The mid-engined, C8-generation Chevrolet Corvette appears to adhere to tradition in having a high-performance Z06 variant in its line-up, and so one appears to be undergoing track tests at the Nurburgring Nordschleife. The example seen here appears to be wearing camouflage foil on a production body, which has been embellished with aero-enhancing additions to its bodywork.
The front bumper actually appears to be a new item for the Z06, where the uprights inboard of the main outer intakes are slanted more in a ‘V’ fashion, rather than the ‘A’ orientation on the base Corvette. This has been augmented with a sizeable front splitter, and is joined by a winglet on each side.
Along its sides, much of the C8 Corvette’s sculpting is carried over wearing larger side inlets with the addition of side sill extensions to pair with the lower, extended parts on the car’s front end. At the back, the base Corvette’s quartet of outboard exhaust pipes are now gathered inboard on the Z06 as on its front-engined, C7-generation predecessor.
Powertrain in past generations of Z06 Corvettes have typically been uprgraded, larger-displacement versions of the standard car, while the C7 Z06 employed forced induction by way of a supercharger. This time around for the C8, the upcoming Z06 has been tipped to trade the classic American pushrod valvetrain and cross-plane crankshaft for the more common dual-overhead camshaft setup and a flat-plane crankshaft.
These will be in an engine with less displacement at 5.5 litres, and is likely to be a unit derived from the C8.R race car and named internally the LT6, according to Road and Track.
This engine will mimic Ferrari not just in its crankshaft type but also in its Speciale-esque 9,000 rpm redline, according to the American magazine, and yield a peak power output of around 617 hp as a result. An uprated version of the base Corvette’s eight-speed dual-clutch automatic is expected for the Z06.
The track-focused performance enhancements in the Z06 can be expected to include uprated Magnetic Ride Control suspension, while Muscle Cars and Trucks have identified the Z06 rolling stock as Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 R tyres measuring 275/30R20 and 345/25R21 for the fronts and rears, respectively. These could be joined by carbon-fibre wheels on the C8 Z06 options list, the site added.
Uprated tyres and suspension on the C8 Z06 could also be joined by active aerodynamics, according to a US Patent and Trademark Office filing cited by Muscle Cars and Trucks. Devices in the patent filing – which could, though not certainly – feature on the C8 Z06 include movable wings and splitters as well as side flaps to optimise straight-line and cornering performance.
According to Road and Track, the C8-generation Corvette Z06 will debut in the Northern Hemisphere autumn of 2021 as 2023-year model, though the current semiconductor shortage faced across the automotive industry and beyond may or may not affect the upcoming performance car’s debut timeline.
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