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For nearly 70 years, the Chevrolet Corvette has been a staple of the sports car market. With the debut of the mid-engined C8 Corvette Stingray back in 2019 however, the Corvette underwent its largest transformation yet. Now though, GM is hard at work prepping the track-oriented Z06 model. Here is everything we know about the upcoming sports car so far.

A Naturally-Aspirated Powerhouse

The C8 Corvette Z06 will be powered by a 5.5-liter V-8 engine derived from the unit that powers the Corvette Racing C8.R. Known internally as the LT6, this V-8 features dual overhead camshafts and a flat-plane crankshaft. Thanks to that Ferrari-esque layout, the Corvette Z06 is expected to rev up to around 9000 rpm and produce a reported 617 hp in the process. That figure would make the LT6 the most powerful naturally-aspirated V-8 yet from an automaker, surpassing the Ferrari 458 Speciale’s rating of 597 hp. Based on the soundtrack that comes from the C8.R, the LT6 promises to be quite the screamer. That engine note will also be pumped through a unique center-exit exhaust layout. The engine will come mated to an upgraded version of the C8’s eight-speed Tremec dual-clutch automatic, which is expected to provide even faster gear changes.

Track-Focused Enhancements

The C8 Corvette Stingray itself is a competent track car. Of course, in keeping with the Z06 tradition, the hotter C8 model will arrive with some specific tweaks to improve performance even further. Wider bodywork will likely be used to cover the Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2R tires spotted on prototypes. Muscle Cars and Trucks were the first to report that the tires will measure 345/25 ZR 21 out back and 275/30 ZR 20 up front, which should help increase mechanical grip. Buyers are also expected to be able to option carbon fiber wheels to wrap those sticky R compound tires around. The Z06 will also receive an upgraded aero package for when the Michelins aren’t up to the task on their own. This package will reportedly include some optional active aerodynamic bits, though expect multiple wing and splitter packages as we’ve seen before. Chevrolet’s trick Magnetic Ride Control suspension system is a no-brainer for the track-oriented model.

Benchmarking the Best

While GM has not officially shown off the Z06 in any capacity thus far, prototypes have been regularly captured by spy photographers. The thick camouflage makes it difficult to pick out specific design characteristics of the C8 Z06, but the same can’t be said for the vehicles it travels with. General Motors appears to be benchmarking the C8 Z06 against the likes of the Ferrari 458 and the Porsche 911 GT2 RS. Both high-end sports cars have been spotted alongside various Z06 prototypes over the past few years or so, hinting at the performance targets GM has set for the car. Considering the GT2 RS just recaptured the Nordschleife’s production car lap record, Chevrolet is clearly taking the Z06 quite seriously.

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It Will Probably Be Priced Around $85,000

It is expected that the C8 Corvette Z06 will follow a similar pricing model as the Z06 that came before it. This means customers can expect to spend about $85,000 for the privilege of taking one of these machines home, or about $25,000 more than a standard Stingray. Of course, the average sales price will undoubtedly be higher than that, as buyers load up on options. Not exactly cheap, but the level of performance on offer is expected to be quite high for that price point. The GT2 RS that the Z06 is benchmarking carried an MSRP of $293,200 by comparison.

It Should Arrive For the 2023 Model Year

Early reports initially suggested that the C8 Corvette Z06 was destined to make its debut this summer ahead of a 2022 model year debut. This no longer appears to be the case, as GMAuthority has reported that the new Corvette model has been delayed. That isn’t much of a surprise in the era of semiconductor chip shortages and COVID-related supplier issues, but a disappointment nonetheless. Instead, expect the Corvette Z06 to debut next year ahead of a 2023 model year sales debut. Whether or not this delay will push back the other high-performance Corvette models slated to join the lineup is unclear at this time.

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