2023 Chevy Corvette Z06: 670 HP From a Naturally Aspirated, Flat Plane V8

Whatever you wanted to see going into the 2023 Corvette Z06 reveal today, you’re gonna get it. I’ll cut to the chase here: the 5.5-liter, naturally aspirated, flat-plane crank DOHC V8 in this car makes 670 horsepower at 8,400 rpm, 20 more than the 6.2-liter supercharged V8 in the previous Z06. As we reported before, it revs all the way to 8,600 rpm, making 460 pound-feet of torque as it whisks by 6,300 rpm. We’ll tell you about this engine in detail, don’t worry.

But before we do, we’ll make one thing clear: this is the wildest Z06 Corvette ever made, with an extremely sharp track focus substantiated not only by its unbelievably rev-happy and powerful V8 but also by almost every single performance spec it boasts. It gets to 60 miles per hour in just 2.6 seconds. The wheels, the brakes, the aero—everything has been reconfigured to turn the C8 Stingray from a circuit-capable street car into a track-devouring animal. 

Contextualizing all of these specs, this isn’t the most powerful Corvette we’re going to see. The Z06 is typically one step above the regular car, a machine more oriented for use at a track day but still comfortable and usable on the street. As such, there’s a convertible version of the Z06 available as well, which will make it that much easier to hear that bone-rattling V8 derived from the C8.R race car behind you.

To get closer to the performance of the Corvette race car, numerous upgrades have been performed. First off, of course, is the engine. Chevy claims the motor in this car, the 5.5-liter LT6, has actually been in its testing phase since 2019 when a version of it was first used on the C8.R. Since then, it’s been worked into a more streetable beast, an engine that Chevy provides extensive details on. The Detroit automaker goes as far as to list off the valve sizes—1.654 inches on the intake, if you’re curious—but specs that are a bit easier to understand are also listed off in abundance.

The pistons are forged aluminum, the rods are forged titanium, and the crank is a short-stroke flat-plane unit that must be forged—likely forged steel, although that’s not explicitly stated. Each journal gets its own area of the crankcase to scavenge oil from; it has a six-stage dry-sump system, which is straight-up race car stuff. Other motorsport-derived features include twin 87-millimeter throttle bodies and high-flowing dual-overhead-cam cylinder heads. Both the intake ports and the combustion chamber are CNC-machined to ensure maximum flow and efficient combustion. 

Interestingly, the entire engine seems to be metric. In a nod to its origins, though, the aluminum block has the same 4.4-inch bore spacing as a classic small-block Chevy. Brought a tear to my eye reading that. It was also pleasing to know—oh yeah, almost forgot—that Chevy claims this is the most powerful naturally aspirated V8 ever fitted to a production car. That’s an extremely impressive detail, but there’s a lot more to this ‘Vette than its engine, too.

To help maintain grip and put the power down, the tires are larger at every corner—345mm wide in the back and 275mm wide in the front—and they can be wrapped around optional carbon fiber wheels. Regular aluminum ones are still available, though the carbon fiber units save 41 pounds of weight overall, or around ten pounds per corner. To go along with these wider wheels and tires, there’s also bulged-out bodywork; the Z06 is 3.6 inches wider than the regular Stingray.

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