The upcoming Chevy Corvette Z06 will be the first of several upcoming ultra-high-performance variants of the C8 Corvette. We expect it to go on sale in early 2021 as a 2022 model, starting at about $85,000. It's a return to the stripped-down-for-action, high-revving, track-worthy Vette embodied by the 505-hp 7.0-liter V-8-powered C6 Z06 of 2006 through 2013.
This time, the Z06 will use a naturally aspirated DOHC 32-valve 5.5-liter V-8. Plus, it has a flat-plane crank, just like a Ferrari V-8. It should rev to between 8500 and 9000 rpm, spit out 600-plus horsepower, and shriek like something from Ferrari. It feeds an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transaxle driving the rear wheels. This is no mere speculation; a detuned version of this engine is already powering the C8.R
The Z06's new V-8 packs a power curve shaped like a bodybuilder's bicep. The switch to a mid-engine configuration maximizes traction, allowing Chevy to better utilize its mega-horsepower engines for battling everything on the exotic-car spectrum. A muscled-up version of the base C8's architecture will be in play, with wider rubber, stronger brakes, a recalibrated suspension tune, and upgraded powertrain cooling. Flared fenders cover the mechanical bits, and new-for-the-Vette active aerodynamics pin it to the track.
There's a chance small-block loyalists won't want a Corvette that sounds like a Ferrari. But if you've ever heard the bellicose shout of a 488 Pista, you know that's a low risk.