2023 MY Corvette ZO6 heading downunder

GMSV has revealed Australia and New Zealand will be amongst right-hand drive markets to receive the 2023 Model Year Corvette Z06.

“It was announced this morning that the Corvette Z06 will be manufactured in both left and right-hand drive and we’re incredibly excited to confirm GMSV in Australia and New Zealand will be part of the global programme,” said Joanne Stogiannis, Director of GMSV.

“News that the C8 was available as right-hand drive was reason enough to make Corvette enthusiasts cheer, but this latest update is absolutely phenomenal.”

The 2023 MY Corvette Z06 will be manufactured at the Bowling Green Assembly Plant and left-hand drive production will commence in the North American summer of 2022, with right-hand drive production to start some months later.

Arriving two years after the first production mid-engine Corvette Stingray debuted, Z06 is designed and engineered to act as a precision tool for the track.

The car features new, wider sculpted front and rear fascia designs that define a confident stance and exotic proportions, and a luxuriously appointed interior.

“Corvette has always brought a discerning customer to the Chevy family,” said Vice President of Chevrolet,” Steve Hill. “This new Z06 was designed and engineered to set a higher bar with increased levels of craftsmanship, personalisation and performance so customers can truly have their own bespoke performance car.”

General Motors President, Mark Reuss, said the new Z06 defines the American supercar. “It builds on the distinctive design and ground-breaking dynamics introduced with the mid-engine Corvette and elevates them to deliver refined but uncompromising track capability with world-class performance.”

Z06 is powered by an all-new 5.5L LT6, the highest horsepower, naturally-aspirated V-8 to hit the market in any production car.

An all-new flat-plane crankshaft design entices drivers to push the tachometer to 8,600 rpm, creating 670hp (500kW). Engineers spent two years crafting a distinctive, rich exhaust tone unlike anything ever heard from a Corvette.

The sound and appearance of Z06 take direction from Corvette Racing. The direct knowledge transfer from the track to the street has never been more evident. The Z06 chassis has underpinned Corvette Racing’s C8.R since it began competing in 2020. Thanks to a shared chassis, similar engine architecture and exterior proportions, C8.R has been referred to internally as Z06 hiding in plain sight.

“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 Executive Chief Engineer, Corvette, Tadge Juechter. “It also means we’ve tested the Z06 on the best tracks around the world, from Circuit of the Americas here in the United States, to the Nürburgring in Germany.”

The performance envelope of Z06 builds on the foundation laid by Stingray, as does Z06’s design language and attention to detail. Expanded material offerings, new interior packages and features unique to Z06 enable owners to create their own bespoke American supercar.

Additional highlights of the 2023 Corvette Z06 include:

  • A stance 3.6 inches (9.4 cm) wider than the Stingray, accommodating massive 345-series rear tyres and more airflow through side air vents
  • Unique front and rear fascias, a first for Z06. The front fascia is designed to optimise Z06’s cooling needs, including channelling air to a centre heat exchanger, which is one of five for maximum cooling performance
  • A unique, standard reconfigurable rear spoiler with adjustable wicker bill elements designed to improve high-speed stability and cornering capability on a racetrack
  • Standard 20-inch front and 21-inch rear forged aluminium ‘spider’ wheels (with five available finishes) — the largest wheels ever available on a production Corvette
  • Available lightweight and rigid carbon fibre wheels that deliver a 41-pound (18.6-kg) reduction in unsprung mass, which contributes to more agile and responsive handling
  • Specific suspension tuning, including Magnetic Ride Control 4.0, and larger brakes (six-piston front) than Stingray, contribute to making Z06 the most track-capable Corvette ever
  • Eight-speed dual-clutch transmission with a specific, shorter 5.56 final drive ratio compared to Stingray, which enhances acceleration capability
  • Elevated cockpit surrounding the driver, with rich materials and textures, including more carbon fibre trim and new options
  • Available Z07 performance package that offers the greatest track capability and provides 734 pounds (333 kg) of downforce at 186 mph (300 km/h), more than any other Corvette. It includes a carbon fibre high rear wing and ground effects, specific chassis tuning, specific Magnetic Ride Control calibration and unique Michelin Cup 2 R ZP tires, along with Brembo carbon ceramic brakes and optional carbon fibre wheels

“Virtually every component that distinguishes the Z06 was developed to support or enhance its capability,” said Juechter. “By leveraging the mid-engine architecture’s inherent advantages, we are able to achieve six per cent more downforce than a seventh-gen ZR1 at eight per cent lower drag.”

Z06 debuts an all-new 5.5L DOHC V-8 engine that marks a return to natural aspiration for the track-capable performance model.

Engine responsiveness and trackability, two characteristics of naturally aspirated motors, were the top priorities for providing an engaging driving experience for purists. As a result, it was determined that a clean sheet naturally aspirated powerplant was needed, with the goal of exceeding the power of any naturally aspirated production V-8 engine ever made. A lightweight, flat-plane crank design enables the engine to rev to the high rpms needed to create significant power.

More than horsepower, the new LT6 is designed to complement all aspects of Z06’s track-focused performance experience. From its 8,600-rpm redline and full racing-style dry-sump oiling system to meticulously tuned induction and exhaust systems, this engine exudes an entirely new and emotional character.

The key to LT6’s performance capability is a lightweight, low-inertia rotating assembly rooted in an all-new flat-plane crankshaft that, along with a comparatively short stroke (the distance each piston/connecting rod assembly travels with each rotation of the crankshaft), allows the engine to rev to its maximum range.

A version of the LT6 has powered the C8.R race cars since 2019, and the rigors of endurance road racing helped engineers refine the engine’s performance and durability.

Additional highlights include:

  • All-new aluminium cylinder block casting with the Small Block engine family’s signature 4.4-inch (111.76 mm) bore spacing
  • All-new dual-overhead-camshaft cylinder head design with fully CNC-machined combustion chambers and intake ports, supporting a mechanical ‘finger follower’ valvetrain
  • Dual-coil valve springs to support titanium intake and sodium filled exhaust valves
  • Forged aluminium pistons and forged titanium connecting rods for low mass and high strength
  • Distinctive Edge Red camshaft covers
  • All-new active split intake manifold with twin 87 mm throttle bodies
  • All-new six-stage dry-sump oiling system with individual crank bay scavenging
  • Four-into-two-into-one stainless steel exhaust headers
  • 670 hp (500 kW) at 8,400 rpm (GM tested per SAE J1349)
  • 460 lb-ft (623 Nm) of torque @ 6300 rpm (GM tested per SAE J1349)

LT6 is hand assembled by master engine builders at the Performance Build Center within the Bowling Green Assembly Plant in Kentucky. Builders use precision tooling and hand fit pieces of the engine to meet Chevrolet’s exact specifications. Each engine features a plaque on the intake manifold with the signature of the technician who crafted it from start to finish.

Most exterior details unique to Z06 serve a purpose for aerodynamics, handling or cooling, with styling cues that accentuate the car’s sense of motion.

The wider fenders, for example, accommodate larger, wider wheels and tyres for more grip. Larger vents — including a new front fascia that, like the C8.R race car, draws clean air into a centre heat exchanger — provide more cooling air to the engine, brakes and transaxle for increased track capability. Additionally, a more aggressive aerodynamic package is designed to enhance cornering grip and high-speed stability.

The wider wheels and tyres include 20 x 10-inch (50.8 x 25.4 cm) front wheels wrapped with 275/30ZR20 tyres and 21 x 13-inch (53.3 x 33 cm) rear wheels, used with 345/25ZR21 tyres. Michelin Pilot Sport 4S ZP tyres are standard, with Sport Cup 2 R ZP tyres included with the available Z07 package.

The car is so stiff that the track capable Z06 is offered in a hardtop convertible model, and there is no variance in the suspension calibrations between it and the coupe.

Designers pulled out the fenders in the front and rear to cover the wider tire tread, which are 30 mm front and 40 mm rear wider than Stingray. These extensions give Z06 a wider, lower appearance further emphasised by a unique rear fascia that also features cantered floating exhaust bezels. This floating design was key to the precise tuning in the exhaust note. The wider rear fender also allows for the larger air intakes required for the car’s cooling.

Additionally, Z06 will offer three increasing levels of aerodynamic support.

The standard Z06 features a front splitter and a unique rear spoiler, which includes an installable fixed wicker bill – a small, vertical tab at the edge of the spoiler that significantly increases downforce, providing 365 pounds (165.6 kg) more at 186 mph (300 km/h).

The available carbon fibre aero package adds a larger front splitter, front-corner canards (dive planes), a pedestal-mounted rear wing and underbody aero strakes for the maximum track-capable downforce and manoeuvrability.

Z06 leverages the technologies introduced on the mid-engine Stingray, including the strategic use of lightweight materials and advanced driver technologies, with unique features and calibrations tailored for its capabilities.

The car retains the SLA-type front and rear suspension design of Stingray, but uniquely 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 standard Driver Mode Selector.

Like Stingray, the Driver Mode Selector tailors more than a dozen features of Z06 to suit the driver’s environment, including:

  • Launch control: Available in Track mode for maximum off-the-line acceleration
  • Active handling (StabiliTrak Electronic Stability Control): Z06 has performance traction management standard
  • Traction control: Weather mode tailors traction control and engine torque for driving in inclement conditions
  • Performance Traction Management: Available in Track mode and offers five settings of torque reduction and brake intervention for track driving
  • Electronic Limited Slip Differential: Adjusts the rate at which the limited slip engages to balance between steering response and stability in different driving conditions

Z06’s greater track performance capability is also matched with greater braking capability, with larger 14.6-inch-diameter (370 mm) front and 15-inch-diameter (380 mm) rear Brembo rotors, compared with Stingray. Z06 has six-piston front calipers compared to four-piston calipers on Stingray.

Even larger, carbon ceramic rotors are available and also included with the Z07 package, which takes Z06’s performance to its zenith.

Z07 Performance Package additional features include:

Carbon fibre aero package with larger front splitter, front-corner dive planes, a rear wing and underbody strakes that enhance downforce

Unique FE7 suspension with specific Magnetic Ride Control 4.0 calibrations

Michelin Sport Cup 2 R ZP tyres developed specifically for Z06

Available carbon fibre wheels that deliver a 41-pound (18.6 kg) reduction in unsprung mass

Brembo carbon ceramic brake system featuring larger, 15.7-inch-diameter (398 mm) front rotors and 15.4-inch-diameter (391 mm) rear rotors

When equipped with the Z07 performance package in the track prepared configuration on a 300-foot diameter circle, the car is capable of 1.22 g of road-hugging grip.

Z06 is based on the same robust architecture as Stingray — a rigid structure that enabled engineers to fine-tune the car’s chassis and suspension components with exceptional precision. The car is so stiff that the track capable Z06 is offered in a hardtop convertible model, and there is no variance in the suspension calibrations between it and the coupe.

In the driver-focused cockpit, premium materials continue to elevate the luxurious look and feel introduced with Stingray. They’re complemented with available carbon fibre trim that expresses the car’s lightweight, track-focused mantra.

“To match its performance, the Z06 is an elevated execution of the eighth-generation design,” said Executive Design Director, Chevrolet, Phil Zak. “From its wide planted stance with sculpted surfaces to its premium and carbon fibre materials, the Z06 instils an aura of raw power and performance with bespoke craftsmanship.”

Unique features include an available carbon fibre-wrapped steering wheel, shift paddles and new carbon fibre interior trim package level 2. Z06 also features hand-wrapped leather interior options, including the all-new, available fully trimmed interior in Adrenaline Red.

Additional new wheel, colour and trim options offer Z06 customers the most personalisation choices in the Corvette line-up, including:

  • Twelve available exterior colours
  • Seven available wheel packages, including five finishes on the standard forged aluminium wheels and available carbon fibre wheels
  • Seven interior colours with the opportunity to expand it to thousands of combinations
  • Three seat choices and six seatbelt options
  • Two interior carbon fibre trim packages, plus Stealth Aluminium trim option
  • Six available brake caliper colours
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