The 2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 - A World-Beater
Chevrolet’s all-new Z06 puts competitors on notice
The 2023 Corvette Z06 is the most racecar-ish streetcar that Chevrolet can sell to mere mortals.
By Glenn Oyoung
Mon, Nov 1, 2021 07:09 AM PST
The Corvette has always been America’s answer to supercars around the world: I’ll see your fancy badges and beautiful lines and I’ll raise you 100 hp and enough money left over to put down a down payment on a SoCal duplex... If that didn’t keep executives in Maranello up at night, you can bet your bottom euro that the launch of the mid-engined C8 Stingray in 2020 certainly got their attention.
The eighth-generation ‘Vette offers super-car performance for sub-$100k, earning rave reviews from all corners of the world - including from our very own John Grafman who opined that the "Stingray is bold and bordering on outrageous". We’re way past that border now - GM is clearly not content with resting on its laurels. No, the General has marshalled its engineering and design talent to take the C8 platform to new levels by targeting the rarified limited editions of its supercar-rivals with fancy aperitif appendiges added to their names - such as Pista, STO, and RS.
Enter the Z06
As in, the 2023 Corvette Z06: The most racecar-ish streetcar that Chevrolet can sell to mere mortals.
A Short History Lesson On The Z06
The Z06 brand harkens back to 1963. Discerning customers could check one box for the optional Z06 package, and in doing so order a "street-car" that was one license plate removal from being an honest-to-God race car. (Across the way Mr. Shelby was stuffing V8’s into AC Cobra - those were the days!)
2023 Corvette Z06 Global Unveiling
I was invited to watch the global unveiling at my beloved Petersen Automotive Museum, which featured an enlightening and pulse-quickening reveal video hosted by Justin Bell and featuring the team who worked on the new Z06.
It may be a while before we can get our hands on a Z06 to give you driving impressions, but that’s never stopped gearheads from weighing in so why would that stop me now?
Here’s what we know: from a performance perspective, this is the most bad@$$ Corvette short of an actual C8.R racecar prepped by Pratt Miller. Unless you’ve been IROC (see what I did there!?!) you’ve heard the specs.
The All-New 5.5L LT6 Engine
The new Z06’s 5.5L LT6 engine is literally a work of art. At 670hp the LT6 is the highest horsepower, naturally aspirated V8 to ever be in a production car. The flat-plane crank allows drivers to hit a wild 8,600 rpm before redline. I spent time talking to a wonderful engineer who validated that GM indeed spent a great deal of time, effort, and good old-fashioned American greenbacks to completely redesign the exhaust for a growlier growl fitting of the most capable Corvette ever.
Exterior Design And Performance Packages
The Z06 takes the already wild C8 to another level aesthetically, with a wider body, carbon fiber wheels, and carbon fiber bits that scream "#moredownforce!"
The available Z07 performance package includes a carbon high rear wing and ground effects that put peak 90’s Wings West styling to absolute shame. Forget "boy-racer", this is "dad-racer" and I am absolutely loving every finely-tuned millimeter of it.
Without driving it yet, all I can say is BRAVO Chevy. BRAVO. You’ve taken the Heartbeat of America to the absolute next level, and I do believe you have indeed put the world on notice.
About The Author
Glenn Oyoung is a marketer based in Los Angeles. Glenn’s lifelong passion for cars is rooted in playing with Hot Wheels, and has continued into 1:1 scale. He’s the former marketing director of American Racing, author of ‘vehicular alphabet books’ “C is for Car” and "P is for Petersen" in collaboration with the Petersen Automotive Museum. His passion for cars extends to his role as the founder of the monthly car meet Carcadia at Route 66, the most diverse car meet in the San Gabriel Valley.