How A Wild 500-HP Race Car Was Turned Into The Corvette Z06

Supercars / 7 Comments

Trickle-down race-enomics.

Over the last few months, Chevrolet has released a series of YouTube videos chronicling the development that went into the upcoming Corvette Z06. That includes things like Formula 1-style aerodynamics and the magic that goes into its flat-plane V8. Now, with the most recent video, Chevrolet's team of drivers and engineers explain what it means to develop a car alongside the race car.

Corvette Racing driver Tommy Milner says that the new Z06 is "so far the closest that I've ever seen a real street car get to a race car."


Josh Holder, the Z06's chief engineer, says that the transfer of tech from the C8.R racer isn't just some marketing stunt. "The production team and the race team share parts, they developed the cars together, they share their test facilities. It's for real. It's how we work together every day."

Sports Car Racing Program Manager Laura Wontrop Klauser is certainly a believer in the crucible of motorsport. "You really learn a lot about how well you design the car aerodynamically, how well you set up the suspension, all the mechanical bits that matter." She also says that all of that info is taken off the race car and then get fed back to the production car team, who take the data and apply them to the race car. We'd hope so, especially when Chevy is charging $100k for the thing.

Another member of the team, Ben Johnson, Motorsports Director for Pratt & Miller, says that despite the chaos present in racing, there's much to be learned. THat's because a race track is actually a fantastic test bed. You have two drivers, one car, and nearly every variable outside of the actual racing is controlled. That means the team could pull data from the car that would have otherwise been impossible to get on a public road.

Chevy says the best example of this trickle-down effect from the racer is the 'Vette's LT6 engine. The engine has been in the race car since 2020, which means tens of thousands of valuable development miles under high load. Wontrop Klauser even goes so far as to say that the production car's engine is "even better" than the one in the racer. It does have 670 hp, so we're inclined to believe her.

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