With the 2023 C8 Corvette Z06 debut coming up next month, Chevrolet has another huge reveal lined up for the world, having just finished the reveal of the 2022 Silverado. There’s a lot of hype and expectations around this American supercar, mostly centered around its engine. We at MC&T and others have done a lot of digging to unearth details about the Z06 and its 5.5L flat-plane crank V8 engine – codenamed LT6 – well before General Motors wants you to know about it, including its potential to break just about every record for a naturally-aspirated engine.
V8 Records That Could Break
According to a list of records compiled by Hagerty, the 5.5L LT6 V8 in 2023 Corvette Z06 guaranteed to break the first record on the list as the largest displacement flat-plane production V8 engine. The current record holder is the Ford Shelby GT350 “Voodoo” engine, which is 5.2 liters.
The most torque from a naturally aspirated *flat-plane* production V8 is another record to beat, which wouldn’t be hard with the numbers mentioned earlier as the current record is 429 lb-ft of torque. It should be noted that cross-plane and pushrod V8 engines are capable of much higher numbers.
Thirdly, the LT6 engine in the 2023 Corvette Z06 would have the highest redline in an American performance car as the redline, landing somewhere between 8000-8,500 RPM, again fighting the Ford Performance Voodoo V8 that graced the Shelby Mustang GT350.
Perhaps the biggest headline grabbing potential is that the C8 Z06 engine could break the record for having the most powerful naturally aspirated V8 ever to make production.
The M159 engine in the 2014 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Black Series produced 622 horsepower, which is an incredible figure on its own. It’s expected that the LT6 in the 2023 Corvette Z06 will come in somewhere between 600-620 horsepower, so it’s a possibility that this record could fall as well, but the order seems a bit taller than the others.
Then of course, there’s the horsepower-per-liter record for a naturally aspirated engine. Currently held by the DOHC flat-plane V8 found in the Ferrari 458 Speciale, MC&T speculated last year that this record could be another one for the C8 Corvette Z06’s trophy case.
Less Likely To Break
The next record isn’t as likely as the previous ones, but it’s still impressive to look at the numbers. The most powerful naturally aspirated American engine is the 8.4-liter V10 found within the 2015-17 Dodge Viper, which produced 645 horsepower. As a V8 engine, the 5.5-liter LT6 will at the very least push its way to second place on the leaderboard, surpassing Ford’s Voodoo which makes 526 ponies. It will also beat GM’s current reigning champion, the 7.0-liter LS7, which has a horsepower of 505. Many consider it to be the best small-block V8 engine of all time.
2023 C8 Corvette Z06: Just Weeks Away From Official Debut
No matter what happens, the 2023 Corvette Z06 is bound to shatter perceptions on just what an American sportscar – neé, a supercar – is capable of. Especially for the money. With a two week stint at the Nürburgring recently finishing up, and official teaser videos starting the countdown, the world will soon bear witness to what is bound to be the most track capable Corvette to-date.