Despite assurances from Corvette chief engineer Tadge Juechter there was no so-called "master plan" for the outgoing C7 generation, as in the ZR1 not being planned from the get-go, for example, things are already looking different for the all-new Chevrolet C8 Corvette. Think of the C8 as sort of a Corvette rebirth thanks to its mid-engine design and a host of new technologies. The goal is to appeal to a whole new generation of buyers to keep the Corvette alive for decades to come. Therefore, Chevy has apparently already mapped out a good chunk of the C8's lifetime.
According to an inside scoop courtesy of Automobile Magazine, the next C8 variant we'll likely see is the Z06 and it's expected to arrive for 2022. Like the C7 Z06, increased power and performance will be the name of the game and Chevy won't let us down. Power is expected to come from a twin-turbo V8 based on the Blackwing engine Cadillac refuses to share.
The keywords to that previous sentence are "based on" as Corvette engineers are already likely working on many alterations. Chances are it'll be redubbed the LT7 and output is expected to be at least 800 horsepower and, perhaps, torque in excess of 700 lb-ft. To compare, the outgoing C7 Z06 has 650 hp and 650 lb-ft courtesy of its LT4 small-block V8. What's still a bit of a mystery at the moment is the C8 Z06's transmission. Chances are the C8 Stingray's seven-speed dual-clutch will be carried over, albeit with some necessary modifications, but there are also rumors the automaker could go with a 10-speed-dual-clutch instead.
And then there's this extremely interesting tidbit: the manual transmission the C8 Stingray doesn't offer could be a C8 Z06 option.
Other new Z06 enhancements will include various active and passive handling performance upgrades, including re-tuned for the track magnetorheological dampers. The body will likely receive new carbon fiber panels and various other items like a larger rear spoiler, diffuser, front splitter, and underbody aero. Wider fenders will also be necessary in order to accommodate wider and sticker wheels.
In general, expect a lighter and more powerful C8 not intended for amateurs. Eventually, a new ZR1 will arrive and we wouldn't be shocked to see it feature a hybrid drivetrain packing over 1,000 hp and all-wheel drive. In the meantime, it's time to get excited about the C8 Z06.