Now that Chevy has pulled the wraps off the new 2023 Corvette Z06, we thought it appropriate to render the IMSA GTLM Championship Edition version. So we put our team of rendering artists to work, applying the cues of the 2022 Corvette IMSA GTLM Special Edition to the new C8 Z06 Coupe.
Before we continue, let’s first review the basics. This past summer, Chevrolet introduced the Corvette IMSA GTLM Championship Edition for the 2022 Corvette – a limited-run version of the Chevy Corvette C8 Stingray built to celebrate the championship-winning season of the Corvette Racing C8.R in the 2020 IMSA WeatherTech Series. But given that the 2023 C8 Z06 is closer to the race-going C8.R, it would be much more fitting if the 2023 Corvette Z06 wore the celebratory package instead of the C8 Stingray.
The 2022 Corvette IMSA GTLM Championship Edition features a graphics package intended to mimic the No. 3 Corvette C8.R and No. 4 Corvette C8.R. The No. 3 edition features an Accelerate Yellow body with gray graphics, while the No. 4 edition is painted in Hypersonic Gray with yellow graphics.
Additional standard equipment setting these special edition Vettes apart includes yellow brake calipers, black-painted Trident alloy wheels with Jake logo center caps, Carbon Flash-painted exterior mirrors, black-painted side rockers and splash guards.
Inside, all 2022 Corvette IMSA GTLM Championship Edition cars feature Strike Yellow and Sky Cool Gray upholstery, standard GT2 seats (Competition Sport Bucket Seats are available), yellow seatbelts and a C8.R Special Edition numbered plaque. Each car also comes with a custom-fitted indoor car cover rendered to the appearance of either the No. 3 or No. 4 Corvette C8.R race car, depending on the model.
Meanwhile, the all-new 2023 Corvette Z06 is powered by the all-new, naturally aspirated, flat-plane crank 5.5L LT6 V8 derived from the C8.R powerplant. The engine is rated at an impressive 670 horsepower at 8,400 rpm – the highest-horsepower, naturally-aspirated V8 ever offered in a production vehicle. Those impressive figures are enabled by a lightweight, low-inertia rotating assembly with a flat-plane crankshaft, enabling a sky-high redline of 8,600 rpm – 2,000 rpm higher than Corvette C8 Stingray. The LT6 also makes 460 pound-feet of torque at 6,300 rpm.
Other highlights of the dual-overhead camshaft motor include an all-aluminum cylinder block, forged aluminum pistons, forged titanium connecting rods, an active split intake manifold with twin 87 mm throttle bodies and a racing-inspired dry-sump oiling system.
Power in the 2023 Corvette Z06 is sent to the rear wheels through the eight-speed dual-clutch transmission with a shorter 5.56 final drive ratio, further helping to give the Z06 superior acceleration over the Corvette C8 Stingray. Chevy‘s now-familiar electronic limited-slip differential is also present, and works with a new track-specific Performance Traction Management (PTM) system to put power to the pavement. Available when Track mode is activated, the PTM system in the Z06 offers five settings of torque reduction and brake intervention, allowing the user to tailor it to their needs when out on the track.
Braking in the “standard” Z06 is handled by a set of 14.6-inch-diameter front and 15-inch-diameter rear Brembo brake rotors, along with front six-piston and rear four-piston Brembo calipers. The 20-inch front wheels are shod in wider 275/30ZR20 tires, while the larger-diameter 21-inch rear wheels are wrapped in a set of 345/25ZR21 tires. Michelin Pilot Sport 4S ZP tires are standard equipment. These standard models are equipped with monotube shock absorbers front and rear, while offering Magnetic Ride Control suspension as an option.
Customers who crave even more performance can opt for the available Z07 Performance Package, which takes the performance of the C8 Corvette Z06 “to its zenith,” according to Chevy, by adding larger, carbon ceramic 15.7-inch-diameter front rotors and 15.4-inch-diameter rear rotors, along with stickier Michelin Sport Cup 2 R ZP rubber, FE7 suspension with specially tuned Magnetic Ride Control 4.0 dampers. Also available are a set of carbon fiber wheels that deliver a 41-pound reduction in unsprung mass. All Z07-equipped models also receive a full carbon fiber aerodynamics package with a larger front splitter, front-corner dive planes, a pronounced rear wing and an underbody strake. The aero kit produces 734 pounds of downforce at 186 mph.
Inside, the Z06 offers available carbon fiber-wrapped steering wheel, carbon fiber dash/door trim, three different seat choices and six seat belt options. A head-up display is also standard, relaying important information to the driver while their full attention is on the track ahead.
The 2023 Corvette Z06 will be offered in 12 exterior colors with six brake caliper colors, plus seven interior colors. There will also be eight available wheels, including six finishes on the standard forged aluminum “spider” wheels plus the aforementioned carbon fiber wheels, available in two finishes. The model will be available as both a coupe (with a manually-removable roof panel) and convertible (with a power-folding roof).
Production of the 2023 Corvette Z06 will begin at the GM Bowling Green plant in summer 2022. Chevy has not yet confirmed pricing or fuel economy figures, but mentioned a 0-to-60 mph time of 2.6 seconds, and that Z07-equipped cars can circle a 300-foot skidpad at 1.22 g.
As Chevy puts it, “Le Mans. Sebring. Daytona. Detroit. All conquered by the C8.R race car in its pursuit of racing glory. And now, that same technology comes to the streets with the all-new Corvette Z06. Purpose-built to dominate the track.”
The road-going Corvette Z06 and Corvette Racing car have never been more similar, and we think the IMSA GTLM Championship Edition package on the C8 Z06 would be exactly what the doctor ordered.