The 2023 Corvette C8 Z06 Takes a Legacy Car to the Next Level
American tradition at its finest
Has there ever been an American sports car more iconic than the Corvette?
It’s not a rhetorical question – we’d genuinely like to know. Because the ‘Vette has been around for so long, and reinvented itself so many times, that it always seems to leave its competitors scrambling to catch up. It happened back in the 1950s, when the Chevy was the first Big Three brand to offer a two-seater/two-door fiberglass sports car, and it happened again two years ago, when they unveiled the first-ever mid-engined Corvette. Now, the newly revealed Corvette C8 Z06 is poised to change the game all over again.
The Z06 is the first model in Chevy’s planned rollout of high-performance Corvettes, which won’t replace the Stingray, but will be much pricier in comparison. For an extra $30,000, the Z06 dramatically increases its horsepower, debuts a bold redesign, and boasts a brand-new, naturally aspirated engine. It’s an exciting step forward for a legacy car that already comes with a devoted fan base, who just got yet another Corvette milestone to celebrate.
At this point, the Corvette has lived so many lives – eight generations, to be exact – that it’s starting to look like a pop star cycling through eras, each one more impressive than the last. First, there was the curvy, lightweight, European-inspired Corvette that debuted in 1953; next, the beloved Sting Ray Corvette, a design that feels just as modern now as it did in the 1960s; and of course, the mid-engine version of the car, which brilliantly delivered supercar performance at a reasonable Chevrolet price. Now that the Z06 has been unveiled, Corvette fans can rest easy knowing that this model is still laser-focused on staying true to its roots.
The Z06 versions of the Corvette have a reputation for sheer power in its purest form, which usually means a naturally aspirated engine. Many Corvette fans weren’t impressed by the supercharger used on the C7 Z06, so Chevy set out to replace it with a 5.5-liter flat plane V-8 called the LT6. The 670 horsepower it’s capable of producing was previously unheard of for a naturally aspirated V-8 – and don’t even get us started on that red line of 8600 rpm. The folks at Chevy clearly put everything they had into this one, and for good reason, since they might be running out of chances to do so. Let’s not forget that GM has pledged to go electric by 2035, meaning roaring gas-powered monsters like the LT6 might soon be a thing of the past. But we’ll enjoy marveling at this Z06 while we still can, and hope that the Corvette is able to continue its legacy for many years to come.
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