Big Changes For 2022 Corvette Street/Race Z06

For as new and in-demand as the new C8 mid-engine Corvette is, you’d think Chevy would tread softly the first couple years of its existence. But that isn’t how Corvette rolls. When the 2022 Z06 model arrives in late 2021 it will feature a whole host of new performance options for the C8. Most all of them will reflect big changes for the dual street/race persona of past Z06 Corvettes. Some of the optional performance features are pretty basic, but some are wild.

While improved brakes aren’t very sexy, the optional enlarged brake setup will have carbon fiber wheels bolted to it. We knew this was coming because back in February a prototype set of carbon fiber wheels recently showed up on eBay. They sold for $4,500. The carbon wheels will be wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 summer tires. But check out the sizes. The fronts will be 275/30/R20 while the rear steamrollers will be 345/25/R21. They’re Z-rated, of course. 

The Z06 rear tires are so wide it requires big changes to rear quarter panels by widening them

2022 Corvette C8.R | GM-.
2022 Corvette C8.R | GM

With rear tires so wide requires the rear quarter panels to be widened as well. It’s similar to what Chevy did with the 1990 and up ZR1. The widened bodywork will add some drag but that might get fixed with the optional Z06 active aerodynamics. According to Muscle Cars & Trucks, the rear will comprise a self-adjusting splitter, rear wing, and side flaps. That last part is probably canards with rear spats. All of this will be available in the “Z07” package.

The point to all of this mumbo jumbo is to reduce straight-line drag, increase downforce in turns, and improve braking under deceleration. It’s quite a bit different than the rumored stationary giant wing. Up in front, there will be a front splitter and fender or hood flaps. All of this will be a must-have in the racing realm.

The 5.50-liter V8 engine changes include dual overhead cams and 180-degree flat-plane crank

An orange Corvette is on a coastal road by cliffs
2020 Corvette C8 Convertible | General Motors

2022 Z06 Corvette: Closest Thing To A Street-Legal Racecar?

Power will be provided by a 5.50-liter naturally aspirated LT6 V8. It will feature dual overhead cams, a 180-degree flat-plane crank, and a 9,000 rpm redline. You’ll hear this thing on the other side of the track. Helping that noise exit will be a center exiting exhaust. Part of the reason for that might be to clear the giant rear tires. But rumors say that Chevy is looking to improve the sound to rival other exotics. Also, they want to distance the C8 from the previous C7 powertrain. We’ll know more as 2021 rolls around if you can stand the wait.

We know that product development for everything at GM was shut down for the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, programs have been pushed back by a couple of months delaying any new vehicles or improvements. As of now, the engineering teams have almost resumed to normal operating development. Other than that GM is pretty tight-lipped about future products.