Is the range-topping Corvette good enough to steal sales from exotic brands?
Priced from $106,395, there's no denying the all-new Chevrolet Corvette Z06 is an expensive piece of machinery. But upon further inspection, you soon realize it's a veritable bargain. The 5.5-liter V8 produces 670 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque, which is up there with some supercars costing three times as much.
But surely no one in the market for a Ferrari or a McLaren will even consider the range-topper, right? Well, according to dealer training uncovered by thetruthaboutcars.com (TTAC), Chevrolet is inclined to disagree. Training material seen below shows sales associates how to answer customer questions related to the Z06 and similarly powerful offerings.
If a prospective client wanders into a Chevy dealership and wants to know how the Z06's transmission compares to a McLaren 720S gearbox, for example, dealers have been told to extol the virtues of the Corvette's eight-speeder.
Three responses are provided, but only one is correct: "The Corvette Z06 will have the M1M eight-speed dual-clutch transmission, which has a stronger six-plate clutch and extended sump to ensure proper lubrication during spirited track driving." It's a similar story should a Ferrari F8 owner waltz into their local Chevy retailer.
The F8 makes use of a smaller, turbocharged 3.9-liter V8 which produces 710 hp. Even though the Z06 produces fewer ponies, the correct answer encourages dealers to highlight other positive aspects of the LT6 powerplant. "Producing 670 horsepower, the 2023 Corvette's hand-built, all-new 5.5-liter V8 is the most powerful naturally aspirated engine ever and, unlike the Ferrari F8...Z06 will not suffer from turbo lag during acceleration," it reads.
The bow-tie brand obviously knows it is exploring unchartered waters and has prepared several answers for prospective premium supercar buyers. A world-beater the Z06 may be, but are brand-conscious consumers ready to swap their European thoroughbreds for a Chevrolet?
That remains to be seen, but Chevrolet seems to be preparing dealers for the best-case scenario. We're not quite sure that buyers of a 911 GT3 will be cross-shopping it with a Corvette but, if a customer wants to compare the Porsche's technical figures with those of the Z06, GM has provided an answer.
"The 2023 Corvette Z06 produces 670 horsepower with its 5.5-liter, flat-plane crank, eight-cylinder engine, which redlines at an amazing 8,600 rpm and provides lightning-quick shifts with its strengthened-for-performance, eight-speed DCT." It's the same story for the Audi R8 which, admittedly, is a more realistic rival for the Kentucky-built Chevy.
While the Z06 may be a masterpiece of engineering, it is rather ambitious for GM to think Ferrari customers would deign to enter a Chevrolet dealership and mingle among the middle classes. For many of these customers, the driving experience is as important as the prestige and buying experience. This is a point many have raised with another high-end GM product, the Celestiq, which Cadillac says will rival Rolls-Royce and Bentley.