Chevrolet ups the 0-60 ante with racing-powered Z06 Corvette |

Chevrolet ups the 0-60 ante with racing-powered Z06 Corvette |

After teasing the Corvette faithful with mid-engine prototypes for 60 years, Chevrolet finally produced the C8 in 2020. It rightly won Motor Trend magazine’s Car of the Year award and — starting at around $60,000 — promptly took its place with super cars costing two or three times as much.

Still fans said “wait ‘til the Z06.”

It’s here in time for the 70th anniversary of America’s sport’s car.

Chevrolet took a Pratt & Miller race engine — 5.5-liter (333-cubic inches), 32-valve, dual overhead cam V-8  with a flat-plane crankshaft — and turned it into the street legal LT6 for 2023.

Even without supercharging or turbocharging (wait for the ZR1), designers delivered 670 bhp at 8,600 rpm, making this the most powerful naturally aspirated production V-8.

“The new Corvette Z06 defines the American super car,” General Motors President Mark Reuss said in a statement. “It builds on the distinctive design and groundbreaking dynamics introduced with the mid-engine Corvette and elevates them to deliver refined but uncompromising track capability with world-class performance.”

People are also reading…

  • 30-year-old woman reported missing in Dyer, police say
  • Child found parents following murder-suicide in Portage home, police say
  • Woman driving 85 mph when she struck Highland man, who later died, charges state
  • WATCH NOW: Man charged with attempted murder in officer’s shooting
  • Chicago Assembly Plant to idle next week because of chip shortage, putting thousands out of work
  • Hammond trucking company must rezone abandoned Gary schools before relocating
  • Hammond man charged with attempted murder in Chicago highway violence crackdown
  • Teacher accused of repeatedly raping student, threatening to kill her, charges say
  • Woman charged with sending mail laced with suspected PCP to jail inmate
  • ‘Massive’ commercial, industrial complex planned for Merrillville
  • Man fires several shots at police in chase from Hobart to Illinois, courts say
  • Fatal crash closes portion of I-94, police say
  • Former football league president charged with theft posts bond
  • Police on hunt for person of interest after Gary officer shot; 1 suspect in custody
  • Man charged in triple homicide makes first appearance before judge

To that end, Chevrolet claims the Z06 can do 0-60 mph in 2.6 seconds and manage a quarter mile in 10.6 seconds. That  makes it faster than the C7 Corvette ZR1, which recorded 10.8 seconds for a quarter mile at 133.1 mph and suggests Z06 can do about 135.4 mph. For more perspective, a 2021 Corvette C8 with the X51 performance package delivers 0-60 mph in 3.1 seconds, and a quarter mile in 11.4 seconds at 120.4 mph. So the new Z06 is the leader in the clubhouse — at least until the twin-turbo C8 ZR1 and Corvette E-Ray arrive, both expected for 2023.

The C8 Z06 represents a number of firsts for Corvette:

  • The engine is a bespoke unit used in no other General Motors vehicle.
  • Each is assembled and signed by one man (though you can pay a small fee and build the engine yourself).
  • The Z06 is available with right-hand drive for the first time, a nod to loyalists in the United Kingdom and Japan. 
  • Its 670 bhp is 50 bhp higher than any other naturally aspirated engine, topping a Mercedes unit from the 1990s. The 8,600 rpm redline is almost 2,000 revs higher than the base Stingray unit. Power is transmitted through an 8-speed Tremec dual-clutch transmission.

“Racing was the reason the Z06 was developed in 1963, and it continues to support development of the road models that make them better on the street and the track,” Tadge Juechter, Corvette executive chief engineer, said in a statement. “It also means we’ve tested the Z06 on the best tracks around the world, from Circuit of the Americas here in the United States, to the Nürburgring in Germany.”

That first Z06 in 1963 was an optional Special Equipment Package with a stiffer suspension, heavy-duty brakes, a thicker front stabilizer bar and a 36-gallon fuel tank for fewer pit stops. 

The 2023 version Z06 is 3.6 inches wider than the Stingray and weighs 3,400 pounds dry, lead development engineer Aaron Link told Jay Leno, on an episode of “Jay Leno’s Garage,” when the noted automotive enthusiast got to take a spin in the car.  

It rides on speed-rated 345 section rear tires, at 21 inches the largest to date, and the pre-production model was fitted with the Z07 wheel and brake package with light Carbon Revolution wheels and Carbon ceramic brake.

These are the biggest fitted to a Corvette, with 15.7-inch discs upfront and 15.4 inches in back. With such a high redline, the rear axle ratio has been raised to 5.56:1 to get the most out of the engine.

Chevy is building about 195 Corvettes a day but has not broken out Z06 production. 

Long-time auto industry observer Peter DeLorenzo expects it to be priced at  $85,000-100,000 depending on options, when it goes on sale this summer.