Now you can build your own Z06's heart.
Chevrolet recently announced that it's bringing back the ultimate automotive DIY project.
Chevy Corvette Z06 customers will once again have the opportunity to build their car's engine, bringing back the popular scheme from the last-gen Z06. As before, this option is limited to the Z06 model and its tremendous 5.5-liter flat-plane V8 engine.
Plant director Kai Spande made the announcement at the 28th-anniversary celebration of the National Corvette Museum, which first opened its doors in September 1994. The program will start in the second quarter of 2023, but if you haven't placed an order, you're in for a long wait. Chevrolet closed the order books for the 2023 model earlier this month.
GM is not building as many Corvettes as it would like, but production for the Z06 will eventually ramp up. Chevrolet intends to make more C8s than any other Corvette that came before, including the Z06. That's probably worth knowing if you're considering buying one as an investment. It may be rare now, but these things will be everywhere five years from now. We can't wait for Corvette pricing to return to normal, if only so the car can return to being a blue-collar supercar slayer.
And this time, the Z06 is a true supercar slayer. It hits all the supercar targets; wild styling, a mid-engine layout, and a 5.5-liter that will spin to 8,600 rpm before a hard limiter cuts in. The 670 horses only arrive at 8,400 rpm, but that's by design and not a flaw. In case you need a reminder, listen to the engine noise below.
The Z06 is similar to the epic Ferrari 458 in so many ways. Ferrari's V8 was smaller, but its 562 horses only arrived at 9,000 rpm, giving it perfect power delivery for track use without turbo lag or sudden bouts of boost, and you get to ride a wave of glorious V8 pandemonium. The Z06 is the closest thing to it you can buy new.
The main difference is that Chevrolet is not precious about its engine. Ferrari's engines are built in a factory with a forest in the middle. The Italians built said forest in the factory to control temperature and humidity. Comparatively, Chevy will let anyone with a few thousand dollars to spare get their hands grubby.
Chevrolet first offered the Build Your Own Engine (BYOE) for the Z06 and ZR1 in 2011 for a fee of $5,800. It went on hiatus circa 2013 and made a comeback in 2015 for $5,000. Clearly, Chevrolet realized it needed to charge less for people to do its work for them.
As part of a $44 million expansion at the Bowling Green Corvette plant, the necessary facilities were built to accommodate the 2015 program. Back then, owners had to push a trolley, collect engine parts, and visit various stations to build the famous 6.2-liter supercharged V8.
The new BYOE option is different. A section of the plant has been set apart specifically for this option. A specialist will be on hand to guide the customer through every step of the complex building procedure. Once the build is complete, the engine will be run on a dyno, after which the marriage will take place.
Chevrolet has yet to reveal the full details of the BYOE option, but previously customers received a photograph and an engine plaque stating that they built the engine.
This is Chevy's best tactic yet to keep people from flipping a 'Vette. Would you sell a car with your name and autograph on it?