If the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray‘s nearly 500-hp V-8 engine fails to entice you, then the forthcoming Corvette Z06‘s 650-hp V-8 ought to do the trick. And it’s not just the horsepower output that’s changed. The Z06’s engine will be an entirely different animal from its lesser sibling, increasing performance and bringing an entirely different character to the car. Read on to find out why.
2022 Chevrolet Corvette Z06: Twin-Cam, Twin-Turbo, Flat-Plane
Unlike the LT2 engine of the Stingray, the Z06’s V-8 will forgo pushrod valves and a cross-plane crank for dual-overhead cams and a flat-plane crank. The resulting engine should possess the rev-happy nature and aural thrills of the Corvette C8.R’s V-8, which also happens to use twin cams and a flat-plane crank.
While Chevy will not drop the C8.R’s 5.5-liter engine into the Z06, the two Corvettes’ V-8s are expected to share a number of common pieces. The Z06’s V-8 should be smaller than its race car kin, reportedly sharing parts (and perhaps its entire block) with Cadillac’s Blackwing V-8 engine. We’d wager it’ll ultimately displace in the neighborhood of 4.2 liters. V-8s using flat-plane crankshafts lack the natural balance of a cross-plane crank, and larger displacements exacerbate the vibration and harshness of this arrangement. By limiting the displacement, employing lightweight pistons, and using a short-stroke crank, we expect the Z06 to be tolerable for owners who regularly drive their cars in traffic.
To compensate for its lesser displacement, the Z06’s engine is due to adopt a pair of turbochargers. Unlike Cadillac’s Blackwing engine, which houses two turbos in the valley between its heads, the Z06’s V-8 is expected to rely on outboard-mounted turbos. All in, the high-performance Corvette model purportedly produces 650 hp. Like the Stingray, look for the Z06 to rely on an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox to send all those horses to its rear wheels. Revisions to the car’s suspension and a set of sticky summer tires—that are properly wide at the rear—are sure to keep the Z06’s power from overwhelming its drive wheels and chassis.
2022 Chevrolet Corvette Z06: Carbon Fiber Fever
In addition to the added power, the 2022 Corvette Z06 will welcome a number of weight-saving measures. Don’t worry, creature comforts will still abound, and there’s no indication the Z06 will ditch the likes of the Stingray’s large digital gauge cluster or touchscreen infotainment system.
Nevertheless, look for the model to feature a number of lightweight materials for items such as the exhaust, rear wing, front splitter, and even its wheels. Specifically, the 2022 Corvette Z06 will offer buyers the option to equip it with a set of carbon-fiber wheels. While such a setup is not new (vehicles from Porsche and Ford offer carbon fiber wheels), it’s still a relatively rare—and surely expensive—way for road-going cars to go about shedding mass.
2022 Chevrolet Corvette Z06: Shut Up and Take Our Money!
Although we hear the current pandemic is forcing Chevy to push back the Corvette Z06’s debut, we’re still hopeful the brand manages to take the wraps off the car in early 2021 and ship it to dealers before the end of the year as a 2022 model. That said, it’s possible the Z06 won’t arrive until sometime in 2022 as a 2023 model.
Regardless, prepare to spend a good chunk more change to get into the car. Frankly, we’ll be surprised if the Z06 stickers for anything south of $80,000. That’s pricey for a Corvette (consider the Stingray starts at $59,995). Still, compared to the 572-hp Porsche 911 Turbo, which starts at more than $170,000, the Z06 is sure to be a relative steal given its performance capabilities.