The C8 Corvette Z06 will be naturally aspirated, but some commenters have voiced concerns that the upcoming go-faster Chevrolet Corvette C8 won’t have the peak output and power delivery needed to best the supercharged C7 Z06. GM Authority is the leading source of breaking news concerning the C8 Corvette Z06, including our recent exclusive that the Z06 will feature a massive rear wing. Now, we’re breaking down the reasoning behind the new Z06’s move to a naturally aspirated powerplant.
The first reason is this – the Z06 is going back to its roots.
The Z06 nameplate isn’t about boost – it’s about street-legal performance that can be used on the track. And while the C7 Z06 did have forced induction with the supercharged 6.2L LT4 V8, it also experienced widely publicized overheating issues on the track. What’s more, the Z7 Z06 was the only forced induction model in the history of the Z06 nameplate.
Indeed, one could consider the “true” Z06 formula to come from the C6 generation its the monstrous 7.0L LS7 V8. Then of course there’s the naturally aspirated 5.7L LS6 in the C5 Z06. As such, the C8 generation will course correct with a new naturally aspirated V8 derived from the atmospheric, flat-plane-crank 5.5L DOHC V8 found in the race-spec Chevrolet Corvette C8.R.
The second reason the C8 Corvette Z06 is going naturally aspirated is the FIA. FIA homologation rules call for 300 units of an engine found in a race competitor to be produced for road-going purposes. Earlier this week, we published a video of a prototype C8 Corvette Z06 attacking some twisting canyon roads, and the engine definitely didn’t sound like a push-rod Small Block. Rather, it sounded much closer to the glorious C8.R.
The race-spec C8 headed to competition in IMSA series will rock a naturally aspirated 5.5L V8 making 500 horsepower and 480 pound-feet of torque. The road-going model will make quite a bit more – roughly 670 horsepower, according to our sources. Compare that to the C7 Z06, which produced 650 horsepower, and the C8 generation will have more peak output. What’s more, the C8’s mid-engine platform will actually put all those ponies to the pavement, unlike the tire-shredding C7.
Of course, for those who still demand forced induction, the C8 generation will have it… eventually. Just not with the Z06.