The fire-breathing flat-plane crank V8-powered Chevrolet Corvette Z06 has been approved for sale in Australia.
GM Specialty Vehicles has still yet to confirm local launch timing, though it has said it will be sold as a MY24 vehicle. That, combined with its appearance in government approval documents, points to a launch this year.
UPDATE, 21/06/2023 – A separate section of the government approval documents has confirmed the power output for the Australian-spec Z06. We’ve updated this article accordingly.
“There is a Z06 Showcar in AU, and has been since earlier this year, but we haven’t advised with regards to further details of the new model,” said a GMSV spokesperson when asked for more specific timing.
“We’re yet to announce price, specification or allocation, so still some time from being able to advise any new news.”
A single coupe variant appears in government approval documents, and as previously confirmed it loses the four centre-mounted exhaust outlets of the North American-spec car in favour of two outlets on each side.
The same exhaust set-up will feature in Europe, where Chevrolet has confirmed the Z06 will be fitted with a petrol particulate filter.
This is expected to reduce emissions and noise, but it has also reduced power and torque: Chevrolet has told European media the 5.5-litre V8 in the Z06 will produce 474kW and 595Nm, instead of 500kW and 624Nm like the North American model.
The Australian Government approval documents list an output of 475kW, indicating we’re getting the European tune. That’s despite our market receiving the more powerful US tune of the standard Stingray’s 6.2-litre V8.
Unusually, the approval documents depict the car both with and without the Z07 Performance Package. However, GMSV has confirmed this package will be standard.
The Z06 will be the flagship of GMSV’s wider 2024 Corvette range, to be updated during the year with more personalisation options than the first batch offered.
Unlike the Silverado pickup, GM makes the Corvette in right-hand drive at the Bowling Green factory in the USA.
The ‘Vette Z06 is a more focused version of the company’s mid-engined hero, slotting in above the standard Stingray. It comes with a naturally aspirated, double-overhead cam 5.5-litre V8 with flat plane crank and sky high 8600rpm redline, unlike the Stingray’s 6.2-litre LT2 V8.
It’s mated with an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.
Aussie versions of the Corvette Z06 will all be equipped in flagship 3LZ equipment guise, says GMSV. With the optional Z07 package – also to be standard in Australia – fitted, the Z06 is capable of a 0-60mph (0-96km/h) sprint time of just 2.6 seconds.
The standard Z07 Performance Package means carbon ceramic rotors, carbon-fibre aerodynamic elements, unique suspension tuning, ultra performance tyres, and optional carbon-fibre wheels (made in Australia by Carbon Revolution).
“This new Z06 is indicative of what customers in Australia and New Zealand can expect from a MY24 Z06, as we will be offering 3LZ trim as standard,” said GM Specialty Vehicles director Greg Rowe.
This brings a carbon-fibre steering wheel and shift paddles, microfibre for the upper interior trim, leather-wrapped interior door panels, and GT2 bucket seats with Nappa leather upholstery and carbon-fibre garnishes.
In terms of price, we have the USA as a guide. Over there the Corvette Z06 coupe in 3LT spec costs 55 per cent more than the Corvette Stingray 3LT.
Last year’s Corvette Stingray 3LT cost $180,000 in Australia, suggesting you won’t get much change from $300k for a Z06 considering the 2024 models will be pricier.
Beyond the Corvette Stingray and Z06, there’s the recently released Corvette E-Ray Hybrid V8 which has been confirmed for Australian sales, though likely not until 2024.
Chevrolet is rumoured to be working on even more versions of its first mid-engined Corvette.
A report back in 2020, which correctly predicted the launch of the flat-plane Z06 and hybrid E-Ray, also said we should expect the return of the Grand Sport and ZR1 nameplates, plus a new flagship Zora.
The Grand Sport will reportedly feature a slightly more powerful version of the base Stingray’s engine, along with bigger wheels and brakes and retuned suspension, while the ZR1 will reportedly take the Z06’s 5.5-litre V8 and add a pair of turbochargers.
The Zora – named after Zora Arkus-Duntov, regarded as the “father” of the Corvette – will reportedly combine all the new elements of the C8 in one ultra high-performance package, with a twin-turbocharged 5.5-litre flat-plane V8, a hybrid system and all-wheel drive.
It will reportedly produce a stratospheric 1000 horsepower and 1000 pound-feet of torque, or 745kW and 1355Nm.
Subsequent to this report, Chevrolet has confirmed it will introduce a pure electric version of the Corvette.