• Cadillac’s Old Twin-Turbo Blackwing Engine Might Live on in the Corvette Z06

Well, the Blackwing engine will live on in the Corvette Z06 without the turbos, that is

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It’s been a while since we’ve heard about the Chevy Corvette Z06, and a lot has changed since then. It’s still going to be an amazing machine, of course, but if previous rumors were true, then GM has drastically changed direction. So where is the Corvette Z06 going now? Well, if the latest reports are true, natural aspiration is still on the table, but the flat-plane crank V-8 is out. Even more important, however, is what Chevy is benchmarking the Z06 against, and it’s kind of hard to believe.

The Z06 Will Have Even Less Power, But Its High-Revving Nature Is A Big Deal

Cadillac's Old Twin-Turbo Blackwing Engine Might Live on in the Corvette Z06 Exterior High Resolution
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Back in late 2020, we told you that the C8 Corvette would feature a flat-plane crank, 5.5-liter V-8 that would be on par with the Porsche 911 GT3. At the time, that engine was expected to deliver 625 horsepower, and 485 pound-feet of torque to go with a 9,000 RPM redline. This would make it some 25 ponies and 185 pound-feet short of the C7 Corvette Z06.

Cadillac is Being Greedy, Won't Let Chevy Use That New Biturbo V-8 For The Corvette
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Fast forward to February of 2021, and Motor Trend claimed that the same engine would be similar to the race-spec C8.R. It was still believed that the Z06 would pack that 5.5-liter beast of an engine. New reports coming from Wheels Magazine via the MidEngineCorvetteForum say that the 5.5-liter is out as the Z06 will be powered by a DOHC (dual overhead camshaft) engine that’s very closely related to twin-turbo , 4.2-lier, V-8 aka the Cadillac Blackwing engine. Yes, the same engine that was offered in the Cadillac CT6-V.

Cadillac's Old Twin-Turbo Blackwing Engine Might Live on in the Corvette Z06
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The thing about this news is that the engine going into the Z06 is still going to be naturally aspirated, and will rev up to 9,000 RPM as previously expected. The total output is said to be 617 horsepower, which is a little hard to believe considering there will be no forced induction. It would, however, make it the world’s most powerful naturally aspirated V-8, so it has that going for it. GM is apparently benchmarking the Z06 against the Ferrari 458 Speciale but will only offer it with an eight-speed automatic transmission that’s specifically calibrated to handle the extra power.

So, compared to the Corvette Z51, we’re talking about a difference of 122 horsepower. It’s also expected to offer an even more aggressive aerodynamic package, wider tires, gnarlier exhaust system, and an upgraded suspension. Don’t be surprised if Chevy updates the e-differential for improved traction given the increase in power. As of now, it’s rumored that the Corvette Z06 will arrive in July of 2021 as a 2022 model. The Corvette ZR1 is expected to arrive in 2023 with the Corvette E-Ray, the all-electric Corvette, expected to come a year or two after that near the end of the C8’s lifecycle as a limited model.

Robert Moore
Robert Moore
Editor-in-Chief and Automotive Expert - robert@topspeed.com
Robert has been an auto enthusiast his entire life. He started working cars at a young age, learning the basics from his father in the home garage on the weekends. As time went on, Robert became more and more interested in cars and convinced his father to teach him how to drive when he was just 13 years old. Robert continued working on cars in his free time and learned as much as he could about engines, transmissions, and car electrical systems, something that only fed his curiosity more and eventually led him to earn a bachelors degree in automotive technology with a primary focus on engine performance and transmission rebuilding.  Read full bio
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