Just a few hours ago, we brought you fresh new spy shots of the upcoming C8 Corvette Z06, which confirmed an exclusive GM Authority report from earlier this year outlining that the upcoming high-performance variant will feature a unique rear wing. Additionally, the prototype rode on Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 R tires with a staggered setup, with the rear tires being particularly wide, while a set of wheel covers covered up what are believed to be carbon fiber wheels. But that’s not all.
This particular car featured the same exhaust setup as the 2020 Corvette Stingray, with a set of dual, square-tipped squirters positioned on the outer edges of the rear fascia. The Corvette C8 switched to this exhaust configuration after the three prior generations of Corvettes (C5, C6, and C7) all had center-exit exhaust. However, that’s not the only exhaust configuration being tested for Chevy’s upcoming track monster.
GM Authority has learned that Corvette engineers are currently testing a center-exit exhaust on the C8 Z06, much like the one found on the C5, C6 and C7. The center-exit exhaust currently running on a few prototypes features two bigger exhaust outlets flanked by two smaller ones. The outlets at the rear of the fascia where the exhaust would otherwise be positioned on the C8 Stingray are left exposed, though we’re sure that they will be covered by a redesigned lower fascia if this configuration makes its way to production.
Sources tells us that the center-mounted exhaust configuration is to deliver superior aural qualities from the vehicle’s exhaust, while also hinting that the setup will also carry secondary performance-level benefits. From what we know as of this writing, only one of these configurations will end up making it to the production on the C8 Corvette Z06.
The 2022 Corvette Z06 is expected to launch in the second half of the 2021 calendar year. The vehicle will focus on dominant performance at the track. GM Authority expects it to be powered by the upcoming, naturally-aspirated 5.5L V8 LT6 engine, with 32 valves, a DOHC configuration, and a flat-plane crankshaft. Power estimates peg the atmospheric free-revver to produce around 600 horsepower and between 480 and 550 pound-feet of torque.
Meanwhile, the C8 Z06 will be the first major addition to the all-new, mid-engine Corvette C8 lineup. Later on in its lifecycle, the vehicle will also get the C8 E-Ray, C8 Grand Sport, C8 ZR1, and C8 Zora variants.