If it wasn’t already blatantly apparent, we here at CorvSport are very very very very very excited about the 2023 Corvette C8 Z06. Just slightly.
So when one of the most popular car shows in the world posts up an exclusive preview packed full of details and lots of noise, you know that we had to share it ASAP.
One of the things that makes the most sense, and is tackled within the first minute of the video and lasts throughout, is what kind of supercar the Corvette C8 can be compared against in terms of spec levels. Top Gear chose to compare it to one of the most widely known supercars in the world, the Porsche 911 Carerra.
The base C8 is the equivalent of just that, a Porsche 911 Carerra. When you step up to the Z06, the car for comparison is the Porsche 911 GT3, which is a 911 Carerra that’s had a few months in the gym and is, give or take 10%, almost on par power-to-weight with the Z06. Add in the Z07 Performance Package, and the equivalent is the Porsche 911 GT3 RS (which stands for RennSport, or “Racing” in German), and they hit the nail on the head again. The GT3 RS is a GT3, but lightened, with more aggressive aerodynamics, different driving modes over the GT3, and a lot more motorsports-derived bits and bobs, much like how the Z07 package has things learned from the C8.R Racing program.
This comparison to the Porsche continues, in that like the GT3, it has a different engine than the base car. For the 911, the base car has a 3.8L flat-six, but for the GT3, gets a 4.0L flat-six with completely different internals. For the C8, the base car gets the 6.2L LT2 V8, while the Z06, in a bit of a counterpoint to the Porsche, instead gets a smaller, 5.5L LT6 V8. Both engines share one thing, however, which is that they both rev insanely high, have hard limiters at 9,000 RPM with soft limiters in the mid-8,500’s because of their motorsports genesis, and both make the car that they are in go fast.
Stepping over to the Z07, the comparison to the Porsche continues once more. Both the GT3 RS and the Z07 have a dead giveaway in their massive carbon-fiber rear wing. The suspension components are stiffer, the brakes are gen 2 carbon-ceramic, and there is the option to get super-lightweight wheels for either car. Aluminum-magnesium for the Porsche, reinforced carbon fiber for the Corvette. Where the Z07 wins out, however, is in the power-to-weight ratio contest, as at 650-odd HP and 1,560 kg (3,439 lbs), it has a ratio of 429 HP per ton, compared to the GT3 RS’s 360 HP per ton. What it basically means is that the Z06 is no slouch, but the Z07 brings it in line with top-end supercars and even tickles at the base end of hypercars.
However, the real reason that Top Gear made the trip to LA for the preview, apart from being complete and utter car nerds (like most of us!), they have a genuine interest in the car as all models of the C8 have been confirmed to be coming to right-hand-drive markets with the steering wheel on the right side of the car. When Ford took the latest Mustang over to the UK with right-hand drive, it outsold other sports cars for quite a while. Corvette is poised to land the C8 Z06 perfectly in 2023 for the UK and Australia, as the sports car market will be a bit sparse during that year with the Lamborghini Huracan ceasing production in 2022, Aston Martin starting their move towards hybrid powerplants, and Audi, whose TT RS is one of the most popular sports cars in the UK marketplace, will be well into replacing their entire model lineup with electric cars.
Basically, it’s a win-win situation for the Corvette C8 Z06 and the United Kingdom!
While it wouldn’t break my heart to tool around in a Porsche 911 Carerra, that C8 gets the nod from me…