Chevrolet has released a single photo of its upcoming Corvette Z06 ahead of its official reveal on October 26, 2021.
There’s a restyled front bumper and air intakes which mirror the classic Corvette logo plus unique wheels.
The changes over the standard C8 Corvette Stingray are subtle, but what sits midship will be anything but.
The new Z06 is expected to feature a naturally-aspirated, double-overhead cam 5.5-litre flat-plane crankshaft V8 instead of the standard atmo 6.2-litre pushrod V8.
Such an engine already features in the Corvette C8.R endurance racer, though it’s limited to 373kW due to GTLM class restrictions.
Chevrolet has yet to release engine specifications but has teased the engine sound and hinted at the new V8 by using the slogan “Crank it up”.
Carsguide reported earlier this year that GM Specialty Vehicles has trademarked the Corvette Z06 nameplate for Australia, suggesting the sonorous beast will make its way here.
We expect a Z07 performance package to be available on the Z06, as it was with the previous C7 Corvette.
Expect changes to include carbon ceramic brakes, a stiffer suspension tune, a more aggressive rear wing and front splitter, and carbon fibre wheels in Michelin Sport Cup 2 R tyres.
Our spy photographers have already captured a prototype with a larger rear wing and more aggressive front splitter, which is likely a Z07 model.
One of these prototypes was also running on 345/25 ZR21 Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 R rear tyres.
Z06 prototypes have also been spied running on wheels from Australian manufacturer Carbon Revolution.
Carbon Revolution engineers, builds, and designs these wheels around one hour outside Melbourne in Geelong, and has produced wheels previously for vehicles such as the Ford GT and Ferrari SF90.
A report from Car and Driver last year indicated the V8 would rev to around 9000rpm and make at least 447kW of power.
It’s likely to be well north of that, considering the Z06 version of the previous C7 generation Corvette produced 485kW of power from its supercharged 6.2-litre V8.
The next-gen Z06 will likely use the eight-speed dual-clutch transmission featured on the ‘regular’ Corvette Stingray.
The Corvette is a fast car already, with outputs of 364kW and 630Nm and a 0-100km/h time of 2.9 seconds, so expect the Z06 to take things to a whole new level.
The first ‘regular’ Corvettes to arrive in Australia should be here by the end of December 2021, but the first allocation is fully accounted for.
All models will come with the Z51 Performance Package, with prices for the 2022 Corvette range starting at $144,990 before on-roads.
The upcoming Z06 won’t be the zenith of Corvette performance as, like all generations of Corvette past, there’s expected to be a continued rollout of hotter models.
According to GM Authority, an even mightier ZR1 model will reportedly bolt two turbochargers onto the Z06’s 5.5-litre V8 engine and boost power to 633kW and torque to 1016Nm.
If pure petrol power isn’t your thing these days, the E-Ray will be your choice.
Utilising hybrid power with both electric and V8 grunt, the E-Ray will be the first hybrid and all-wheel drive Corvette to ever see production.
Finally, the Corvette Zora – named after the “father” of the Corvette, engineer Zora Arkus-Duntov – will reportedly utilise a twin-turbocharged version of the 5.5-litre V8 engine and hybrid electric assistance to boost power outputs to 745kW and 1355Nm.