First of all, if you haven’t watched the 2023 Corvette C8 Z06 reveal video, you can watch it below:
While there were moments happening left, right, center, and all over the place, we put our heads together here at the CorvSport office (virtual office since we’re all working from home!), and have come up with what we think are the 6 best moments that happened during the reveal.
In no particular order:
9,000 RPM Hard Redline
We can safely assure you that the above picture is a raw capture from the reveal video. No Photoshop, editing, doctoring. Your eyes are not deceiving you and, when you get to that point in the video at around 12:30, neither are your ears. The new 5.5L LT6 Small Block V8 is the result of combining the technology and development of the C8.R race car with Chevrolet Performance Center know-how to make one hell of an engine.
670 HP, naturally aspirated, and it hard redlines at 9,000 RPM, with a computer-controlled soft-redline of 8,600 RPM, using those extra 400 RPM as a safety margin. Simply monstrous, and the song it screams out is 110% supercar. Motorsports grade aluminum piston heads connect via titanium rods to a flat-plane crank, reducing internal rotational weight while also helping produce the astronomical horsepower this small block carries.
Fully Functional Engine Bay
The fact that this Z06 is something special, something based on a true mid-engined race car, is in the way that the engine bay is not dressed up at all. In the “normal” Corvette C8, you can opt-in engine bay covers, and the engine itself has a top cover that screams CORVETTE at you. Not so in the C8 Z06. If you had any doubts that the Z06 is meant to fight in the ring with names like Porsche and Ferrari, just look at the screen capture above.
Two intake plenums under a carbon fiber support structure. Carbon fiber suspension tower braces. A simple plaque on the support structure stating the engine is from the Chevrolet Performance Built Center, and hand-built by one master technician alone, very much like how some of the most prestigious names in the supercar business do their engine builds. No flashy red manifold cover, no unnecessary clutter. Just suspension braces, engine, engine cradle, and toss the rest. Lightweight, clean, purposeful.
Reveal Of The New Z06 Badge
For years, the Z06 was denoted by a big Z in chrome, with the 06 in red in a little circle attached to the Z. It seems that with making the Corvette C8 all-new, all angular, and mid-engined, Chevrolet finally dipped their fingers into the stencils drawer at the design center and found a new font that they liked.
Instead of continuing with the dated mid-2000s design, a brand new, sleek, purposeful badge adorns the lower edge of the air intake scoops. What has continued, however, is that the badge is not garish, nor is it blatantly obvious. It’s subdued, and those that know to look for it will appreciate it. Those that have no idea what Z06 is will never understand why a lot of heads will turn and smiles form as a Z06 drives down the street.
Announcement Of The Z07 Performance Package From Day 1
It seems that Chevrolet learned its lesson with the C6 and C7 generation Z06s, where it took a year or so for the performance packages to arrive to turn the car from a street weapon to a track demon. Not so this time around, as Chevrolet revealed that the day that dealers will start taking in orders, the Z07 Performance Package will be on the options list. So what does it actually do for the car?
Firstly, it adds a proper carbon fiber GT wing on the tail, and a front splitter that also has canards and dive planes on the outer edges for ultimate aerodynamics. Of course, that splitter is also made of carbon fiber. The standard steel brakes will be replaced with carbon-ceramic rotors and pads for lap after lap of fade-free braking. Most importantly of all, if you go for the full “Track” style Z07 Performance Package, Chevrolet, in a Corvette brand first, will provide factory OEM carbon fiber wheels for the ultimate in unsprung weight savings.
All Markets From Day One
For those of our readers that hail from places such as Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Japan, and other places that drive with the wheel on the right-hand side of the car, Chevrolet has your back. Part of the Z06 reveal at roughly 25 minutes into the video is the announcement that all markets, not just the USA, will get the Z06 at the same time, and it will be available in both left and right hand drive. This is part smart marketing, and part Chevy thumbing their nose at the European supercar manufacturers, which seems right in line with the punchy American taking to the ring with the Italians, the Brits, and the Germans.
As well, they truly do mean all markets. You can get a Z06 in the UK at the same time someone in Japan gets one. You can take your left-hand drive Dutch-registered Z06 down into left-hand drive Germany and scream down an unrestricted part of the Autobahn with the tachometer tickling the 9,000 RPM redline. You can drive your Canadian-registered Z06 down through the USA and into Mexico, and meet a Mexican owner who got their Z06 at the same time you got yours. It’s part of the biggest, and to us, most awesome part of the Z06 reveal…
GM & Chevrolet Are Making The Corvette A Global Supercar
It’s quite the statement when you’re talking about your car in the same sentence as BMW, Porsche, Aston Martin, Ferrari, and the like. It’s even more of a statement to put a video of the notorious Nurburgring Nordschleife, the “Green Hell,” the world’s most dangerous race track, and superimpose “The World” over top of it. In a single thought, this sums up Chevy’s new approach to what the Corvette is. For the longest time, it was mocked for being a piece of American plastic and fiberglass with an American V8 in it. Big, rumbly, not much power compared to the refined V8s of the Germans, or the soulful V8s of the Italians.
That is no longer the case with the Corvette C8 Z06. This is truly GM and Chevrolet stamping their intent solidly into the established supercar landscape. A high-revving, hand-built flat-plane crank V8 with a 9,000 RPM redline, 670 HP, motivating a car that has advanced independent suspension at all four corners, and a DCT transmission that is world-class. This is the American carrying the baseball bat into the poker parlor with a mischievous grin on their face, ready to start some trouble and throw a little chaos into the established order of things. This is exactly what an American supercar should do… make a statement, back it up with a big bat (670 HP is not small), and then hit a home run.