#5224 - 08/16/2106:33 PM2023 C8 Corvette Z06 Spotted at Nurburgring
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Joined: Dec 2000
The 2023 C8 Corvette Z06's makeup may be one of the worst-kept secrets in automotive history. Figured out years ago that it'd have a howling V8 with overhead cams and a flat-plane crankshaft, and not to mention a serious rear wing.
All that remained was to hear, see, and drive the car, and we're now past the second phase of that, as a nearly undisguised prototype has been photographed outside the Nürburgring. This photo depicts the first Z06 mule we've seen without the sort of baggy, body-obscuring camouflage it wore while being seemingly benchmarked against the Porsche 911 GT2 RS.
They were snapped as the car circled a roundabout, so we now have a perfect, nearly 360-degree picture of the new Z06. Up front are a sizable splitter and big canards (or dive planes), leading to a redesigned front bumper which sits dual heat exchangers, one on each side. Larger, more sharply angled rear fender intakes are obvious from the side, as are more aggressive skirts and, behind five-spoke wheels, colossal brakes both front and rear. The front's rotors appear to be possibly drilled, though the photos aren't quite detailed enough to conclude they are.
Out back is a deeply dished rear wing atop a restyled rear bumper, the most significant change to which is the return of the center-exit quad exhaust used on the C5 through C7. The sound that comes there from will be, as Chevy has revealed, remarkably close to that of a Ferrari 458 whether you consider it a supercar or not, it'll sure sound like one. GM has confirmed the Corvette Z06 will debut this autumn and hit the market as a 2023 model, so it won't be in customers' hands for more than a year. By then, we may have a better grasp of C8 models yet to come, which have been rumored to include a Grand Sport, all-wheel-drive E-Ray hybrid, twin-turbo ZR1, and even hyper-Vette called the Zora.
Whatever the case, the Z06 has whetted our appetites for the future of the Corvette, and it just might set the standard for supercars the world over. Chevy's mid-engine Corvette C8 may not be a secret anymore, but sightings of camouflaged prototypes have continued unabated. Footage of one test mule emitting an unusual exhaust note kicked up speculation that General Motors is testing the C8's first high-performance variant, thought to be the Z06, and the photo seen above, taken Tuesday, adds fuel to that fire.
This photo depicts a camouflaged C8 prototype alongside a 691-horsepower Porsche 911 GT2 RS, holder of lap records from Wisconsin's Road America to Germany's Nürburgring (albeit in modified form). Both the image's poster and a commenter reported spotting these two cars traveling together in California; the former recalled seeing them at "high altitude up in the mountains of California, 4,200 feet," while the latter specified Westmorland, California as the area where they saw the pair.
Benchmarking what we'll assume is the Z06 against the now-defunct GT2 RS may seem like an uneven comparison, but recent rumors regarding the Z06's performance capabilities suggest the two could be closer in performance than you may think.
The twin-cam, flat-plane-crank V8 derived from the C8.R race car that's expected to power the Z06 is rumored to produce at least 600 horsepower, possibly more, and at least 500 ft/lbs torque. Z06s could also allegedly feature aerodynamics more extreme than the last-generation ZR1, with larger rear wings that generate both more downforce and less drag than the C7 ZR1's did.
Regardless of how true that rumor is, it's clear that GM is shooting for the moon with high-performance C8 variants. And as the saying goes, even if GM misses its mark, it'll land among the stars anyway.