2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Coupe

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2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 First Look Review: Worth The Wait?

In case you missed it, Chevrolet has finally revealed the all-new Corvette Z06, and it sounds fantastic. For months and months, we've been teased with the new sports car, and it felt like we'd never get to see the reveal. In fact, it almost seemed like Chevrolet was intentionally delaying the car, but now that it's here, our first impression is that it has been worth waiting for. Is that accurate though? Is the Z06 really that much of a step up from a regular Stingray, or are we just admiring it through rose-tinted glasses? Let's take a look at what we're being offered and make a decision.

2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Coupe Models

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
Z06 Coupe
5.5L V8 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
$85,000

See all Trims and Specs

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Unique Design: All About The Aero

Unique and much more aggressive fascias feature at either end of the new sports car, a first for the Z06 model. At the front, the new fascia helps channel air towards a center heat exchanger, or radiator; one of five on the car. There's also a standard adjustable wickerbill spoiler, with a high wing available as an option. Speaking of options, up to seven wheel packages (20 inches in front, 21s at the rear) with five finishes - including forged aluminum and carbon fiber options - will be offered. Other details include a redesigned Stingray-shaped intake duct on either side of the car, as well as a quad-exit central exhaust arrangement. 12 colors will be on offer, including the vivid orange displayed at launch, with six colors for the brake calipers alone.

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Interior Enhancements: Carbon Everywhere

Naturally, you can't go all out on the exterior and totally ignore the cabin, so Chevy has supplied the interior of the Z06 with two carbon fiber interior trim packages and a Stealth Aluminum option too. Details are scant, but press images reveal that we can expect double stitching, lashings of Alcantara, and the availability of a carbon fiber steering wheel. Most notably, the driver cluster now features a rev counter that goes red at 8,600 rpm, but we'll get to that shortly. Seven interior colors are set to be offered, along with three seat choices and six seatbelt options. Simply put, there will be something for everyone.

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Performance: Not Just A Killer V8

As hoped for, the Z06 gets a 5.5-liter naturally aspirated flat-plane crank V8, the most powerful naturally aspirated V8 ever made. Dubbed the LT6, this new engine produces a whopping 670 horsepower at 8,400 rpm, with the red line arriving 200 rpm later. 460 lb-ft of torque is available at 6,300 rpm, and the eight-speed dual-clutch fitted to the base 'Vette makes an appearance with a shorter final drive ratio for better acceleration. As usual, the rear axle gets all the power, but that's not a problem. 0-60 mph takes place in just 2.6 seconds, thanks in part to launch control, wider and stickier tires, and clever magnetic ride suspension, all aided by the mid-engined configuration's weight balance near the rear axle.

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Chevrolet is yet to reveal the car's top speed, but it's probably close to 200 if the Z06 can generate 734 pounds of downforce at 186 mph (with the aforementioned high-mount rear wing and front dive planes). Braking has also been enhanced with new six-piston calipers from Brembo fitted to each corner. Opt for the available Z07 package with its carbon wheels, and you can have carbon ceramic brakes too. Even if you don't spend extra on any options, you're guaranteed a dramatic drive. The Z06 is fast, agile, and loud, with that last part especially true thanks to "reverse megaphones" that Chevy installed in the exhaust to enhance the sound in the cabin naturally rather than piping in false noise through the speakers.

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Pricing & Competition: Supercar Fast, Sports Car Cheap

Unfortunately, Chevrolet has yet to reveal the price of the new Corvette Z06, so we can't say if this is a bargain, well-priced, or an attempt at daylight robbery. However, the last Z06 for the C7 generation started at $80,900, so if inflation and development costs don't have too much of an impact, we could be looking at an exotic-sounding American supercar for around the same money, making the likes of the Porsche 911 GT3 and 718 Cayman GT4 look a little expensive.

That said, Chevrolet will surely have taken note of the insane prices that regular 'Vettes have commanded and have sold for, and it could well give the Z06 a little bump to make it feel even more exclusive and exotic. Whatever the price turns out to be, there's nothing for under $100k with this sort of handling ability that also offers such an epic engine. Simply put, we think this could sell for six figures and still be something of a bargain.

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