caliper colors
Chevrolet will offer pricing information for the new 2023 Corvette Z06 at a future date. The Z06 will begin production in the summer of 2022 and it will be offered in Left and Right Hand Drive configurations.
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