November 27, 2021

Since the release of the C8 Corvette on July 18, 2019, most people have been wondering what direction GM would go when developing the first mid-engine Z06 package. 

After waiting for more than two years, General Motors did not disappoint and gave the people a close to 700-horsepower mid-engine American supercar for under $100,000. 

The Z06 package came to life due to Corvette’s iconic engineer and driver Zora Arkus-Duntov’s passion for cars and pushing them to their limits. The Z06 package was introduced in 1963 for people who wanted to track their Corvette, and with that being said, General Motors’ goal was to produce a track monster— and boy, did it ever. 

The Z06 has been in what is now five of the eight generations of the Corvette. With generational data gained by GM, it has allowed for more calculated tweaking and improvements, making the next iteration feel even more like a street-legal race car. 

The Z06 is available in both coupe and convertible configurations and is coming to go blow-for-blow with some of the best supercars from around the world. This generation will elevate Corvette as a brand and change the entire world’s look on performance cars. Having an $85,000 car that outperforms supercars that cost six figures is something to be admired. 

Some may be disappointed that no manual transmission or a twin-turbo system is offered with the Z06, but the ZR1 is reported to utilize the LT6 and come with a set of Hiroshima hairdryers to take these already impressive numbers to 8705hp. 

The major difference between the Z06 and the base Stingray is the entirely new flat plane motor GM expects to take the Z06 to the next level, also taking the Corvette from 490 to 670 horsepower and its redline up from 6450rpm to the exotic territory of 8600rpm. With those benefits, GM had to inherit noticeably more vibration due to engine design and lack of torque at lower rpms.

Price 

Starting at $85,000!

The base 2022 Corvette Stingray coupe starts at $62,195, which from here on out will easily be in the conversation of a sports car that gives you the best bang for your buck. 

The 2023 Corvette Z06 looks to be following suit and prices itself in a league of its own with a nearly 700 horsepower Supercar at $85,000! 

It’s amazing to talk about the price like it’s going to be a real-world scenario that dealerships are going to keep these at MSRP, but with the current chip shortage and the production more than likely not keeping up with demand, don’t expect to find one anywhere close to MSRP anytime soon. With the inevitable markups, don’t be surprised to see some of these going north of $140,000 after some dealership markups. 

Motor

Specs

  • 5.5-Liter DOHC Naturally Aspirated 32 valves LT6 V8 
  • Most powerful Naturally Aspirated production Motor
  • Flat-Plane Crankshaft
  • 670 Horsepower / 460 Pound-Feet
  • 8,600 Redline
  • 8-Speed Dual-Clutch
  • Rear Wheel Drive

The motor is based on the Daytona winning C8-R GTLM race car motor. The LT6 engine had the code name of Gemini within GM. With that code name, it’s fitting that the Motor comes equipped with twin cams, twin throttle bodies, and twin fuel injection pumps. This all-aluminum forged high revving monster Will be hand-built and every Zo6 will have its builder’s signature intact on a plate nicely placed above the throttle body. Its sound has changed to more of a Ferrari, but there’s definitely a deeper tone that adds a little Barry White to the exhaust note when compared to the European supercars with similar motor configurations. That will help distinguish it from its European competitors and you will still know that you’re getting gapped by a new breed of Merica! The major difference between the Z06 and the base Stingray is the entirely new Flate Plane Crank engine, and an Aero kit that helps give it a wider stance. These major changes have helped the Corvette accelerate from 0 to 60 in 2.6 seconds and made the LT6 the highest horsepower naturally aspirated production motor. That bar has been set at 670 horsepower. Switching to a Flat Plan Crankshaft has also helped General Motors surpass Ford’s Voodoo motor taking the American motor to uncharted territory with a redline of  8,600 rpm. The Zo6 will push you back in your seat throughout the entire powerband. Distributing power for maximum performance, high revving, and shifting in a blink of an eye will definitely make a true car enthusiast sit back and think of how perfectly in sync this supercar is as a whole.

Flat-Plane Crankshaft Properties

  • Low primary vibrations
  • Lower weight, which means less inertia
  • Faster and higher-revving compared to cross-plane cranks
  • Better exhaust scavenging compared to cross-plane crank engines
  • Loss of deep muscle car exhaust note, but gains benefits of higher-revving
  • Higher secondary vibrations compared to cross-plane cranks

Pros of a Flat-Plane Crankshaft

  • Ability to rev higher
  • Compact Motor
  • Well-balanced motor
  • Light counterweights 
  • Quicker engine response
  • Better exhaust scavenging due to alternate bank firing sequence.

Cons of a Flat-Plane Crankshaft

  • Noticeably more Vibration due to Engine design 
  • Lack of torque at lower RPMs

Zo7 Options

The Zo7 comes equipped with upgraded FE7 suspension with additional Magnetic Ride Control 4.0 calibrations. It is similar to the Zo6 suspension, but General Motors does include revised spring and anti-roll bar rates making the Zo7 43% stiffer than the base C8. That’s an 8% increase from the Zo6, but that increase in stiffness was only used to compensate for the added downforce generated by its aerodynamic enhancements. With the Zo7 package, you also get the stickiest of the ickiest with the Michelin Sport Cup 2 R ZP tires. These tires were developed specifically for the new Z06 and took many iterations until Michelin felt like they had a well-balanced track tire. The  Michelin Sport Cup 2 R ZP tires can be mounted on various wheel choices, including full carbon-fiber wheels that have been proven to reduce lap time to up to 1.5 seconds by making the suspension respond even quicker by shedding 41 pounds from the Z06’s wheel weight. Some people may be worried about the Fully Carbon Fiber wheels being an issue on the city streets but have no fear. General Motors has put these wheels through a pothole test and discovered the carbon fiber wheels prove to be far more durable than the forged aluminum ones.

  • FE7 Upgraded Suspension
  • carbon fiber aero package
  • full carbon fiber wheels
  • radical rear spoiler
  • Brembo’s carbon-ceramic brake system.
  • Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 R ZP Tires

Brakes/Tires

With all that power the Zo6 harnesses General Motors didn’t cut corners and also matched the C8 with a more aggressive braking system. The base C8 has a four-piston Caliper, but GM Supersized the Zo6 with a Six Piston Caliper set up to ensure that the new Zo6 could have the technology to stop with some of the best supercars on the planet. A carbon-ceramic brake system is included in the Z06’s track-focused Z07 package. The carbon-ceramic discs that come with the Z07 package measure 15.7 inches up front, and 15.4 inches in the rear. Compared to the upgraded Zo6 steel disk measuring 14.6-inch in front, and 15.0-inch in the rear. The Z06 is wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport 4S measured at  275/30R20 in the front, and 345/25R21 in the rear.

Aerodynamics

The Aerodynamics have been completely redone in the Zo6 to give it the ability to have a wider stance. The Zo6 has a stance 3.6 inches wider. This gave Chevrolet engineers the ability to fit the new Z06 with the largest wheels ever used on a production Corvette. These changes not only make the car look more aggressive it helps with stability. A wider stance and allowing more rubber to the ground will help the Zo6 benefit from better traction and increased handling. Cooling is enhanced as well. The wider stance also increases airflow directed through side vents to help keep engine temperatures down. The front fascia was also designed in a way to allow airflow to be directed for maximum cooling of the brake and powertrain systems. The Front of the Zo6 has 275/30 tires wrapped on twenty-inch wheels and the rear gets a monster 345/25 series tire to help keep this rocket pointed in the right direction. Chevrolet claims that this generation Zo6 can pull off 1.22 g on a 300-foot skidpad and achieve 734 pounds of downforce at 186 mph.

Exhaust 

The Zo6 went with a center quad exhaust system and actually engineered the exhaust system to direct the sound of the exhaust towards the cabin so that the operator can enjoy the symphony and not only the world around it. It’s definitely a better idea than the European manufacturers feeding us lies and producing synthetic engine noises through your car speakers to make you hear an exhaust note in your cabin. These bezels that you see as the exhaust aren’t truly the exhaust. They were designed and shaped to reflect the engine’s high-pitched roar back into the cabin.

Interior

Overall The Zo6’s interior is the same as the base Corvette, but GM offers some extra touches throughout the cockpit. It may not make your Zo6 stand out too much more with those subtle additions, so GM gave the Zo6 exclusive options like a fully red interior (Adrenaline Red) and real carbon-fiber trim in all the right areas. GM gives their buyers a bigger role to help bring their vision to life with a plethora of Interior customization that is sure to appeal to all enthusiast tastes.       

  • Three seat choices
  • Seven wheel choices
  • Twelve exterior color choices
  • two levels of carbon-fiber options along with the choice of aluminum trim. 
  • Carbon-fiber steering wheel 
  • Carbon paddle shifters.  
  • get a fully red interior 
  • Twelve exterior color choices 
  • seven wheel choices with different finishes 
  • six brake caliper color choices.
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