We had to wait nine months after the 2023 C8 Corvette Z06 was revealed before we found out what the pricing for the high-performance car would be. The 2023 Corvette Z06 will start at $106,395, which is the most expensive yet. Indeed, that may be a sticker shock for some customers who may have expected it to come around the $90,000 range or so, but we feel that this price needs a bit of context. Therefore, we’ve gone ahead and adjusted the original pricing of past Z06 models (C5, C6 and C7) to 2022 dollars using a basic inflation calculator. The results may surprise you.
Corvette Z06: Historical Price Comparison
The first “modern” Z06 to reach the market was back in the 2001 model year as part of the C5 Corvette generation. The car could be had for just $40,280 plus destination. That may seem like a small sum of money for a high-performance vehicle, but once inflation is added to the mix, the price by today’s standards was $69,311, or the price of a C8 Corvette Stingray. The C5 Z06 remains the lightest Z06 on record, tipping the scales with a curb weight of just 3,118 pounds. That meant that this 405 hp American Miata could sprint to 60 mph in just 4.0 seconds, and a quarter mile time of 12.4 seconds. Earlier versions of the Z06 (2001 model year only) produced a lesser 385 horsepower.
The sixth-generation Corvette debuted in the 2005 model year, and just one year later, the Z06 showed up with a 105 horsepower advantage over the base ‘Vette at the time. Its bespoke V8 dubbed LS7 still holds the record for the largest displacement Chevy Small Block in the Corvette’s 70-year history. Pricing came in at $65,800, amounting to $98,832 today. For that you got 505 horsepower, a six-speed, rear-wheel-drive, and a parts bin interior. A rip-off by today’s standards. It was, however, far lighter than today’s Z06, by roughly 600 pounds, and a claimed top speed of 198 mph thanks to a low drag coefficient. The C6 Z06 also remains extremely collectable and valuable on the second-hand market for showroom stock examples.
The 2015 model year Corvette Z06 for the C7 generation changed the traditional formula by adding a supercharger, optional convertible body, and automatic transmission for the first time. However, this model got people’s attention with the skid pad, where its 1.2 g of lateral grip was the highest ever seen by testers at this price point. And with 650 horsepower, this front-engined Corvette was pushing the limits of the architecture’s capabilities. The first and only supercharged Z06 variant carried a manufacturer’s suggested price of $78,995, which would be $98,874 USD today. Spitting distance of today’s cutting-edge supercar. But with a factory top speed of 205 mph, it’s the fastest Z06 ever.
Finally, we come to the 2023 C8 Corvette Z06, which represents some of the most advanced vehicle dynamics, engine development and computing technology that General Motors can deliver. For a record-setting 670 horsepower, fighter-jet looks, decked-out cockpit, and cheater-slick tires that look to set track records, Chevrolet asks $106,395 USD. So, yes, it’s more expensive that the Z06 Corvettes of the past, even adjusted for inflation. But it’s much, much more car, too. And because of that, there’s still the ethos of value to be found in the latest iteration of the C8 Corvette.