Race-bred 2023 Corvette Z06 will be the most capable ever, powered by a new 670-hp LT6 V-8
Chevrolet has just shown the 2023 Corvette Z06 with its new 5.5-liter LT6 naturally-aspirated V-8. The 670-horsepower engine is “the highest horsepower, naturally-aspirated V-8 to hit the market in any production car, ever,” Chevrolet said in a statement.
The engineers spent two years crafting a distinctive, rich exhaust tone unlike anything ever heard from a Corvette.
The Z06 chassis has underpinned Corvette Racing’s C8.R since it began competing in 2020. Using a shared chassis, similar engine architecture, and exterior proportions, the C8.R has been referred to internally as the Z06 hiding in plain sight, Chevrolet said in a statement.
Corvette Z06 Development
The Corvette Z06 was born in 1963 as an optional Special Equipment Package intended for racers. It included a stiffer suspension, heavy-duty brakes, a thicker front stabilizer bar, and a large, 36-gallon fuel tank that reduced the number of necessary pit stops in longer races. A fuel-injected 5.4-liter engine (327 cubic inches) and a close-ratio four-speed manual transmission were required with the package.
“Racing was the reason the Z06 was developed in 1963, and it continues to support the development of the road models that make them better on the street and the track,” said Tadge Juechter, chief executive engineer, Corvette. “It also means we’ve tested the Z06 on the best tracks around the world, from Circuit of the Americas here in the United States, to the Nürburgring in Germany.”
According to Chevrolet testing, the LT6 has 670 hp at 8,400 rpm and 460 foot-pounds of torque at 6,300 rpm. And the tachometer is set at a lofty 8,600 rpm. Chevrolet cites
The LT6 is hand-assembled at the Performance Build Center in Kentucky’s Bowling Green Assembly Plant. Each engine features a plaque on the intake manifold with the technician’s signature, who crafted it from start to finish.
The new Z06 will be available in hardtop and convertible body styles in left- and right-hand drive. Production is set to begin in summer 2022.
Highlights of the 2023 Corvette Z06
- A stance 3.6 inches wider than the Stingray, which gives room for its massive 345-series rear tires and more airflow through side air vents;
- Unique front and rear fascias, a first for Z06. The front fascia is designed to optimize engine cooling. Special features include channeling air to a center heat exchanger, which is one of five for maximum cooling performance;
- The reconfigurable rear spoiler, unique to Z06, has height-adjustable “wickerbill” elements. Subtle adjustments can improve high-speed stability and cornering capability on a racetrack;
- Standard 20-inch front and 21-inch rear forged aluminum “spider” wheels — the largest wheels ever available on a production Corvette. There also are optional carbon fiber wheels (shown in the photo) that provide a 41-pound reduction in unsprung mass;
- Specific suspension tuning includes Magnetic Ride Control 4.0. And the six-piston front disc brakes are larger than on the Stingray.
- Brembo brake rotors are 14.6 inches in diameter at the front with six-piston calipers (compared to four-piston on the Stingray). Rear discs are 15 inches.
- Eight-speed dual-clutch transmission has a “shorter” 5.56 final drive ratio compared to the Corvette Stingray, which boosts acceleration performance’
- The driver area has been “elevated” with “rich materials and textures, including more carbon fiber trim and new options”;
- Unique rear fascia houses centered floating exhaust bezels.
Z07 Performance Package
The optional Z07 performance package provides 734 pounds of downforce at 186 mph, more than any Corvette ever. The package includes a carbon fiber high rear wing and ground effects, specific chassis tuning, specific Magnetic Ride Control calibration, and unique Michelin Cup 2 R ZP tires, along with Brembo carbon-ceramic brakes and optional carbon fiber wheels.
“Virtually every component that distinguishes the Z06 was developed to support or enhance its capability,” said Juechter. “By leveraging the mid-engine architecture’s inherent advantages, we are able to achieve 6 percent more downforce than a seventh-gen ZR1 at 8 percent lower drag.”