The 2023 Corvette Z06 takes the performance of the eighth-generation Chevy Corvette C8 to a new level by introducing the new naturally aspirated 5.5L V8 LT6 gasoline engine, which offers a decidedly exotic exhaust note and sky-high 8,600-rpm redline. Now, it’s been reported that GM benchmarked the 2023 Corvette Z06 using a Ferrari 458 engine purchased online.
In an interview with The Drive, project chief engineer Jordan Lee said that when the new C8 Corvette Z06 development project was launched in 2014, GM engineers were keen to unpack Ferrari’s engines and see how they worked. However, rather than simply buying a Ferrari, the team instead looked online for a used engine.
“We were able to buy a wrecked car engine from Poland on eBay,” Lee said. “We sent them a check for something like $25,000, and we were all pretty pleased and thrilled that the engine actually did show up.”
The engine in question was the Ferrari F136, a naturally aspirated 4.5L V8 rated at 562 horsepower and 398 pound-feet of torque. By comparison, the atmospheric 5.5L V8 LT6 is rated at 670 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque. Like the F136, the LT6 also has a flat-plane crank.
Later in the development process, when GM had a full-fledged prototype vehicle for on-road testing, the Ferrari 458 once again served as a benchmark. In fact, back in May of 2021, GM Authority caught a convoy that included a prototype 2023 Corvette Z06 and a Ferrari 458 Italia. According to Chevy spokesperson Trevor Thompkins, the Ferrari 458 was selected for the vehicle competitive set “in large part because of the engine.” Interestingly, it’s been reported that GM also purchased a newer Ferrari 488 as a benchmark, but decided to reverse course and replace the 488 with the 458 given the driving characteristics of former’s turbocharged V8.
As a reminder, the 2023 Corvette Z06 rides on the GM Y2 platform. Production will take place at the GM Bowling Green facility in Kentucky.