The Chevrolet Corvette Z06 finally graces the mid-engine, eighth-generation Corvette and packs a punch. Unlike recent Z06 models, the folks at Chevy have returned this hopped up ‘Vette to its naturally aspirated roots. The star of this ‘Vette is the 670 hp 5.5-liter DOHC V8 mounted behind the driver.
Unlike the rest of the C8 lineup, this 5.5-liter V8 eschews pushrods. Moving to an overhead camshaft design should help the folks at Chevrolet better control the engine’s valves while this V8 is spinning to its absurd 8600 rpm redline—that’s more than 300 rpm higher than Ford’s screaming 5.2-liter Voodoo engine stuffed under the hood of the late Mustang GT350. Like the Mustang, Chevrolet opted for a flat-plane crankshaft design to help the V8 spin quicker. The rest of this engine’s internals are also upgraded and feature titanium connecting rods, titanium intake valves, and forged aluminum pistons. This engine is also hand assembled at the Bowling Green, Kentucky, Corvette plant.
This engine also makes 460 lb-ft of torque at 6300 rpm, which helps puts the Z06 C8 ‘Vette at the top of the naturally aspirated production car chart, dethroning the 622 hp Mercedes-AMG Black Series SLS, and very well could be the last car to sit atop this chart. Managing power from this engine remains an eight-speed automatic transaxle. That means there’s no manual gracing the Z06.
Joining the new engine is a wider body. This Z06-badged Corvette is 3.6-inches wider than the standard ‘Vette. That helps the bodywork cover the massive 345-series rear tires that wrap the rear 21-inch wheels. At the front a pair of 275/30ZR tires wrap the slightly smaller 20-inch wheels. Standard wheels are aluminum alloys, but you can opt for carbon fiber units if you want a 41-pound reduction in unsprung mass.
The bodywork is also home to a revised aero kit. Chevy will offer different grades of aerodynamic assistance to the new Z06. The base Z06 will see a front splitter and a unique rear spoiler. The upgraded carbon package adds a larger front splitter, front dive planes, a pedestal mounted wing, and underbody aero. The carbon rear wing can generate 734 pounds of downforce at 186 mph, which should help you tackle high speed corners at your local track.
Bringing the Z06 to a halt is a set of 14.6-inch front and 15.0-inch rear rotors that are clamped by six-piston and four-piston calipers respectively. Those grow with the optional carbon ceramic units to 15.7-inch front and 15.4-inch rear rotors, which track-minded drivers might consider. Responsible for dampening is the Magnetic Ride Control 4.0.
There’s no word on price but expect dealers to tack even more onto that sticker when the Z06 starts to roll into dealerships in the second quarter of 2022.
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