GRR

The new Corvette Z06 is a 670PS mid-engined monster

26th October 2021
Ethan Jupp

Once upon a time, a Chevrolet Corvette could barely be described as a sportscar. Now, the 2022 Chevrolet Corvette Z06, in all its bewinged, screaming glory, is here to save the supercar. It’s the most powerful Z06 to date, in spite of losing the supercharger, packing 670PS (493kW) and revving to an outrageous 8,600rpm. What EV revolution?

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Okay, let’s talk about that engine. Yes, the LT6 is a 5.5-litre naturally-aspirated V8 with dual-overhead cams and a flat-plane crank. For those familiar with Corvettes of the last 20 years, that will be entirely alien. The small block normally packs a single cam going through the centre of the block and revving to no more than 7,000rpm. 

This is a very much more European design and as much becomes obvious when you hear it. It’s an alloy block with forged alloy pistons, forged titanium connecting rods, with CNC-machined combustion chambers and intake ports. Gone is the single throttle body or any sign of a supercharger, with a new split twin-body manifold taking its place.

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Now for the rest of the car. The more aggressive look is as much a style choice as an aerodynamic one. The Z06 is 3cm wider at the front and 4cm wider at the rear for improved ventilation and stability. It features 20-inch wheels at the front and for the first time, 21-inch wheels at the rear, wrapped as standard in Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tyres. 

At the back, the awkward cuboidal exhausts of the standard stingray are gone. In their place, or rather completely elsewhere, are a crafted quartet of pipes in a more traditional position, designed to act as a megaphone for the motor projecting noise all around, including to the driver.

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On the inside, its familiar C8, which is no bad thing. The latest Stingray already massively upped quality, fit and finish. It’s promised the Z06 will add even more exotic and high-quality materials to cultivate a more special feel befitting a supercar.

With the mid-engined layout and that engine alone, the Z06 is a more formidable track driving proposition but always with Z06s, there’s the even more hardcore Z07 performance package available as an option. Additional to the aerodynamic upgrades in the wing and cannards, are carbon-ceramic brakes and Michelin Sport Cup 2 R tyres. Optional beyond the Z07 package are new carbon-fibre wheels which save 18kg of unsprung mass.

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Like with the previous Z06, both a coupe and a folding top version will be available. Unlike with the previous Z06, it will be a global car. Tadge Juechter, Corvette Executive Chief Engineer, spoke specifically of the importance of going right-hand-drive for the first time, as the car made its debut.

When? It’s to be announced, though given how long we’ve had to wait for the standard Stingray, to say next year is probably optimistic. On price, we expect it to at the very least undercut the Porsche 911 GT3. What do you think of the new Corvette Z06? Is this finally the American sportscar to beat Europeans at every level fair and square? 

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