The 2023 Corvette Z06 blesses the mid-engine, eighth-gen Vette with even greater performance centered around the high-revving, naturally aspirated 5.5L V8 LT6 gasoline engine. Notably, the LT6 is a clean departure from GM’s Small Block V8s.
According to a recent report from SAE International, the only common feature between the 5.5L V8 LT6 in the 2023 Corvette Z06 and the GM Small Block V8 is a 4.4-inch bore-center spacing. Beyond that, the LT6 has no connection to the iconic Small Block, as confirmed by GM chief engineer Jordan Lee.
“In today’s day and age, it’s hard to define an engine by one dimension [the 4.4-inch bore centers]. This is a unique engine on its own,” Lee said, per SAE International.
Spec and facts on the 2023 Corvette Z06’s LT6 engine are impressive, to say the least. Output is measured at 670 horsepower at 8,400 rpm and 460 pound-feet of torque at 6,300 rpm, all of which is routed exclusively to the rear wheels through an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.
Unlike the overhead-valve design of the Small Block V8, the LT6 features a dual-overhead-cam layout. Redline is set at a head-spinning 8,600 rpm, while the exhaust note offers a decidedly exotic tone. The LT6 also features a flat-plane crank, as well as forged-titanium connecting rods and forged-aluminum pistons, the former of which are 21 percent lighter than the titanium connecting rods in the LS7 V8, and the latter of which are 8 percent lighter than the pistons in the LS7. The block is made from aluminum, while the compression ratio is 12.5:1.
Funny enough, GM benchmarked the 2023 Corvette Z06 with the naturally aspirated, high-revving V8 of the Ferrari 458. You’ll also find 54 easter eggs placed around the engine bay and on the LT6 itself.
As a reminder, the 2023 Corvette Z06 rides on the Y2 platform, with production taking place exclusively at the GM Bowling Green factory in Kentucky.