The C8 Corvette is one of the most exciting sports cars on the market right now. Despite facing a seemingly never-ending list of production issues since its debut, the car has made quite the impact with fans and buyers alike. In fact, the C8 has managed to become the fastest-selling vehicle in the U.S. for three consecutive months. Of course the story of C8 Corvette is just getting started, as we await the debut of the high-performance models. The first of these track-focused offerings slated to arrive is the 2022 C8 Corvette Z06, which has been reported to debut in mid-July. We’ve come to learn a decent bit about the C8 Z06 over the past few months, but a new report has spilled something special. We now have an idea as to how much power the car’s 5.5L LT6 V8 engine will be making. 617 horsepower, to be exact.
The news comes by way of Wheels Magazine, which is an Australian automotive publication. The report itself was written by none other than Angus Mackenzie, who currently serves as the International Bureau Chief for MotorTrend.
The report itself is focused on the four upcoming Corvette models, including the Z06, E-Ray, ZR1, and Zora models. Mackenzie had the most details to share about the C8 Corvette Z06 however, including some specs we’ve yet to hear anywhere else. MC&T was the first to report that the Z06 would feature a DOHC flat-plane crank V8 engine, which we know is based on the C8.R’s 5.5L V8 engine. This engine is said to be a screamer, with Mackenzie noting a redline approaching 9,000 RPM.
Sources close to MC&T further corroborated this power figure, which still awaits finalization.
If that sounds more like an engine from a Ferrari than from Kentucky, there is some reason for that. MC&T first reported that GM is targeting the 458 Speciale with the Z06, particularly in terms of naturally-aspirated performance sound, NVH, and so forth. GM wants the LT6 to be the most powerful naturally aspirated V8 engine on the market, a title it will need to take from the former Ferrari flagship. If the reported claim of 617 horsepower is accurate, GM will have achieved this. The 4.5L unit in the Italian sports car produced 597 horsepower in its day, and has since been replaced by the Ferrari 488, which features a turbocharged V8.
The report also notes that the C8 Corvette Z06 will receive an updated version of the 8-speed DCT that can be found in the Stingray. It’s slated to be stronger and even faster shifting than the base car’s box. We also know that the C8 Z06 will come equipped with a center exit exhaust, some serious aero upgrades, and a set of massive Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2R tires. All around, it should bring the performance of the Corvette to a whole new level.
As we patiently await the arrival of the new LT6-powered C8 Corvette Z06, expect some more information like this to trickle out. This is going to be a special car in the history of the Corvette, as it’s only the second model to forgo the classic pushrod V8 in the car’s long history. Just like the C4 ZR-1 before it, this new 600+ horsepower Z06 has the potential to be a genuine supercar in every way. We can’t wait to see what this race car with a license plate is able to do, and how the rest of the sports car world responds.