It’s been almost a year since the official reveal of the world’s first production mid-engine Corvette. Easily the biggest vehicle debut of the year, and perhaps maybe the decade, the 2020 Corvette challenges perceptions, and aims to break the mold of what America’s sports car can be. Its launch hasn’t been without a few spasms, however. First came the 40-day UAW strike last fall, hindering its start out of the gate. Then, just as Bowling Green Assembly was starting to go full-steam, COVID-19 happened. But the show must go on, as General Motors has a schedule to keep. And next on that schedule is the 2022 C8 Corvette Z06. To which, we here at MC&T have once again accrued new details on America’s upcoming supercar from our network of well-placed sources.
First off, we’ll talk about the tires. Wrapping a radical set of (optional) carbon fiber wheels will be a set of Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 R tires. Specifications of the front tires are 275/30 R20, while the rears surround a 21-inch wheel and will measure 345/25 R21. These steamroller tires are also Z-rated, which means they’re built for speeds exceeding 149 miles per hour (the new Z06 will be able to surpass that speed effortlessly).
Porsche enthusiasts may recognize this tire as the factory equipment for the 991-generation 911 GT3 RS and 911 GT2 RS. The Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 R tire utilizes a tread compound taken directly from Michelin’s motorsport tires, which is molded into an updated, asymmetric pattern with reduced void area to improve grip in dry conditions. They are some of the best and most exclusive performance tires on the market today. It’s expected that Michelin, a long standing partner with Corvette, will create a custom size for the C8 Z06, as well as the C8 ZR1 and Zora, as the measurements found on the Porsches are not big enough.
As previously hinted from various USPTO images, the 2022 C8 Corvette Z06 is expected to integrate active aerodynamics, with adjustable wings, splitters and even side flaps that will variably adjust themselves as the American supercar negotiates braking, cornering, as well as accelerating all the way to V-max. This equipment will be optional – and likely available with the ‘Z07’ package that’s traditionally offered with the Z06 Corvette. Allegations of a large fixed rear wing for the upcoming C8 Z06 that resemble a C8.R are baseless, according to our sources.
Finally, the C8 Corvette Z06 may or may not see a revised rear fascia from the C8 Corvette Stingray with a center-mounted rear exhaust. Currently, the design change is being proposed, as it requires additional funding, and needs full approval from those involved in such decision making. According to sources, the outcome of re-routing the exhaust from the edges of the rear fascia to the traditional center would improve the sound of the 5.5L DOHC flat-plane crank naturally aspirated V8 engine, codenamed LT6. It would improve the pitch of the exhaust note, and allow the mid-engine Corvette Z06 to sound more like an exotic car, further differentiating it from the pushrod V8 found in the LT2-powered C8 Stingray.
Be sure to watch this space for future factoids revolving around C8 Corvette Z06 well before you’re supposed to know about it.