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The 2023 Corvette Z06 made its public debut Tuesday, Oct. 26. (IMSA Photo)

Chevrolet Unveils 2023 Corvette Z06

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – For nearly 60 years, “Z06” has been a magic code for Chevrolet Corvette enthusiasts signifying maximum track performance.

The 2023 Corvette Z06 that made its public debut today is about to share that secret code with the world.

Based on the mid-engine C8 platform introduced for the 2021 model year and developed in conjunction with the Corvette C8.R racing car, the C8-generation Z06 is the most capable and track-focused Corvette ever.

The new Z06 features a 5.5-liter, flat-plane crankshaft “LT6” V-8 that produces 670-horsepower and revs to an astounding 8,600 rpm, driving through an eight-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission.

The LT6 engine is hand-assembled at the Performance Build Center within the Corvette’s Bowling Green Assembly Plant in Kentucky.

The Z06 also includes upgraded brakes, a 3.6-inch wider track, the latest version of General Motors’ magnetic ride control, and aerodynamic and styling elements shared with the Corvette C8.R that races in IMSA.

A Z07 Performance Package adds even larger carbon ceramic brake rotors, more aggressive suspension tuning, Michelin Sport Cup 2 R ZP tires developed exclusively for the Z06, and available carbon fiber wheels that reduce unsprung mass by 41 pounds.

Equipped with the carbon fiber wheels and the Z07 option, the Z06 weighs in at 3,434 pounds.

Since Chevrolet got serious about positioning “America’s Sports Car” to compete both on and off the track on a worldwide basis starting with the C5 generation in the 1990s, the Corvette has been honed into a very capable performance machine.

Corvette Racing is an increasingly important part of that process.

“It’s difficult to imagine what the Corvette brand would look like without the Corvette Racing program,” said Tadge Juechter, Corvette executive chief engineer. “For more than 20 years we have been working toward total integration of the race and street-car teams.

“Endurance racing provides us with a treasure trove of information in any number of areas – aerodynamics, engine performance and chassis, to name a few,” Juechter added. “That kind of real-world data is highly valuable to production engineers and designers, and we have made great use of those lessons from the racetrack. It really improves our products and resonates with our fan base and Corvette owners.”

While the C6 and C7 generations of the Corvettes incrementally refined the successful front-engine C5 platform, the switch to mid-engine architecture with the C8 opened a new world of performance possibilities both on and off the track.

Corvette Racing was integrated into the development of the street version of the C8 from the start of the project.

Internally, the C8.R has been referred to as “the Z06 hiding in plain sight.” The racing car shares its chassis with the Z06, and it also served as a development tool for the LT6 engine.

It’s no surprise that the Z06 features a howling exhaust note similar to the C8.R.

“Racing was the reason the Z06 was developed in 1963, and it continues to support the development of the road models that make them better on the street and the track,” Juechter said. “It also means we have 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.

“Virtually every component that distinguishes the Z06 was designed to enhance its capability,” he added. “By leveraging the mid-engine architecture’s inherent advantages, we are able to achieve 6 percent more downforce than a seventh-generation ZR1 at 8 percent lower drag.”

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