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The new Corvette Z06 has a special engine and *may* come to Britain

The world's most powerful nat-asp V8, carbon wheels, a ginormous wing... and right-hand drive production

Published: 27 Oct 2021
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This is the new Corvette Z06, and we’ll get the big news out of the way first: it’s being made in right-hand drive. It marks the first time we might be able to buy the most athletic ‘Vette officially in the UK.

It’s a car of notable feats and firsts, in fact. The 5.5-litre V8 powering it shuns supercharging, going back to its traditional naturally aspirated setup with its 670bhp peak making it the most powerful n/a V8 in the world, according to Corvette. A flat-plane crank design lets it rev to 8,600rpm like it’s a proper piece of Italian exotica. It’s hand-built at Chevrolet’s Performance Build Center in Kentucky and will come signed by the technician who worked on it start to finish, a la AMG.

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An eight-speed DCT paddleshifter is your only option, making this the first Z06 without a manual on offer. The paddles (and steering wheel) come with abundant carbonfibre to really set the racecar vibe.

Though we’re informed that’s inherent anyway. In a slightly head-scrambling turn of events, Chevy says the Z06 isn’t based on the Corvette C8.R racer, rather the C8.R has been covertly based on the Z06 road car all along. Clearly they’ve been fine-tuning some of its setup in competition, which is no bad thing.

The Z06 sits on a modified suspension setup from the stock Corvette Stingray, while you’ve numerous settings of traction control and electronic limited-slip differential intervention to toggle through on its Driver Mode Selector.

Sold? Now it’s time to choose. The Z06 comes in coupe and convertible forms (its chassis is so stiff, the latter requires no additional bracing, apparently), while you get a staggered alloy wheel setup as standard – 20in front, 21in rear, the largest ever fitted to a ‘Vette. Carbon wheels are an option for those who don’t live in fear of kerbs and for whom an 18.6kg reduction in unsprung mass is an ideal first date boast.

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The most significant option, though, is the Z07 Performance Package. It brings a carbon body kit starring that rear wing, a unique suspension setup using Magneride dampers and Michelin Sport Cup 2 tyres developed specifically for the Z06 with a Brembo carbon-ceramic brake system tucked behind.

Spec the carbon wheels and the Z07 pack and your ‘Vette weighs 1,561kg dry – basically the same as Ferrari’s hybrid SF90 rather than the 1,435kg F8 Tributo that seems more in line with the Z06’s schtick. But then you’ll be saving a heap of cash going American anyway.

Not that we have a price to divulge yet, nor even quoted performance figures. But we do have a firing order for its eight cylinders: 1-4-3-8-7-6-5-2. More of a second date kinda conversation, we'd suggest.

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