What Happened To the 2021 Chevy C8 Corvette Z06?

The newest generation of the Chevy Corvette has already garnered widespread appeal from both consumers and critics. It won Motor Trend’s Car of the Year award for 2020 and the Best Redesign award from ALG. The 2021 Corvette is mostly unchanged from last year, but it does have some useful new tech.

However, one thing that didn’t debut for this year is the highly-anticipated C8 Corvette Z06. According to Motor Trend, this Corvette is supposed to debut later this year as a 2022 model. Will the C8 Corvette Z06 live up to its hype?

Recent spy shots of a potential Corvette Z06

A few months ago, GM Authority was able to get some photos of the C8 Corvette Z06 in action. From these shots, we can see that this Corvette has a wide-body exterior and bigger wheels compared to the regular C8. It also has flared front fenders and the front and rear of the car.

The Corvette Z06 is also expected to be offered in both coupe and convertible variants. The interior will probably stay the same as the existing Corvette. GM Authority also speculates that Chevy might add a racing harness and additional bolstering for the front seats.

Powertrain enhancements

The new Corvette Z06 will probably come with a 5.5-liter V8, expected to make 600 hp. Torque output is predicted to be between 480 and 550 lb-ft. By comparison, the Corvette’s base 6.2-liter V8 produces 490 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque.

The transmission is the same dual-clutch eight-speed automatic, with no option for a manual gearbox. The new Z06 gets even more power thanks to its 32-valve DOHC setup with a flat-crane crankshaft. GM Authority also predicts that the Z06 will be able to hit a maximum of 9,000 rpm.

Available performance packages

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Not much is known about what sort of performance upgrades the Z06 will have, aside from carbon fiber wheels. However, the rear wing from the spy shots might be a part of an aerodynamics package. These bundles might also include lighter body paneling and skirts to make the Z06 more agile.

Any packages for the Corvette Z06 might also incorporate some features from the Z51 Performance pack. This gives the car Magnetic Ride Control, a high-capacity engine cooler, and a spoiler that supplies 400 pounds of downforce. It also includes a performance traction management system, allowing the Corvette to make even tighter turns on the track.

How fast can the Corvette Z06 go?

GM Authority suspects that the Corvette Z06 will have a blistering 0-60 mph time of 2.7 seconds. The regular Chevy Corvette can reach 60 mph in a clean 3 seconds and Z51 Corvettes are .1 second faster.

It’s also possible that the Z06 could achieve an even faster time if some aero packages are on tap. According to Car and Driver, Chevy has also developed a retuned suspension and active aerodynamics to increase traction and performance.

Other Corvettes on the way

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The Chevy Corvette C8 E-Ray, the first hybrid Corvette, is set for a 2023 model year release. It will replace the Corvette C8 Grand Sport, which many believed to be the prototype in the Z06’s spy shots. The E-Ray will also be the first Corvette available with AWD. 

The Corvette C8 Zora, set for a 2024 release, will also have AWD and a hybrid powertrain. Its power output is expected to be around 1,000 hp and 1,000 lb-ft of torque. The C8 ZR1, optimized for both road and track performance has a tentative 2023 release date. Given all of the performance upgrades, we suspect that each of these Corvettes will be worth the wait.