The Chevrolet Corvette Z06 was born in 1963 and was intended for racers as it was fitted with an optional Special Equipment Package intended for racers. Now, 58 years later, the next chapter in the Corvette journey begins with the introduction of the new Corvette Z06 which arrives 2 years after the first production mid-engine Corvette Stingray debuted.
While the Z06 was created to dominate on the track when it debuted in 1963, the Z06 nameplate has also come to symbolize the American supercar. The performance envelope of Z06 builds on the foundation laid by the Stingray, as does Z06’s design language. Expanded material offerings, new interior packages and features unique to Z06 enable owners to customise their car.
Raising the performance bar
“Corvette has always brought a discerning customer to the Chevy family,” said Steve Hill, Vice-President of Chevrolet. “This new Z06 is designed and engineered to set a higher bar with increased levels of craftsmanship, personalization and performance so customers can truly have their own bespoke performance car.”
The Z06 is set apart by its all-new LT6, with 670 bhp – the highest horsepower of any naturally-aspirated V8 in a production car today. An all-new flat-plane crankshaft design allows the driver to spin the engine to 8,600 rpm, accompanied all the way up by a distinctive, rich exhaust tone unlike anything ever heard from a Corvette.
Racing at its core
The sound and appearance of the Z06 take direction from Corvette Racing. The direct knowledge transfer from the track to the street comes from the Z06 chassis based on Corvette Racing’s C8.R since it began competing in 2020. Thanks to a shared chassis, similar engine architecture and exterior proportions, the C8.R has been referred to internally as the ‘Z06 hiding in plain sight’.
Apart from the more dramatic styling, the Z06 is 9.4 cm wider than the Stingray, accommodating massive 345-series rear tyres and allowing more airflow through side air vents. The standard 20-inch front and 21-inch rear forged aluminium ‘spider’ wheels are the largest ever fitted on a production Corvette. Carbonfibre wheels are also available and take away 18.6 kgs.
The all-new 5.5-litre DOHC V8 all-aluminium engine with 623 Nm marks a return to natural aspiration for the track-capable performance model. A version of the LT6 has powered the C8.R race cars since 2019, and the demands of endurance road racing helped engineers refine the engine’s performance and durability. An 8-speed dual-clutch transmission with a shorter 5.56 final drive ratio (compared to the Corvette Stingray) enhances acceleration.
Track-proven performance technologies
The new Z06 retains the SLA-type front and rear suspension design of the Corvette Stingray, but more specifically calibrated for its higher performance capabilities. Magnetic Selective Ride Control 4.0 is standard and can be adjusted for touring comfort or maximum track performance via the Driver Mode Selector. Like the Stingray, the selector tailors more than a dozen features of the Z06 to suit the driver’s preferences. These include Launch Control and adjusting the engagement rate of the electronic limited slip differential.
The Z06 is based on the same robust architecture as the Stingray so it can be offered in as a hardtop convertible. Inside, exclusive features include a carbonfibre-wrapped steering wheel, shift paddles and new carbonfibre interior trim.
“Racing was the reason the Z06 was developed in 1963, and it continues to support development of the road models that make them better on the street and the track,” said Tadge Juechter, Executive Chief Engineer, Corvette. “It also means we’ve tested the Z06 on the best tracks around the world, from Circuit of the Americas here in the USA, to the Nurburgring in Germany.”