Chevrolet is planning something very interesting.
The all-new 2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 coupe and convertible aim to redefine the rules of the supercar game. Why should exotic brands like Ferrari, Lamborghini, and McLaren receive all of the glory? The fact is, at least in GM's mind, is that they shouldn't. A proper comparison battle between Detroit's and Europe's best is certainly in order. Until then, the C8 Z06 is enjoying its moment in the spotlight as buyers are lining up fast to place their orders.
Perhaps the Z06's greatest feature is the all-new naturally aspirated LT6 5.5-liter flat-plane crank V8. With a total output of 670 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque making it the world's most powerful production naturally aspirated V, it'd be kind of a shame for it to be limited to the Z06 only. It turns out some at Chevy think the same.
Speaking to GM Authority, Russ O'Blenes, GM's Director for the Performance and Racing Propulsion Team, hinted the LT6 could one day be offered as a standalone crate engine. "There's obviously discussion," he said. "I'm sure it's something that we'll continue to investigate. We've done a lot of development with it as we worked really closely with the production team, so we've got a really good feel for how to do it."
It's important to bear in mind GM is no immediate pressure to do an LT6 crate option because, as O'Blenes also reminded everyone, there's currently three years' worth of Z06 orders in the books. Those engines need to be reserved first and foremost for those customers.
What about placing the LT6 into a certain other Chevy performance model, the Camaro? Better yet, a new Camaro variant slotted above the Camaro ZL1 LE? Even if Chevy wanted to it may not be technically possible. We've been given the impression the LT6 may not work properly in a front-engine application. This may or may not be limited to the Camaro's Alpha RWD platform, or the fact that the LT6 is believed to be engineered for a mid-engine application only.
But if Chevy is truly considering a crate engine option, then it must know aftermarket tuners build won't limit themselves to mid-engine setups. We'll just have to wait and see what transpires, but also know this: high customer demand could help sway GM's decision.