Is the 2023 Corvette Z06 Ready to Face Its Nurburgring Rivals?

There’s more to driving than chasing lap times, but these days, shaving away seconds at Germany’s Nurburgring is practically a performance car requirement. And given its racing origins, you can be sure the 2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 will set an official ‘Ring time soon. Now that it’s a genuine mid-engine supercar, though, the most extreme C8 Corvette will face off against some true heavy hitters. So, does it have what it takes to stand out?

The 2023 C8 Corvette Z06 has some serious competition when it comes to chasing Nurburgring times

A Shark Blue 2022 Porsche 911 GT3 sports car shot from the front 3/4 in the Angeles forest
The newest 911 GT3 | Porsche

In addition to the inevitable C7 Z06 comparisons, the 2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 is about to go head-to-head with some elite supercars. And they’re no slouches when it comes to setting Nurburgring times, CarBuzz notes.

Firstly, the Corvette has been the Porsche 911’s rival for decades. And in the 2023 Corvette Z06’s case, it’s up against the most track-focused 911, the GT3. Thanks to its motorsports-derived powertrain, the 2022 Porsche 911 GT3 ran a 6:55.34 lap around the Nurburgring. That’s faster than the McLaren 720S, which has over 200 more horsepower.

Speaking of the 720S, that’s another Nurburgring lap time rival. It ran the ‘Ring in 7:08.34 back in 2018. And while the newer 765LT benefits from more power and development time, it hasn’t been to the Nurburgring. At least, not yet.

An orange 2021 Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series going around a racetrack
2021 Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series | Mercedes-Benz

The Lamborghini Huracan Performante, though, has. It might be out-gunned by some of its Lamborghini siblings, but the 631-hp Huracan Performante out-paced them on the track. The Huracan Performante briefly held the production car record at the Nurburgring, posting a time of 6:52.01. That makes it not just faster than the 911 GT3, but also the 918 Spyder hypercar, Road & Track notes.

Which car snatched the Huracan’s crown? The 720-hp Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series, which is essentially a road-legal race car. Its 6:43.616 lap is still the second-fastest road car time at the Nurburgring.

Finally, given that the C8 Corvette Z06 rocks a Ferrari-like flat-plane-crank V8, no surprise that it has a Ferrari Nurburgring rival. That rival is the 488 Pista, a supercar that R&T describes as a “710 horsepower rocket ship.” It ran a 7:00.03 at the ‘Ring.

It’s a tough task, but the 2023 Corvette Z06 is well-equipped for the challenge

The rear 3/4 view of an orange 2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 on a racetrack
2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 rear 3/4 | Chevrolet

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2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06
Engine5.5-liter ‘LT6’ V8
Horsepower670 hp
Torque460 lb-ft
TransmissionEight-speed dual-clutch automatic
0-60 mph time2.6 seconds

Fortunately for the 2023 Z06, it’s no ordinary C8 Corvette. With how many changes Chevrolet made, it’s more like a toned-down C8.R than a hopped-up Stingray, R&T reports.

For one, the only thing the mid-mounted LT6 shares with the regular Stingray’s V8 is its bore center. It might be slightly less torquey, but the 5.5-liter V8 has a 2000-RPM-higher redline and almost 200 more horsepower. That makes it the most powerful naturally-aspirated production engine ever.

Secondly, despite starting at under $90K, the 2023 Corvette Z06 has just as much tech as its pricier supercar rivals. As standard, it gets magnetorheological dampers, forged-aluminum wheels, a big carbon-fiber rear wing, and unique Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 R tires. If the bigger standard brakes aren’t enough, carbon-ceramic ones are available. So are lightweight carbon-fiber wheels that come with unique steering and suspension tuning.

So far, the only person outside of Chevrolet to officially drive a production-spec Z06 is Jay Leno. But based on his impressions, the new Z06 is plenty ready to hit the ‘Ring.

An official lap time might not matter for this supercar

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Technically, the 2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 already has a Nurburgring time. Well, sort of. Nurburgring times aren’t ‘official’ per se, as they’re often set by manufacturers. But while the Z06 was extensively tested at the ‘Ring, Chevrolet hasn’t released a number—yet.

However, even if the 2023 Z06 ends up being on the slower end of the scale, it likely won’t matter. Remember how the 488 Pista set a 7:00.03? That’s not the Ferrari Chevrolet benchmarked the C8 Corvette Z06 against. It’s about 38 seconds slower around the Nurburgring, but the earlier 458 was the car Chevrolet pitted its new supercar against. Why? Because it had more soul, MotorTrend reports.

Still, even though it has some serious Nurburgring competition, the 2023 Corvette Z06 should have what it takes to come in swinging.

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