It seems like yesterday GM took the wraps off the C8 Corvette out in Tustin, California. The mid-engine ‘Vette was like a tsunami hitting the stuffy old supercar space and has been the hottest selling automobile in North America ever since.
Chevrolet could easily coast along with the base C8 but they’ve set a precedent over the last few generations of Corvette by deftly updating an existing model with trim and performance tweaks. Come October 26th, we’ll get to know the latest addition to the C8 family, the Z06.
We just brought you an update, but here’s a deeper dive before the big reveal. A 5.5-liter V-8 will power the C8 Corvette Z06 snitched from Corvette Racing’s C8.R. Dubbed the LT6, this V-8 features dual-overhead camshafts, and a flat-plane crankshaft. With the valvetrain above the cylinders, the Z06 should produce in excess of 600hp at a mind-numbing 9000rpm. Remember, no more manual transmission on Corvette anymore, so expect an eight-speed Tremec dual-clutch automatic.
Chevrolet’s Magnetic Ride Control suspension seems a shoo-in for a high-performance version of the C8. The Z06 is rumored to be running Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2R tires, 275/30 ZR 20s up front, and 345/25 ZR 21s out back, which should help keep things buttoned down at high speeds. Carbon-fiber, five-spoke wheels sourced from Dymag could be included in a Z07 performance package.
Although there are many unknown variables about the Z06, one thing is for sure. This will be the fastest, best handling, and most sophisticated Corvette ever produced. Heads are still spinning at Ferrari, Lamborghini, McLaren, and Porsche after the base C8 reveal. The guys might want to stock up on Pepto-Bismol and B12 tablets because the hangover from the C8 will seem tiny compared to the whopper that’s coming when the Z06 drops.
As we mentioned before, the C8 is one hot car. It’s selling for thousands over MSRP and lingers just nine days on dealers’ lots. COVID and parts shortages have been bedeviling production and make us wonder how any new model will be integrated into this manufacturing environment. Some folks have waited a year or more to get their base C8, and the Z06 will definitely create additional demand from current owners wanting to trade up.
A silver lining might be a “glut” of used base C8s hitting the market, surrendered from first adopters. That would be great for Corvette enthusiasts and might dilute used transaction prices. Based on the madness of the last 18 months, though, who knows, maybe second-hand examples will continue to sell at $20k over MSRP.
Either way, October 26th can’t come soon enough.