2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Preview

Christian Wardlaw | Oct 28, 2021
  • New high-performance Corvette with heavy Corvette Racing influence
  • Wider body, more opportunity to customize the interior
  • New 5.5-liter V8 engine making 670 horsepower
  • Bigger brakes and re-tuned chassis and suspension
  • Optional Z07 package brings maximum performance
  • Infotainment and safety tech mirrors Stingray
  • Built in Bowling Green, Kentucky, in both left- and right-hand-drive variations
  • Chevrolet Corvette Z06 release date is the fall of 2022. Production starts in the summer of 2022
  • Chevrolet Corvette Z06 prices available closer to the on-sale date

Calling it a “new American supercar that puts the world on notice,” Chevrolet debuted the 2023 Corvette Z06, which the automaker says is designed and engineered to dominate rivals on the road and the track.

2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Orange Front Quarter View

Explaining why the 2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 defines the American supercar, 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.”

Chevrolet will offer the new Corvette Z06 in both coupe and convertible body styles without any change in specification for the latter version of the car. Trim levels follow in Chevy’s imaginative tradition, with 1LZ, 2LZ, and 3LZ specifications.

Exterior Features

2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Orange Rear Quarter View

If you look at photos of the new Corvette Z06 and think the car is wider than the standard Corvette Stingray, your eyes do not deceive you. Both the front and rear ends meet that description, and they’re redesigned to fit the Z06’s purpose.

In front, a new fascia optimizes cooling and feeds a center heat exchanger. The broader rear end accommodates the Z06’s massive tires and improves airflow through the side vents in the back. The Z06 also features centered, floating exhaust bezels and a reconfigurable and adjustable rear spoiler to maximize high-speed stability and cornering capability, according to Chevrolet.

Forged aluminum wheels are standard and available in five different finishes. In front, they wear 275/30ZR20 Michelin Pilot Sport 4S ZP tires. In the back, Chevy installs the same rubber but in 345/25ZR21 specification. Carbon-fiber wheels are available, and they collectively reduce unsprung weight by 41 pounds, Chevy says.

Upgrade to the Carbon Fiber Aero package, and the Z06 wears a larger front splitter, front-corner canards, underbody aero strakes, and a pedestal-mounted rear wing, all constructed of carbon fiber.

Interior Features

2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Interior Dashboard

“Corvette has always brought a discerning customer to the Chevy family,” said Steve Hill, vice president of Chevrolet. “This new Z06 was designed and engineered to set a higher bar with increased levels of craftsmanship, personalization, and performance so customers can truly have their own bespoke performance car.”

If you’ve been in a well-equipped version of the C8, you know the interior is a cut above what Chevy has offered before. In fact, the Stingray 3LT’s interior looks, feels, and smells like it belongs in a Cadillac. Apparently, the new Z06 will take that to the next level, with Chevrolet confirming a wider range of materials, features, and upgrades than it offers in the Stingray.

Highlights include a carbon fiber steering wheel, shift paddles, and interior trim. A full hand-wrapped leather interior is also available. In addition to seven core color combinations, Chevrolet says thousands of interior variations are available depending on how a customer specs the car. There are three different seat designs, for example, and six seat belt color options.

Chevrolet wants its customers to feel that they can build a Z06 that is genuinely their own, similar to how Porsche buyers can do that with a new 911.

Under the Hood

Design aside, what makes the 2023 Chevy Corvette Z06 truly special is the hardware beneath the bodywork, which is directly rooted in Corvette Racing experience and know-how. For instance, Chevy says the Z06’s chassis has served duty under the championship-winning C8.R racing car since 2020, and the Z06’s engine architecture is similar to what’s been powering the C8.R since 2019.

What follows here are the primary differences between the Corvette Stingray and the Corvette Z06.

A new, hand-built 5.5-liter LT6 V8 engine powers the 2023 Z06. It employs a flat-plane crankshaft that helps it make 670 horsepower at 8,400 rpm and rev to an 8,600 rpm redline. Chevrolet claims no other naturally aspirated V8 in a production car has ever made this much horsepower. Torque measures 460 pound-feet at 6,300 rpm.

Among other details, the engine employs an active split intake manifold, titanium intake and sodium-filled exhaust valves, forged aluminum pistons, and forged titanium connecting rods. It uses a 6-stage dry-sump oiling system to ensure proper lubrication under challenging circumstances, and Chevrolet claims it spent two years tuning the exhaust note, promising that the result is unlike anything you’ve ever heard from a Corvette.

An 8-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission powers the rear wheels, and a 5.56 final-drive ratio quickens acceleration. Larger Brembo braking components include 14.6-inch front discs clamped by 6-piston calipers and 15-inch rear discs. The suspension and Magnetic Ride Control 4.0 also get specific tuning for duty in the Z06.

An optional Z07 package supplies an additional 734 pounds of downforce at 186 mph, according to Chevrolet. It has a carbon-fiber high rear wing, carbon fiber ground effects, carbon-fiber wheels, Michelin Cup 2 R ZP tires, Brembo carbon-ceramic brakes with even larger discs, and specific tuning for the chassis and suspension. Chevy says the Z07 package produces up to 1.22g of grip on a 300-foot skidpad.

Safety Systems

Though the focus of the new Corvette Z06 is track-ready performance, it still needs modern safety technology for driving on public roads.

As such, the standard equipment list includes a high-definition reversing camera and rear parking-assistance sensors. If you upgrade to the Corvette Z06 2LZ or 3LZ, the car features front and rear cameras including a front curb view, a blind-spot warning system, and rear cross-traffic warning.

Reportedly, that is the extent of the driving-assistance systems for the new Z06.

Infotainment and Technology

Chevrolet did not define what the Z06’s infotainment system will include, but images suggest it has the same setup as the Stingray.

In other words, you’ll get an 8-inch touchscreen display, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, satellite radio, connected services that includes access to a Wi-Fi hotspot, and navigation. Expect an available Bose Centerpoint surround-sound system, too.

A head-up display will be standard in the Corvette Z06, helping drivers to keep their eyes forward at high speeds. A rear camera mirror helps to improve rearward visibility, too. It is standard on the Z06 Convertible and is part of the 2LZ package on the Z06 Coupe.

2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Competitors

The new Corvette Z06 goes into production in the summer of 2022 and likely arrives in customers’ hands in the fall of that year. New Z06 prices will be available closer to that time but expect the number to contain six digits.

When the Z06 arrives, it may find itself facing few challengers equipped with traditional internal combustion engines. The Acura NSX is officially canceled after 2022, and the BMW i8 is already goneAudi is reportedly nixing the R8 soon, too, and the Mercedes-AMG GT may be nearing the end of its life.

One model that’s not going anywhere is the Porsche 911. Given how Chevrolet intends to let consumers option the Corvette Z06, the Porsche is clearly the intended rival.

Chevrolet is the source of information in this article. It was accurate as of October 26, 2021, but it may have changed since that date. Always confirm product details and availability with the automaker’s website or your local dealership.

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