2023 Corvette Z06 Impresses With 670 Horsepower

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Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

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, Automotive Editor - October 27, 2021

Chevrolet raised the Corvette nameplate to new heights when it moved to a mid-engine design for the C8. Placing the engine in the middle of the sports car did wonders for the icon, improving its handling, drastically reducing its zero-to-60 mph time, and giving it a far more exotic design than before. While the C8 Corvette was a massive leap over the C7, the 2023 Corvette Z06 is an even greater vault over the last-gen Z06. The ultra-high-performance sports car is more track-ready than ever and has transformed into a bonafide supercar.

The main thing that makes the new Z06 so much more of a performance beast over the regular C8 Corvette is its new LT6 engine. The hand-assembled engine is a 5.5-liter V8 that features a flat-plane crankshaft that gives it an exotic tone and a redline of 8,600 rpm. Additionally, Chevy claims the new engine in the Z06 is the most powerful naturally-aspirated V8 to ever be fitted to a production car. Without the use of turbos or a supercharger, the LT6 produces 670 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque. An updated eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission with a shorter final drive ratio is included as standard.

While we could wax poetic about the new LT6 engine for ages, the gist of it is that the motor is an incredible feat of engineering. Chevrolet has used a version of the LT6 in its C8.R race cars since 2019, so the Z06 is meant for serious track use. The design of the engine is unique because it has a short stroke, a large bore, and a low-inertia rotating assembly to allow it to rev out to a high number for an American V8. Other parts, like forged aluminum pistons, forged titanium connecting rods, a six-stage dry-sump system, as well as dual-coil valve springs that support titanium intake and sodium-filled exhaust valves, are engineered to help the Z06 run laps on the track all day.

Compared to the last-gen Z06, the move to a naturally-aspirated, flat-plane crankshaft is a massive difference. The last Z06 utilized a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 engine making 650 hp and 650 lb-ft of torque. Going back to previous years, naturally-aspirated engines were the motors of choice for the Z06. For the C6 generation, the Z06 came equipped with a 7.0-liter V8 with 505 hp. Before that, the C5 Z06 featured a 5.7-liter V8 engine that was rated at up to 405 hp. The 2023 model year marks the first time Chevrolet has used a flat-plane crankshaft and made this kind of power.

Beyond the incredible engine, the new Z06 also boasts some impressive bodywork. The front fenders are 1.2 inches wider at the front than the regular C8 and 1.6 inches wider at the back. The Z06 also wears a new front fascia for improved cooling, wider 20-inch wheels, and comes with sticky Michelin Pilot Sport 4S ZP tires as standard. Depending on your needs, the Z06 is available with three aerodynamic kits that range from the standard front splitter and rear spoiler up to a carbon fiber package with dive planes, underbody aero strakes, and a pedestal-mounted rear wing.

For even more performance, consumers can opt for the Z07 Performance Package. It comes with the aggressive carbon fiber aero package, a unique adaptive suspension system, Michelin Sport Cup 2 R ZP tires, optional carbon fiber wheels, and massive Brembo carbon-ceramic brakes. When equipped with the available package, the Z06 is capable of pulling 1.22 g in a turn and getting to 60 mph in just 2.6 seconds.

Compared to the regular C8 Corvette Stingray, the Z06 will be a more track-focused machine. The regular Corvette is nearly as quick as the Z06 in a straight line (2.9 seconds to 60 mph), but the Z06 has the LT6 engine, should offer more grip around corners, and is offered with some race car-inspired aero. For consumers that plan to spend a large amount of time on a track, the Z06 is the more capable option.

As usual, we expect the 2023 Chevrolet Z06 to be a supercar bargain and compete against other exotic track-focused machinery. The Porsche 911 GT3, Porsche Cayman GT4, Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series, Ford Mustang Shelby GT500, Audi R8, and Acura NSX. Pricing for the new Z06 hasn’t been announced yet, but we expect the supercar to start at around $90,000.

See Our Full Preview of the 2023 Chevrolet Corvette

, Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

Follow On: Twitter

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