Last month, GM Authority brought you the first ever spy shots of the upcoming Corvette C8 Z06 without body-hugging checkered camouflage. Now, we have new closeup shots that reveal design and aero cues taken from the Corvette Racing C8.R.
Indeed, the removal of the heavy camo gives us our best look yet at the various aerodynamic features of the C8 Z06. Meanwhile, a new teaser video from Chevy also shows the Z06 in similar camo, confirming our observations. So, let’s dig right in.
Right off the bat, the design changes and aero upgrades will give the C8 Z06 even better handling than a C8 Stingray with the Z51 performance package, enabling it to be more planted to the road and presumably the most track-capable Vette yet.
It all begins with a wider body, as can be seen at the front and rear fenders of the prototype in our spy shots. The wide body treatment, in turn, allows for several aero changes.
Compared to the C8 Stingray, the Z06 front end has a wider, lower, more aggressive front fascia with larger intakes. The lower fascia includes a large splitter and the absence of the bumper bar and license plate bracket seen on the Stingray, freeing up space in the center for an additional radiator. Our spy shots also reveal possible brake cooling ducts on either side of that newfound center radiator.
Gracing the front fenders is a set of canards/dive planes reminiscent of those used on the 2019 Corvette ZR1, 2018 Camaro ZL1 1LE, and Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing, and much like those found on the Corvette Racing C8.R.
The side profile, meanwhile, features a set of side rocker panel extensions that appear to be the same as those on the Stingray. The rockers fold into the wider rear fenders.
In a marked change from the Stingray, the wide body treatment of the Z06 mirrors the intake side vents of the C8.R. The side vents on the Z06 are taller than the ones on the Stingray and, instead of the door crease ending under the side vent like it does on the Stingray, the crease ends in the vent on the Z06.
The rear end features a lower rear diffuser, with the most obvious change on the C8 Z06 being a set of four round center-mounted exhaust pipes, as GM Authority originally reported on. The setup is similar to that found on the C7 Corvette in appearance. By comparison, the C8 Stingray features two square-like exhaust tips on each side of the rear fascia.
Moving the exhaust from the side to the center opens up spots for cooling vents while adding two additional vents on either side of the exhaust. There are also new brake cooling vents located at the back of the lower rear fenders.
Our sources also tell us that this setup will also result in a better exhaust note when compared to the implementation on the Stingray.
Finally, the rear is graced with a prominent wing spoiler, which GM Authority was the first to alert you to back in January 2020 – way before any spy shots showed the aero feature. There is also the possibility of the Z06 featuring active aero components, but that might end up being reserved for ZR1 and Zora models.
The entire ensemble is riding on a set of dark, five-spoke wheels that appear to have an exposed carbon fiber weave. As GM Authority reported previously, the C8 Z06 will ride on a set of 20-inch 275/30R20 tires up front and 21-inch 345/25R21 rubber out back. Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires will likely be standard, while Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 R tires will be offered as an option. The prototype seen here is riding on the Cup 2 rubber.
Beside design and aero cues borrowed from the C8.R, the Z06 also gets a new, powerful, naturally aspirated 5.5L LT6 V8 engine based on the race car. The high-revving, DOHC 32-valve powerplant will feature a flat-plane crank and is expected to make around 615 horsepower and 450 pound-feet of torque. The Stingray’s 6.2L LT2 V8 is rated at 495 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque when equipped with the optional Performance Exhaust.
A version of GM’s Tremec-supplied eight-speed dual-clutch transmission will be present, sending power to the rear wheels through an electronically controlled limited-slip differential.
Just like it did with the C8 Stingray two years ago, Chevy is teasing the C8 Z06 wrapped in camo. But unlike the Stingray cruising the streets of New York with 07.18.19 emblazoned on the side, the Z06 is featured in a video driving from the Nurburgring Nordschleife in Germany to the Circuit de La Sarthe in Le Mans, France, juxtaposed with flashes of the C8.R. And the segment ends with the Z06 parked next to the C8.R, making the comparison crystal clear.
For the 2022 model year of the C8 Stingray, Chevy introduced an IMSA GTLM Championship C8.R Special Edition, featuring graphics packages that mimic the No. 3 Corvette C8.R and No. 4 Corvette C8.R sister car, along with other upgrades. With the Z06 powerplant based on, and design and aero cues closely matching, those of the C8.R, adding a similar championship-style option package would make the road version of the Vette the closest cousin ever to the racing version. It would be an exciting first for America’s sports car.
To celebrate, the new Z06 will even sport a new logo which GM showed in its first teaser video, featuring a “crank it up” soundtrack of the LT6 as it shifts through the gears at full throttle against shots of the race track and a two-lane country road.
GM will reveal the 2023 Corvette Z06 on October 26th. The new supercar just might be the ‘Ringmeister to rule them all – at least till Chevy outdoes itself with the next performance version of the C8. There will be two of those – the C8 ZR1 and C8 Zora. Meanwhile, the C8 E-Ray will slot between the Z06 and ZR1 as an indirect (and electrified) successor to the Z06.
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