Chevrolet has revealed the range-topping ZO6 variant of its new mid-engined Corvette, which brings a bespoke, high-revving engine with improved performance, a unique styling package and a raft of dynamic enhancements.
The new Corvette Z06 has been confirmed to arrive in Australia next year, though pricing and allocation are yet to be announced.
“It was announced this morning that the Corvette Z06 will be manufactured in both left and right-hand drive and we’re incredibly excited to confirm GMSV in Australia and New Zealand will be part of the global programme,” said GMSV director, Joanne Stogiannis.
“News that the C8 was available as right-hand drive was reason enough to make Corvette enthusiasts cheer, but this latest update is absolutely phenomenal.”
The first mid-engined ZO6 does away with the 6.2-litre V8 used by the standard car in favour of a new and bespoke ‘LT6’ 5.5-litre unit that, in a first for a Corvette, features dual overhead cams and a flat-plane crankshaft – but continues without a turbocharger.
Chevrolet’s goal with the new engine – which is closely related to that used by the firm’s C8.R racer – was to exceed “the power of any naturally aspirated production V8 ever made”. It produces 500kW and 644Nm, with its flat-plane crank and short-stroke pistons bumping the redline up from 6500rpm to 8600rpm – meaning this V8 spins faster than the twin-turbo unit in the McLaren 570S.
Other differences compared to the existing 6.2-litre lump include a new aluminium cylinder block casting, a four-into-two-into-one stainless steel exhaust manifold, dual-coil valve springs and forged titanium connecting rods.
Chevrolet has yet to offer performance details, but the ZO6 will no doubt improve on the Stingray’s 2.9sec 0-100km/h time and 298km/h top speed.
The engine upgrades come as part of the ZO6’s heightened focus on attaining quick lap times. Visibly, it’s marked out from the standard car by way of a prominent aero package which includes wider fenders, larger air vents, a larger rear wing and race-inspired front splitter.
Chevrolet has also dramatically upgraded the Corvette’s brakes, suspension, wheels and tyres with a view to improving its dynamic agility. The chassis, it says, is so stiff that the ZO6 can be offered as a hardtop convertible with no alterations to the suspension set-up.
With the optional ‘ZO7’ carbonfibre package and lightweight wheels specified, the C8 ZO6 tips the scales at 1561kg, around 100kg less than the standard 3LT.
Production begins at Bowling Green, Kentucky, in 2022, and full pricing details will be given nearer the time. A substantial premium over the Stingray is to be expected.