It’s been a little over two years since Chevrolet completely changed the Corvette formula by moving the engine behind the seats after seven generations of the iconic sports car. The day has come to discover the next step in the C8’s evolution as the company with the bowtie emblem is about to take the wraps off the first high-performance version – the Z06.
Even though there have been quite a few teasers, Chevy has been tight-lipped about the hotter ‘Vette. We do know from a recent preview the Z06 will feature an impressive 8,600 rpm redline from what is widely believed to be a flat-plane crankshaft 5.5-liter V8 developing well over 600 horsepower. The rev-happy engine adapted from the C8.R race car won’t be the only upgrade over the regular C8 since spy shots of prototypes have revealed an aggressive design with more extreme aero.
Gallery: 2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 spied at the Nurburgring
Coming in both coupe and convertible body styles, the spicy mid-engined sports car is expected to boast suspension revisions and chunkier tires. Speaking of the Z06’s rubber, a test vehicle was caught earlier this year riding on 21-inch rear wheels with 345/25 Michelin tires, or the same as the original Lamborghini Countach had back in the 1970s. These are some of the widest tires ever fitted to a production car to make the spicy Corvette as planted as possible.
While camouflaged prototypes have been caught wearing a massive rear wing, the official image released by Chevy depicted a Z06 only with a spoiler. It could be a sign the amped-up Corvette will be available with an optional aero pack enabling additional downforce at the rear axle. Such a strategy wouldn’t be too surprising taking into consideration Porsche is doing the same with the 911 GT3 and the GT3 Touring featuring subtle styling.
There is still quite a lot we don’t know about the Z06, so we’re looking forward to tonight’s reveal to discover all the juicy technical specifications. It won’t be your typical livestream as Chevy has prepared a 30-minute feature film dubbed “Putting the World on Notice.” It’s going to include interviews with designers and engineers involved in the Z06 program, so it’ll be a good opportunity to learn about the sports car’s juicy tidbits.
Chevy has announced the Corvette Z06 will be a 2023 model year, which tells us it will be going on sale later in 2022. Pricing details are shrouded in mystery, but given the premium the old front-engined C7 Z06 carried over the base model, we could be looking at a starting price of more than $85,000. For 2022MY, the base Stingray coupe retails from $62,195 with the destination fees included.
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