The mighty 2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 is coming to Australia.
The higher-performance Corvette variant debuts a new flat-plane crank V8 that Chevrolet says is “the highest horsepower, naturally-aspirated V-8 to hit the market in any production car, ever”.
“Details such as price, anticipated arrival timing and number of vehicles allocated to our market will be revealed next year,” said GM Specialty Vehicles director Joanne Stogiannis.
“In the meantime, we’re looking forward to the first C8 customer cars shipping from Bowling Green to Australia and New Zealand in coming weeks and can’t wait to deliver these to their new owners.”
Left-hand drive production of the Z06 will commence in the North American summer of 2022, with right-hand drive production to start “some months later”.
That suggests local deliveries aren’t likely to begin until the very end of 2022, or potentially into 2023.
The centrepiece of the Z06 coupe and convertible is the all-new, hand-built LT6 engine.
The naturally-aspirated, double-overhead cam 5.5-litre V8 features a flat-plane crankshaft design, allowing the engine to be revved to a lofty 8600rpm.
It produces 500kW of power at 8400rpm and 623Nm of torque at 6300rpm. A version of this engine has been used in Corvette C8.R race cars since 2019.
The Z06 version of its front-engine C7 predecessor put out 485kW of power and 881Nm of torque, but it was a very different beast with its supercharged 6.2-litre V8.
The new LT6 engine features a six-stage dry-sump oiling system, an active split intake manifold, aluminium cylinder block casting, and forged aluminium pistons and forged titanium connecting rods.
In a neat touch, each LT6 engine features a plaque on the intake manifold with the signature of the technician who built it.
The Z06 uses an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission like the Stingray, albeit with a shorter 5.56 final drive ratio.
There’s a unique suspension tune, which includes GM’s Magnetic Ride Control 4.0.
Chevrolet says the Z06 is so stiff that there’s no difference in suspension calibrations between the coupe and convertible models.
The Z06 is shod with larger 370mm front and 380mm rear Brembo rotors, with the Stingray’s four-piston front calipers swapped for six-piston ones.
It sits 9.4cm wider to accommodate 345-series rear tyres; the Z06 uses Michelin Pilot Sport 4S ZPs.
The forged aluminium wheels measure 20 inches up front and 21 inches at the rear and are available in five different finishes.
Optional are lightweight carbon-fibre wheels from Australian company Carbon Revolution, which reduce unsprung mass by 18.6kg.
Chevrolet claims a total dry weight of 1561kg when equipped with the Z07 performance package and carbon-fibre wheels.
This package includes a unique ‘FE7’ suspension tune, Michelin Cup 2 R ZP tyres, and Brembo carbon-ceramic brakes.
The Z07’s carbon fibre aero package adds a larger front splitter, front-corner canards and underbody aero strakes.
The Carbon Revolution wheels are an additional option.
All Z06 models are distinguished from the standard Stingray by their restyled front and rear ends, with the former designed to optimise cooling and the latter featuring four centre-mounted exhaust outlets.
There’s also a unique, reconfigurable rear spoiler with a vertical tab (or wickerbill) to reduce downforce and improve high-speed stability.
If you love carbon fibre, you can have more of the stuff inside the Z06 with an available carbon fibre-wrapped steering wheel and paddle shifters plus two different carbon fibre interior trim packages.
There are seven available interior colours, along with three seat choices, twelve exterior colours, seven wheel packages and six different colour options for the seatbelts and brake calipers.
Pricing has yet to be announced, but the standard Stingray range opens at $144,990 before on-roads for the 2LT coupe range and rises to $189,990 list for the Carbon Edition.
Power in the Stingray comes from a naturally-aspirated 6.2-litre V8 engine with 364kW of power and 630Nm of torque, good for a 0-100km/h time of just 2.9 seconds.
We don’t yet know how much quicker the Z06 will be.
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 will reportedly utilise a twin-turbocharged version of the 5.5-litre V8 engine with hybrid electric assistance to boost power outputs to 745kW and 1355Nm.