• 2023 Chevrolet C8 Corvette Z06

Proving that you don’t need to go six figures deep to have supercar performance on or off the track

LISTEN 14:25

Chevy shocked the world when the eighth-generation (C8) Corvette switched to a mid-engine layout. It naturally came with some criticism, but for the most part it was well received. Fast forward a couple of years, and Chevy stayed true to tradition by releasing an all-new C8 Corvette Z06, but how much does the new Z06 really stick to tradition? Well, it doesn’t feature forced induction, but it is supercar fast and it comes as a strong proposition to cars like the Ferrari F8 that cost more than double, and it kind of sticks it to Ford and its overpriced, heritage-proud GT. Here’s everything you need to know about the brand new 2023 Chevy C8 Corvette Z06.

Chevy C8 Corvette Z06 Powertrain, Performance, and Driveline

2023 Chevrolet C8 Corvette Z06 Drivetrain
- image 1027889

The 2020 C8 Corvette Stingray is already impressively fast for a car that sits below the $60,000 mark, and it has even been able to hold its own against cars way more powerful, including the Dodge Challenger Demon and it even ran well with the Porsche 911 GT3 on the track! The Corvette Z06, however, renders all of this craziness obsolete. Despite previous rumors that the Z06 would pack a twin-turbo V-8 and the fact that the C7 Z06 was supercharged, the new C8 Z06 features a naturally aspirated beast of an engine that sounds supercar awesome and puts down power even better. Does it hold up to the rumor that it would be on par with the 911 GT3’s engine, though?

2023 Chevrolet C8 Corvette Z06 Drivetrain
- image 1027891

Well, that 5.5-liter naturally aspirated V-8 is being boasted as the most powerful naturally aspirated production engine in the world with 670 horsepower and 8,400 rpm, 460 pound-feet of torque at 6,300 rpm, and an impressive redline of 8,600 rpm. Power is sent exclusively to the rear wheels through an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission. To put this into perspective, the C7 Z06 features a supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 with 650 horsepower and 650 pound-feet while the way more expensive Ford GT’s 3.5-liter delivers 647 horsepower and 550 pound-feet of torque. Finally, what we’d consider a real competitor if you set price aside, the F8 Tributo (around $276,000 to start, by the way) delivers 710 horsepower and 567 pound-feet of torque from its twin-turbo 3.9-liter V-8.

2023 Chevy C8 Corvette Z06 Powertrain Comparison
  2023 Chevy C8 Corvette Z06 Ferrari F8 Tributo Ford GT 2018 Chevy C7 Corvette Z06
Engine 5.5-liter NA V-8 3.9-liter Twin-Turbo V-8 3.5-liter Twin-Turbo V-6 6.2-Liter Supercharged V-8
Horsepower 670 @ 8,400 710 @ 8,000  647 @ 6,250  650 @ 6,400
Torque 460 @ 6,300 567 @ 3,250 550 @ 5,900 650 @ 3,600
Transmission 8DCT 7AT 7DCT AT/MT
Driveline RWD RWD RWD RWD
Fuel Premium Premium Premium Premium
Curb Weight 3,750 Lbs (est) 3,398 Lbs 3,354 Lbs 3,523 Lbs
Fuel Economy 13/19/16 (est) 15/19/16 12/18/14 14/23/17
0-60 mph 2.5 Sec (est) 2.9 Sec 3.0 Sec 2.95 Sec (At) / 3.2 Sec (MT)
Top Speed 195 MPH (est) 211 MPH 215 MPH 185 MPH
2023 Chevrolet C8 Corvette Z06 Exterior
- image 1027874

On paper, the Z06 is down on power compared to the Ferrari F8, but it does represent an improvement over the C7 Z06 and the Ford GT (in horsepower, anyway). But this is where the C8 Z06 really starts to shine. Chevy hasn’t been transparent on performance figures, but if the Z51 Stingray does the sprint to 60 mph in less than three seconds, it’s not hard to estimate that the new Z06 will get you there in 2.5 or 2.6 seconds. That makes it faster than the F8 Tributo (2.9 seconds), the Ford GT (3.0 seconds), and the C8 Corvette Z06 (2.95 seconds with the automatic transmission). We are, however estimating top speed at 195 mph, which will make it a little slower in the top end than the F8 (211 mph), and the Ford GT (215 mph), but still faster than the C7 Z06 (185 mph.)

2023 Chevrolet C8 Corvette Z06 Exterior
- image 1027875

What about fuel economy, though? As of the time of this publication, Chevy has yet to release fuel economy estimates, but it’s not hard to believe that the C8 Z06 would be good for 13 mpg in the city, 19 mpg on the highway, and 16 mpg combined. Not exactly the best figures in the world, I know, but we’re talking about a massive naturally aspirated engine, and it’s still better than the Ford GT that delivers just 12 mpg in the city, 18 mpg on the highway, and 14 mpg combined.

C8 Corvette Z06 Fuel Economy Comparison
City  Highway Combined
2023 Chevy C8 Corvette Z06 (est) 13 19 16
Ferrari F8 Tributo 15 19 16
Ford GT 12 18 14
2018 Chevy C7 Corvette 14 23 17

Suspension

2023 Chevrolet C8 Corvette Z06 Exterior
- image 1027884

If you purchased a base C8 Corvette Stingray, then your car probably has FE1 suspension. This is the base suspension system, but if you opted for the magnetorheological shocks, it would be marked on your order sheet as FE2. The base Z51 comes with FE3 suspension, while the Z51 with Magnaride (MR) damping comes with FE4. If you buy the base Z06, you’ll get Chevy’s FE6 suspension system but by opting for the Z07 package that we’re diving into today and you’ll get FE7 specification. Both FE6 and FE7 include Magnetic Selective Ride Control 4.0 shocks, but the Z07 package (FE7 suspension code) takes it up a notch with revised spring and anti-roll bar rates (think more dynamic handling) and those cool carbon-ceramic brakes.

Chassis and Suspension Tuning

2023 Chevrolet C8 Corvette Z06 Wallpaper quality Exterior
- image 1027881

When the engineers started working on the C8 Z06, the plan was for it to sit somewhere between the Z51 and Z07 in terms of ride: quality, comfort, spring rate, etc. This wasn’t exactly possible, though, thanks to the C8’s impressively stiff chassis and the wide damping bandwidth of the MR shocks. Thanks to this, Tour mode’s ride quality is able to tolerate higher front spring rates i.e. stiffer front springs.

Thanks to the stiffer springs up front, the Z06 is capable of the more immediate steering response that is – according to the engineers – critical for both Sport and Track driving modes. Upgrading to the Z07 performance package means the spring rate is increased just a bit, but the only real purpose of the Z07 package being stiffer is to help cope with the increased downforce developed by its enhanced aerodynamics. The Z06 and Z07 actually share the same MR damping hardware, right down to the bleed holes, fluid, and tube diameter. The only thing that changes as you step up from the FE4 to FE6 and FE7 suspension is the control strategy. The suspension system can even react so quickly that GM doesn’t have to make any tuning changes when adding in the lighter (by 41 pounds) carbon wheels!

2023 Chevrolet C8 Corvette Z06 Exterior
- image 1027869

In the end, the Z06’s ride frequency is about 35-percent stiffer than that of the C8 Z51. Opting for the Z07 performance package increases stiffness further by about 8-percent. And, regardless of whether you have the base Z06 or opt for the Z07 package, the car will still feel like it’s rotating from behind during heavy maneuvers with overall handling being split almost perfectly between the front and rear end.

Brakes

2023 Chevrolet C8 Corvette Z06 Exterior
- image 1027877

If you bought the Corvette Z51 last year, then your car has four-piston calipers in the front and rear with the rotors measuring 13.6- and 13.3-inches, respectively. The C8 Z06’s brakes, on the other hand, are vastly improved. The front end of the Z06 features six-piston calipers with 14.6-inch rotors (that’s up one inch) while the rear features a similar four-piston caliper but 15-inch steel brake rotors (up 1.7-inches). Upgrading to the Z07 package will give you carbon-ceramic discs that measure 15.7-inches in the front (up 1.1-inches from the Z06) and 15.4 inches in the rear (up 0.4 inches).

2023 Chevy C8 Corvette Z06 Exterior Design

2023 Chevrolet C8 Corvette Z06 Wallpaper quality Exterior
- image 1027882

If you thought that Corvette Stingray Z51 was aggressive, then the Z06 will probably blow your mind. The new Z06 is way sportier than the base C8, and it all starts up front with the larger vents on the front fascia and the new front splitter that curves upward in the corners. This specific design cue plays two different roles, the first being that it actually looks pretty cool, by the second is that serves as an integrated flic that helps to increase downforce on the front end at speed. As you can see from the image above, Chevy didn’t make any changes to the front hood, however, the side skirts have been slightly modified to help increase frontal downforce as well.

2023 Chevrolet C8 Corvette Z06 Wallpaper quality Exterior
- image 1027881

Around back, the Corvette Z06 features a more aggressive and unique rear spoiler and larger air intakes in the rear fender. Compared to the Stingray, the rear fascia is also a bit more aggressive, the rear vents are wider, and the exhaust outlets have been integrated into the center which also seems to help the sound resonate with a deeper tone for some reason. The other special thing to note here is the fixed tabs on the edge of the spoiler, called the Wikerbill. According to Chevy, this feature alone helps to add some 365 pounds of rear downforce at 186 mph.

2023 Chevrolet C8 Corvette Z06 Exterior
- image 1027875

Overall, the C8 Corvette Z06 is more aggressive, but also more aerodynamically sound. Nothing is done just for aesthetics and everything that makes the Z06 stand out from the base Stingray is deliberate and, in one way or another, offers some kind of improvement.

C8 Corvette Z06 Exterior Dimensions
2023 Chevy C8 Corvette Z06 Ferrari F8 Tributo Ford GT 2018 Chevy C7 Corvette Z06
Length 182.3 181.54 187.5 176.9
Width 76.1 77.91 78.9 73.9
Height 48.6 47.48 43.7 48.8
Wheelbase 107.2 104.33 106.7 106.7
Front Track TBA 66 66.7 63
Rear Track TBA 64.8 65.4 61.7
Curb Weight 3,750 (est) 3,398 Lbs 3,354 Lbs 3,523 Lbs

Corvette Z06 – What Is The Z07 Package?

2023 Chevrolet C8 Corvette Z06 Wallpaper quality Exterior
- image 1027882

The Z07 package for the Z06 basically offers a number of aerodynamic enhancements, new tires, and bigger brakes to the Z06. This is the package you want if you actually intend to run your vehicle at the track on a regular basis, and this is what Chevy used when it was doing the Nürburgring testing prior to the Z06’s launch.

- * Carbon-Fiber Aero Package
- * Michelin Sport Cup 2R ZP tires
- * Unique FE7 suspension with specific Magnetic Ride Control 4.0 calibrations
- * Optional carbon fiber wheels that are 41 pounds lighter than the standard set
- * Brembo carbon-ceramic brakes with 15.7-inch rotors at the front and 15.4-inch-rotors at the rear

The aforementioned Carbon-Fiber Aero Package includes:

- * A larger front splitter
- * Front-corner canards/dive planes
- * A pedestal-mounted rear wing
- * Underbody aero strakes for the maximum downforce

2023 C8 Corvette Z06 Interior Design

2023 Chevrolet C8 Corvette Z06 Interior
- image 1027878

Since the Z06 is, essentially, a trim level of the base C8 Corvette Stingray, it shouldn’t surprise you that there isn’t a lot that has changed from what we saw when the C8 made its debut. The interior can be customized with one of seven different interior colors, three different seat options, six seatbelt options, two carbon fiber packages, and there’s even a stealth aluminum package available. Our favorite layout is, without a doubt, the Adrenaline Red that you see in the image above, and it looks perfect with the carbon fiber trim on the steering wheel, center console, and even the bezels around the infotainment and instrument cluster. In the end, Chevy claims you can build more than 1,000 different permutations and combinations for interior design, so regardless of how you spec yours, it will be hard to find another one just like it.

Since the Z06 is more about adding power, aerodynamic, and handling improvements, there’s nothing else special about the interior and it does, in fact, feature the same exact interior space measurements as well:

2023 Chevrolet C8 Corvette Z06 Interior
- image 1027879
2023 Chevy Corvette. Z06 Interior Space Comparison
2023 Chevy C8 Corvette Z06 Ferrari F8 Tributo Ford GT 2018 Chevy C7 Corvette Z06
Front Headroom 37.9 TBA 35.7 38
Front Shoulder Room 54.4 TBA 48.7 55
Front Hip Room 52 TBA 45.1 54
Front Leg Room 42.8 TBA 43 43
Cargo Capacity 12.6 cu-ft 7.0 cu-ft 1.6 cu-ft 15.0 cu-ft

2023 Chevy C8 Corvette Z06 Pricing

2023 Chevrolet C8 Corvette Z06 Exterior
- image 1027876

As of the time of this writing, Chevy has yet to release pricing for the Z06 Corvette or the Z07 package. However, if we look back at previous-gen Corvettes, a starting price of around $90,000 for the C8 Corvette Z06 seems about right. Adding in the Z07 package will likely add around $8,000 onto the ticket, and those optional (and lighter) carbon fiber wheels will likely be another $5,000 expense. When fully specced, it’s likely that the C8 Corvette Z06 will traverse into six-figure territory, however, it’s still impressively cheaper than anything it actually competes against. After all, the Ford GT starts out at $500,000 and the Ferrari F8 Tributo has an MSRP of $276,550.

Cheyv C8 Corvette Z06 Pricing Comparison
Starting MSRP
2023 Chevy C8 Corvette Z06 $90,000 (est)
Ferrari F8 Tributo $276,550
Ford GT $500,000
2018 Chevy C7 Corvette $79,495

2021 Chevrolet C8 Corvette Z06 Competitors

Ford GT

2017 Ford GT Exterior
- image 610231

The new mid-engined layout enables the C8 Corvette Z06 to compete against the Ford GT. While the base Corvette isn’t powerful enough for the GT, the Z06 will have plenty of oomph to give Ford’s supercar a run for its money. Unveiled in 2016, the current GT is the second modern incarnation of the mid-engined sports car. Its design goes back to the first-gen GT from the mid-2000s, as well as the original GT40 race car from the 1960s. Built by Ford’s racing division, the GT features a carbon-fiber monocoque bolted to aluminum subframes covered in carbon panels. Construction-wise, this sports car is quite modern. It has a race-ready suspension system and a Gorilla Glass windshield. Power comes from a 3.5-liter V-6 EcoBoost engine that cranks out an impressive 647 horsepower and 550 pound-feet of torque. The GT needs three seconds to hit 60 mph from a standing start and hits a top speed of 217 mph. Needless to say, the GT will be slower and less powerful than the upcoming Z06. The Ford GT starts from $450,000, which makes it significantly more expensive than any Vette that Chevy will launch anytime soon.

Read our full story on the 2018 Ford GT.

Ferrari F8 Tributo

The 2020 Ferrari F8 Tributo Joins Ferrari's Lineup as a Successor to the 488
- image 826522

A replacement for the 488 GTB, the F8 Tributo isn’t a brand-new model, but it’s a significant evolution in just about every department. Its exterior design is more aggressive, while the interior boasts new elements and Ferrari’s exceptional craftsmanship. The technology is very similar to the 488 GTB, but the F8 Tributo features new engine software, a revised Side Slip Angle Control traction system, and an electronic program for managing drifts that can now be used in the Race drive mode. Powered by the same twin-turbo, 3.9-liter V-8 engine from the 488 Pista, the F8 Tributo comes with 710 horsepower and 568 pound-feet on tap, which should be a bit more than the C8 Corvette Z06. The sprint to 60 takes around 2.8 seconds, while its top speed is rated at 211 mph. Pricing for the F8 Tributo should start from around $300,000, notably more than the upcoming Z06.

Read our full review of the 2020 Ferrari F8 Tributo.

Final Thoughts

2023 Chevrolet C8 Corvette Z06 Wallpaper quality Exterior
- image 1027881

I should point that that although I’ve compared the Z06 to the Ford GT, the Ford GT really isn’t much of a competitor due to its limited availability and high price. It’s only been included as a competitor primarily for the rivalry aspect of it, and it goes to show just how much Ford relied on its heritage to make a car that is, in at least some ways, subpar compared to the C8, sell. It did sell well, but the C8 Corvette in general, and the Z06 to an even larger extent, goes to show that you don’t have to break the bank (or the marriage) to own a midengined car with supercar-like performance. There’s no doubt in my mind that the C8 Z06 will, at the very least, garner some attention from the 1-percenters that frequent brands like Ferrari, McLaren, and Lamborghini. It might not have the badge, but it’s got the performance, the comfort, the technology, and it looks damn good.

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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