News & Car Culture

The 2023 Chevy C8 Corvette Z06 Launches with the Most Powerful Naturally Aspirated V8 in Production

(Image/Chevrolet)

It seems like the minute the C8 arrived for the 2020 model year, gearheads began immediately clamoring for Chevy to release track-focused Z06 and ZR1 variants of the nascent mid-engine Corvette.

And Chevy just delivered—meet the tire-shredding, 670 horsepower C8 Corvette Z06.

If you’re not familiar with the Z06 name, it first appeared on the options sheet way back in 1963 as a limited-availability, race-spec performance package on the then-new Corvette Sting Ray. After disappearing for a few decades, the Z06 trim was resurrected on the C5 generation in 2001 and has since made appearances on C6- and C7-era Corvettes.

Now, it’s the mid-engine C8’s turn to wear the Z06 badge. And it’s bringing the goods.

After seeing (and hearing) the presumed Z06 test mule rip around Germany’s famed Nürburgring track, it’s clear that Chevy looked to Stuttgart, Munich, and Maranello to find its performance benchmarks. So let’s dig in.

(Image/Chevrolet)

C8 Corvette Z06 Package Details, LT6 Engine Horsepower & Torque Specs

It all starts with a new 5.5L engine, carrying the designation LT6.

Featuring a flat-plane crankshaft, dual 87mm throttle bodies, and dual overhead camshafts, the new engine is a pretty radical departure from the single cam, pushrod V8 architecture used in Corvettes for decades—making the revolutionary LT6 powerplant a good fit for the first Z06 of the mid-engine Vette era.

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All told, the LT6 makes 670 horsepower and 460 lb.-ft. of torque. Oh, and it screams to an 8,600 RPM redline. Yowza.

According to Chevy, that makes it “the most powerful naturally aspirated V8 in production.” Chevy also says the new Z06 will go from 0 to 60 in 2.6 seconds.

The LT6 is made by hand by master engine builders at the Performance Build Center in Chevy’s Bowling Green Assembly Plant in Kentucky. Each LT6 engine gets a plaque on the intake with the signature of the technician who put it together.

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But the engine’s really only part of the magic here, as checking the Z06 box also gets you Magnetic Ride Control–an advanced damping system that can adapt to road conditions in 10 to 15 milliseconds. There’s also an available carbon fiber wing, wheels, ground effects, and front air dams.

You can also add the Z07 performance package on top of the Z06 too. That gets you:

  • Carbon fiber aero package with larger front splitter, front-corner dive planes, a rear wing and underbody strakes
  • Unique FE7 suspension with specific Magnetic Ride Control 4.0 calibrations
  • Michelin Sport Cup 2 R ZP tires developed specifically for the Z06
  • Available carbon fiber wheels that deliver a 41 pound reduction in unsprung mass
  • Brembo carbon ceramic brake system featuring larger, 15.7 inch rotors up front and 15.4 inch rotors out back
(Image/Chevrolet)

C8 Corvette Z06 Photos

Alright, enough talk. We’ll include some press photos from Chevy below so you can see the new C8 Corvette Z06 in all of its majesty.

Get more specs and details on the new C8 Corvette Z06 in the official press release from Chevrolet.

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2 Comments

  1. Dave Diliberto says:

    Will this new engine easily fit in my C2 Corvette? what problems should I expect?

    • Yes! We don’t know how wide the LT6 engine is yet but the C2 Sting Ray’s engine bay has a lot of room in that direction, and the bellhousing and motor mount locations should be fairly standard as well. The PCM fuel pump will be necessary but Summit Racing has solutions for that!

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