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The C8 Z06 Is Here, And It’s Glorious

C8 Corvette Z06 Z07 Package LT6 2023
2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06

The 2023 model year represents the 70th anniversary for the Corvette nameplate. Older than several brands in the automotive industry, the Corvette has long served as an American icon, with the Z06 trim level representing a long-standing tradition of world-beating performance. Especially for the money. And that world beating performance, up to this point, has always come in a particular format: a front engine layout, with a small block V8, and a manual transmission. With the 2023 C8 Corvette Z06 revealed, that entire formula is discarded for something new. The engine, as you’d expect, is now behind the seats. The small block V8 has been omitted in favor of a hand-built, DOHC flat-plane LT6 V8 that spins up to 8,600 RPM. And the clutch pedal has been exchanged for a Tremec 8-speed DCT. What does it all mean? It means the most capable, world-beating American supercar that’s ever rolled off an assembly line. Especially with the mighty Z07 Package. Let’s dive in….

2023 Corvette Z06 With Z07 Package: The Ultimate C8

The base C8 Corvette Z06 is already a supercar in its own right. But to really understand the full potential of the new Z06, we have to look at the optional Z07 Performance Package. Highlights include:

  • A more aggressive aerodynamic package is designed to enhance cornering grip and high-speed stability, delivering 734 pounds of downforce at 186 mph, more than any Corvette ever
  • Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 R ZP tires measuring 275/30ZR20 in front around 20 x 10-inch (50.8 x 25.4 cm) front wheels, and 345/25ZR21 in the rear, around 21 x 13-inch (53.3 x 33 cm) rear wheels. Michelin Pilot Sport 4S ZP tires are on the standard Z06.
  • Unique FE7 suspension with specific Magnetic Ride Control 4.0 calibrations
  • Available carbon fiber wheels that deliver a 41-pound (18.6 kg) reduction in unsprung mass
  • 15.7-inch-diameter (398 mm) Brembo front rotors and 15.4-inch-diameter (391 mm) rear rotors – the biggest of any Corvette
  • 1.22 g of grip around a skid pad
  • 3,434 pounds dry weight with the carbon fiber wheels.
LT6 5.5L DOHC Flat Plane Crank V8
LT6 V8 Engine. Image via GM.

Hand-Built LT6 V8 Engine

The C8 Corvette Z06 adopts a radically different engine: a long-reported 5.5L DOHC V8 engine with a flat plane crankshaft that screams all the way to 8,600 RPM, delivering 670 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque in the process. This engine, named LT6, is the most powerful naturally aspirated production V8 engine ever made, beating previous record holders from Mercedes-Benz and Ferrari. In fact, it even beats out the EcoBoost V6 engine found in the hyper-exclusive Ford GT supercar, built by Multimatic.

Each LT6 V8 engine will be hand-built at the GM Performance Build Center located at the Bowling Green Assembly complex. Each engine features a plaque on the intake manifold with the signature of the technician who crafted it.

A version of the LT6 has powered the C8.R race cars since 2019, validating the engine architecture’s performance and durability.

Additional highlights include:

    • All-new aluminum cylinder block casting with the Small Block engine family’s signature 4.4-inch (111.76 mm) bore spacing
    • All-new dual-overhead-camshaft cylinder head design with fully CNC-machined combustion chambers and intake ports, supporting a mechanical “finger follower” valvetrain
    • Dual-coil valve springs to support titanium intake and sodium filled exhaust valves
    • Forged aluminum pistons and forged titanium connecting rods for low mass and high strength
    • Distinctive Edge Red camshaft covers
    • All-new active split intake manifold with twin 87 mm throttle bodies. Yes, twin throttle bodies!
    • All-new six-stage dry-sump oiling system with individual crank bay scavenging
    • Four-into-two-into-one stainless steel exhaust headers
    • 670 hp at 8,400 rpm (GM tested per SAE J1349)
    • 460 lb-ft (623 Nm) of torque @ 6300 rpm (GM tested per SAE J1349)
    • 4.104 inch bore x 3.150 inch stroke
LT6 V8 Engine
Image via GM.

C8 Z06 Exterior Paint, Interior Color And Trim Options

Additional new wheel, color and trim options offer Z06 customers the most personalization choices in the Corvette lineup, including:

  • Twelve available exterior colors
  • Seven available wheel packages, including five finishes on the standard forged aluminum wheels and available carbon fiber wheels
  • Seven interior colors with the opportunity to expand it to thousands of combinations
  • Three seat choices and six seatbelt options
  • Two interior carbon fiber trim packages, plus Stealth Aluminum trim option
  • Six available brake caliper colors
2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Z07 Interior Design
Image via Chevrolet

2023 Corvette Z06 Production

2023 Corvette Z06 production begins in the summer of 2022 exclusively at Bowling Green Assembly in left- and right-hand drive for global appeal.

2023 C8 Corvette Z06 Chevrolet Z07 Package
Image via Chevrolet

Written by Manoli Katakis

Muscle Cars & Trucks was founded by Manoli Katakis - an automotive media veteran that has been covering the latest car news since 2009. His journalism has uncovered dozens of major product changes, updates, plans, and cancellations long before automakers were ready to make things official.

Some highlights over the years of his reporting include the uncovering of the Zora trademark before anybody else reported on the coming of a mid-engine Corvette, as well as the dead-accurate reporting of the coming of the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2, two years before it hit the market, and even before the debut of the concept vehicle. This type of reporting has immediately continued here, with reports of the original seventh-generation Camaro plans being shelved, as well as what's in store for the Chevrolet Silverado.

Some of his work can be found on massive automotive media outlets, such as Motor1. He also has been a guest on the 910AM Radio Station with Detroit News auto critic Henry Payne, as well as the enthusiast-oriented Camaro Show podcast.

Over the years, Manoli has interviewed various automotive industry titans, leaders, and people that make things happen otherwise. These include figureheads such as GM CEO Mary Barra, GM President Mark Reuss, automotive aftermarket icon Ken Lingenfelter, Dodge firebrand Tim Kuniskis, along with various chief engineers of vehicles such as the Ford F-150 & Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro & Corvette, and many more.

At MC&T, Manoli is taking his journalism expertise, deeply planted sources, driving abilities, and automotive industry knowledge to new levels, covering more vehicles and brands than ever before. This is the place where you will continue to read groundbreaking stories about American performance vehicles, pickup trucks, and sport utility vehicles. Here is where you’ll also read insights and quotes from various automotive subject matter experts on the latest relevant products, as well as some of the latest official news from their manufacturers.

Fun facts: he also once beat Corvette Racing driver Tommy Milner in an autocross with a Chevrolet Bolt EV. The biggest vehicle he’s ever driven is a John Deere mining truck. Besides a go-kart, the smallest vehicle he’s driven has been a Hyundai i10. He’s also spent time in the cockpit of various American performance vehicle icons, including the fifth-generation Chevrolet Camaro Z/28, Dodge Challenger Demon, and Ford Mustang GT350R. He has reviewed dozens of trucks, SUVs, and performance vehicles over the years.

One of his favorite new vehicles on the market today happens to be the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison. He is also a card carrying member of the Sports Car Club of America, and regularly participates in Detroit Region autocross events.

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