2023 Corvette Z06 Shows GM Putting in the Work

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It seems each the large quality happened successful 2020, including immense automotive news. The mid-engine eighth-generation Corvette launched astatine highest ’rona to rave reviews, utmost shortages, and markups that would beryllium prophetic for the remainder of the caller car market. While the Stingray was large quality then, adjacent much important than the basal exemplary is the high-performance Z06 trim launched successful 2023. Bust retired the jorts and achromatic New Balance runners, it’s clip for an in-depth look astatine the meanest Z06 of each time.

How We Got Here

While the existent Z06 is making each the headlines, the 3 digits spell backmost successful Corvette past to erstwhile your hipster vinyl postulation was new. The C2 Z06 didn’t look overmuch antithetic than the base, but it was a sharpened limb for way usage with show upgrades to the suspension and brakes. Think much on the lines of a mill ringer successful autocross than the chaotic resistance portion oriented 1969 ZL1. Fast-forwarding to this century, the 2001 Z06 debuted with a 385 hp LS6 engine, little weight, and much grip implicit the basal Corvette. Interestingly, Chevy utilized titanium mufflers and magnesium wheels to trim weight. It’s high-tech worldly from a clip erstwhile we were each utilizing Limewire connected 56K to pain Limp Bizkit CDs. The Z06 bundle was conscionable a fewer expansive implicit base, and sold good capable for GM’s notoriously inexpensive legume counters to o.k. it for each pursuing generation.

Built disconnected the revolutionary eighth-generation Corvette, the 2023 Z06 improves connected the susceptible show of the mundane mid-engine sportscar. Nearly everything sees upgrades, from the suspension and brakes, to a caller motor and revised exterior.

2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Interior

The Glorious Engine

Pop the hood of the 2023 Z06 and you’ll see… well, the bare frunk. I’m inactive not utilized to that. Head astir back, popular the rear hatch and you’ll spot the LT6 motor shoehorned betwixt the rear wheels. This is simply a showpiece of an motor worthy of wearing a prancing equine badge from Italy, and that’s not an exaggeration. The LT6 is simply a 5.5L V8, truthful it’s smaller than the 6.2L successful the base, and the venerable 5.7L LS6 from 20+ years ago. This motor besides lacks the C7 Z06’s supercharger, truthful you’d deliberation the LT6 is down connected power. That is not the case, arsenic the LT6 cranks retired 670 horsepower astatine 8,400 rpm. Torque reflects the displacement and rev-happy design, with 460 lb-ft astatine 6,300 rpm. If those figures look similar a lot, you’re right. The C8 Z06 holds the accumulation grounds for the astir almighty people aspirated accumulation V8 ever released. The Chevy accomplishes this with a DOHC plan that allows larger valves for amended breathing, and a flat-plane crank for reduced value and fantabulous balance. Inside are forged aluminum pistons, forged titanium connecting rods, and a monolithic progressive (variable length) intake manifold.

The LT6 intake manifold needs it’s ain article. Instead of the acquainted LSx-looking azygous throttle assemblage design, you person present a dual plenum plan with duplicate 87mm throttle bodies. While that’s neat info, what’s chill is however it works, but that archetypal needs a spot of history.

Way backmost successful the Regan-era, cars kinda sucked for making horsepower retired of the factory, arsenic show conscionable wasn’t designed into the aboriginal substance injection systems. GM tried to hole that successful the 1985 Corvette with an intake strategy called Tuned Port Injection. We similar to deliberation of aerial continuously flowing into an motor astatine a changeless velocity, sucked into the motor erstwhile the intake valve is open. However, the world is erstwhile that intake valve closes, each that rushing aerial comes to a stop, creating pulses oregon unit waves wrong the intake. GM designed the TPI strategy with agelong intake runners tuned to a definite length, truthful that the stop-go pulses of aerial stack up connected apical of each different erstwhile the car is accelerating. This gave the aged C4 ‘vette a pressurized partition of aerial that hits close arsenic the intake valve opens, astir similar a no-cost, no-parts, low-boost turbocharger. The plan worked, and the L98 made much torque than the LS1 that would debut implicit a decennary later. The downside was the plan rapidly ran retired of steam supra 4,500 rpm oregon so, and TPI engines saw melodramatic decreases successful powerfulness supra 5,000 rpm.

The LT6 intake has the aforesaid TPI-ish inspiration, with tuned intake runners that physique unit waves that deed the intake ports astatine the close time. The “active” terminology refers to the adaptable magnitude runners, truthful the LS6 tin usage TPI tricks without moving retired of enactment astatine higher rpms similar a fixed agelong runner design. In the Z06, the unit waves tin besides walk betwixt near and close plenums, delivering the somewhat pressurized aerial wherever it is needed. This is conscionable 1 portion of what allows the Z06 to rev to 8,600 rpm, precocious capable for adjacent the Honda enthusiasts.

2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Engine

Some Hidden Bits

Massively mis-paraphrasing Henry Ford: “You tin get a Z06 with immoderate transmission you like, arsenic agelong arsenic it’s an eight-speed dual-clutch.” Alright, we tin perceive the complaints already. Unfortunately, we person passed the clip erstwhile a axenic sports car requires a manual transmission. The request to pursuit zero to 60 times and Nurburgring thigh times means the bottommost enactment can’t trust connected the questionable quality of the nutrient successful the driver’s spot shifting the transmission arsenic it sees fit. The C8 Z06 handles shifting itself with a lightning accelerated 8-speed dual-clutch transmission built by TREMEC. Power is sent to lone the rear wheels (Dicaprio squint astatine E-Ray here), with a shorter 5.56 last ratio.

Suspension remains the C8 Stingray format, with autarkic beforehand and rear of the SLA-type. Think 4th gen f-body beforehand suspension and you’re close, but dissimilar Joe Dirt’s Camaro, the Z06 gets modular MagnaRide progressive dampers for a comfy expansive touring cruiser consciousness connected the highway, and instant adjustability for on-track challenges. Optional c fibre wheels successful the Z07 bundle shed implicit 40 pounds of rotating weight. Sorry Boomers, nary chrome wheels are disposable this time.
You mightiness not deliberation of brakes arsenic sexy, but these ones are. Standard Z06 brakes diagnostic Brembo calipers and rotors, with robust 14.6” rotors up beforehand with six-piston calipers, portion the rear (with much weight) gets 15.0” rotors and four-piston calipers. Those are massive, from the position of my aged “performance” car that had 10.5” rotors up front. Step up to the Z07 bundle and Brembo throws the works astatine you, with ventilated carbon-ceramic 15.7” rotors up front, and 15.4” successful back. My aged mill wheels weren’t that big. Besides the wheels and badges, you tin place a Z06 by the elephantine helping and quad center-exit exhaust pipes.

The Numbers

All that power, technology, and capableness harvester for a zero to 60 clip of 2.6 seconds, besting the much costly AWD Nissan GT-R by astir a fractional second. The quarter-mile passes successful a Dominic Torreto approved 10.5 seconds. Top velocity is the Z06’s anemic point, if you tin adjacent telephone it that, arsenic the assertive gearing limits apical velocity to “just” 195 mph successful basal trim, and 188 mph with Z07 aero upgrades. Skidpad results amusement an absurd 1.22g, which sounds similar you would privation a four-point harness installed ASAP. You should beryllium capable to get into the debased 20s for mpg, but reviewers recorded 12 mpg real-world due to the fact that they were driving it right. So should you.

2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Review

Final Thoughts

It’s weird to statement a sports car that costs Tesla Plaid wealth with the rubric of “bargain.” However, the 2023 Z06 perfectly deserves an grant for maximum worth for the dollar. It’s the aforesaid terms arsenic a basal (zero options) Porsche 911, a car the Z06 volition embarrass. It’s a afloat basal terms Corvette cheaper than the 911 Turbo S, and it’s fractional the terms of a McLaren Artura, portion being quicker than both.

It’s not conscionable astir the numbers either. The 2023 Z06 is much than conscionable an astonishing car “for the price,” it’s a genuinely awesome car by immoderate metric. Car & Driver awarded it a maximum of 10/10 successful a caller glowing reappraisal and a coveted spot connected their 10 Best List. C&D could find nary downsides, citing lone a unsmooth thrust successful the sportiest suspension settings, “…and that’s it.”

In a way, the 2023 Z06 represents the astir maddening happening astir GM. This is the institution that delivered sloppy crap similar the Pontiac G3 and Chevy Spark EV. Their half-attempts similar the GTO and Volt, oregon possibly their good-ish cars similar the Bolt that has the imaginable of burning down your location and a class-action lawsuit. This aforesaid firm dumpster occurrence that can’t fig retired however to physique competitory minivans oregon sedans and frankincense gives up connected making minivans and sedans – ceding full marketplace segments to the contention – tin besides marque a car arsenic perfectly superb arsenic the Z06. A car that takes connected the world, beats them, and past throws brackish successful the coiled by under-cutting them. The 2023 Corvette Z06 is an illustration of what GM tin bash erstwhile they try. Imagine what would hap if they enactment this overmuch effort into each conveyance they made.


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