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Racing To The Road: The Corvette C8 Z06 Compared To Other WEC Cars

2023 Corvette C8.R in competition

One of the most exciting things about the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) is that apart from seeing the bleeding edge of new vehicle technologies in the Hypercar class, there is also a GT3 field in the competition. These are cars that must be based on a road going version of the very same car, and they also have to be coupes, have a specific drag-to-performance ratio, and most importantly, not deviate too greatly from the road car’s shape and outline.

In a bit of an inverse way of doing things, the Corvette C8 Z06 came out after the racing version of the car was built, as GT3 cars are usually made after its road going counterpart. They were able to do this by using a very clever loophole, in that the C8 in its base form technically is the “silhouette shape” for the race car. 

2023 Corvette C8 Z06

But, how does it compare to the road going versions of the other WEC GT3 competitors? Is it truly up to the supercar moniker, or does it fall short when going head to head against some pretty big names out there?

That’s what we intend to find out today by comparing it to five of its most popular competitors from the WEC! 

VS Lamborghini Huracan STO (Huracan GT3 EVO2)

Lamborghini Huracan GT3 EVO2

Lamborghini is one of those companies that helps define what a supercar actually is. The Huracan was the wildly successful follow up from the Gallardo, and has had no less than 13 road going trims/models in its nearly decade long run before being discontinued last year. 

The current WEC car is the Huracan GT3 EVO2, although some privateer teams have fielded the older GT3 EVO model. The closest road trim to the GT3 EVO2 is the Huracan STO, the Super Trofeo Omologato, which is so named because of Lamborghini’s one-make series, the Super Trofeo Challenge. 

Compared to the C8 Z06, the Huracan STO actually falls short in a few areas, despite being nearly three times as expensive. The biggest two are that the Z06 has more power at 670 HP vs 630 for the STO,  and  accelerates 0.1 second faster to 60 MPH, 2.9 seconds vs 3.0 for the STO. 

2023 Lamborghini Huracan STO

Where the Z06 falls short compared to the Huracan is that the Lamborghini comes as standard with carbon-ceramic brakes and they are ferocious, as the STO is the car meant to be driven to the track, absolutely thrashed around it, and then be driven home. The Z06 does, however, rate better for brake feel according to many reviews, so there is that!

As well, in street trims (not the racing gear ratios), the STO is geared to continue pushing like a bat out of hell to over 200 MPH, while the Z06 is geared more towards outright acceleration and the top three gears are a bit long. 

Overall, the Z06 on the road is a match or slightly better than the Huracan STO, as it accelerates faster and has much more power. They both produce wailing exhaust notes, so aurally, they are also a pretty fair match.

VS McLaren 720S (720S GT3 Evo)

McLaren 720S GT3 Evo

When pitting the Z06 against the McLaren 720S, it is actually a pretty damned tight comparison. While the 720S has also ceased production because of its replacement model, the 750S, both versions share the same basic body shape and most of the same running gear, so the 750S can technically be counted.

The Z06 obviously falls short in terms of power, with the 720S producing 710 HP (720 PS, hence the name) against the 670 from the Corvette. It also falls short in torque, with the 720S producing 568 lbs-ft compared to 460 lbs-ft.

Yet, head to head on a track, the 720S can’t truly outrun a Z06. Both cars have taken part of “Lightning Lap,” put on by Car & Driver each year at the Virginia International Raceway. Ironically enough, VIR is a track that IMSA races at. The Z06 in 2023 recorded a 2:38.6, the fastest of the year, while the 720S recorded a 2:39.7, a full second slower in 2018.

2024 McLaren 750S Coupe

Where the 720S absolutely pastes the Z06, however, is in top speed and gearing after fourth gear. The Z06 maxes out at about 190 to 195 MPH, while the 720S soars past to 215 MPH. It will also do 124 MPH to 186 MPH faster than the Z06 thanks to its gearing. Both cars are about even on braking performance, both coming down from high speed quite rapidly.

Overall, while the 720S may be more powerful and faster, when it comes to actual on track performance, we would call this a pretty even tie.

VS BMW M4 Competition Coupe (M4 GT3/GT3R)


On the track, the C8.R and the M4 GT3R are often seen getting their elbows out at each other, challenging near the front of the field. On the road, however, even with the competition pack, the M4 doesn’t even come close to the Z06.

503 HP for the BMW, 670 for the Z06. The M4 Competition will scrabble off the line a little better thanks to a slightly better launch control, but still takes 3.8 seconds to get to 60, while the Z06 rockets through that barrier at 2.9 seconds. 

2023 BMW M4 Competition Coupe

The only two places that the M4 does on par or slightly better than the Z06 is in braking and price. If you get the M4 with the M Carbon Ceramic brakes option, which are nearly $9,000 to add to the base $83,2000, it will haul itself down from speed in a shorter distance than the Corvette. That price is also just over $30,000 less than the Z06 with the Z07 package included.

This is not to put down the M4 Competition, however. It is still a very very good car, often winning “Overall the one we’d buy” lists because of its mixture of performance with sheer luxury, the very definition of what M cars were made to be. The Z06 is an out and out supercar, so of course it would outperform the BMW, but it can’t out-luxury it.

However, since this is a pure performance comparison, the Z06 walks away with this one.

VS Ferrari 296 GTB (296 GT3)

Ferrari 296 GT3

This one is a bit rigged, as the 296 GT3 has just its twin-turbo V6 to rely on, while the road car has a hybrid electric motor added. On the track, the 296 GT3 is on equal pegging with the C8.R, and in fact has won some pretty major races like the 2023 24 Hours of Nurburgring and the 2024 24 Hours of Daytona. Yet unfortunate as it is, the 296 GTB on the road wins out on all but one metric: price.

Even without the hybrid, the 296 GTB will put down 654 HP to the Z06’s 670 HP. Add in the 165 HP hybrid, and it jumps to 819 HP combined. It absolutely catapults off the line and matches the Z06 to 60 at 2.9 seconds, but does 60 MPH to 124 MPH and 124 MPH to 186 MPH faster than any Corvette save the E-Ray. It will also go 10 MPH faster at the top end, with a claimed top speed of 205 MPH.

2024 Ferrari 296 GTB

The 296 GTB is also, pound for pound, the faster car on a track. It’s a lot closer than you might think, but on pure pace, the Ferrari has done the Nordschleife in 6:58.7, while the Z06 is rumored to have done it in around 7:05-ish (there is no official Nordschleife time). That is almost as fast as the track-only Ferrari 599XX. 

However, a 296 GTB starts at $315,000, and being a Ferrari, by the time you add on the quality of life options you want, you’re looking at a realistic on the road price of $350,000 or more. A Z06 (with Z07 package) is still quite a pricey thing, but nowhere near as expensive as a Ferrari, and so wins out there.

Overall, while the racing versions might be very close on the track, the 296 GTB will absolutely wipe the floor with the Z06 on the road.

VS Porsche Type 992 911 GT3 RS (Type 992 911 GT3 R / RSR LMGT3)

Porsche Type 992 911 GT3 R

Saving the best for last, any GT3 level race in the world will have at least one 911 in it. It’s almost an unwritten rule, as Porsche have been the undisputed kings of making GT3 (or GTE/GTLM as the class was known before) cars for about as long as anyone can remember. They are tremendously reliable over a full race distance, handle like they’re on rails, and produce one of the best engine notes of a GT3 car, the howling whine of a flat-six revving to 9,000 RPM matched with the whine of a racing gearbox screaming its head off.

So, when they make a road-going version of their race cars, the GT series, they mean business. Even more so when they stick RS after it, meaning RennSport (literally “Race Sport”). This is demonstrated not least of all in the engine, for which the cylinder heads are milled to a specific shape to prevent oil starvation on high-G corners. Porsche wants you to take the Type 992 911 GT3 RS to the track that much. That 4.0L flat-six produces what sounds like a measly 518 HP and 343 lbs-ft of torque, but there is an ace up the car’s sleeve.

That ace is weight. Or, rather, the complete lack of it. The GT3 RS is a featherweight at 1,482 kg curb weight (3,268 lbs), the lightest of all cars on this list, compared to the Z06 with Z07 package at 1,654 kg (3,646 lbs) curb weight. It will tie the Z06 for a 0 to 60 time of 2.9 seconds, but is actually slower at the top end, drag limited to 184 MPH vs 195 MPH.

2023 Porsche Type 992 911 GT3 RS

However, that lack of weight means the GT3 RS corners like a flea glued to a pair of rails, and absolutely launches itself out of those same corners. The light weight also means its braking performance is second to none across all the cars today, hauling the car down from 100 MPH to a dead stop so hard that the driver can experience up to 1.8 braking G’s. Hit the anchors in the Z06, even with the performance package, and it can only generate 1.4 braking G’s. 

Let’s not fool ourselves at all here. Porsche has been making 911 race cars for 60 years, and translating that racing feel and experience to their road cars for just as long. The Type 992 911 GT3 RS is a masterpiece of racing-to-road car translation, and it shows with the car’s almost unbelievable 6:55.34 lap time around the Nordschleife, once again faster than any of the other cars listed today.

Overall, the Z06 only wins out in terms of power and price. The Type 992 911 GT3 RS starts at $235,000, and has “only” 518 HP. It’s how it puts those horses to the road, however, that will leave a Z06 staring at its rear wing as it howls around a corner, and it will have so much grip in that corner that even Formula One cars would have a little envy.