The 2023 Chevy Corvette Z06 elevates the iconic nameplate into territory occupied by exotics from Ferrari and Lamborghini. With the engine now located behind the driver, it looks unlike any Z06 seen before. Not only is it considerably wider than the regular Corvette Stingray, it also boasts bigger air intakes and a unique rear wing. Thanks to a flat-plane crankshaft, the new Z06’s naturally aspirated 5.5-liter V-8 also doesn’t like any Vette that’s come before and it blasted the car to 60 mph in just 2.6 seconds at our test track. While it inherits the best amenities and technology from the Stingray, its performance and handling have been heightened and sharpened. Chevy switched to a mid-engine layout to make the C8 Corvette a supercar that more folks can afford, and the 2023 Corvette Z06 promises to embarrass more than a few people driving insanely expensive supercars when they meet at a racetrack.
What’s New for 2023?
The first mid-engine Corvette Z06 went into production in summer 2022 and launched as a 2023 model. As is tradition, the Z06 is a more hardcore, track-focused version of the standard Vette, complete with bolder styling cues and serious performance attributes.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
The new Corvette Z06’s six-figure starting price is no surprise given the car’s performance attributes, but it still is a bargain compared to European supercars with similar equipment. We’d go with the base 1LZ Coupe but we’d add the Z07 Performance package, which adds a tuned suspension, Brembo carbon ceramic brakes, and high-performance Michelin Pilot Cup 2R ZP tires. Selecting this package also requires adding the Carbon Aero package, which adds carbon fiber exterior elements including a front splitter and a rear spoiler.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The new Corvette Z06 receives a special engine that makes it sound similar to the supercars it’s trying to dethrone. Its naturally aspirated 5.5-liter V-8 features a flat-plane crank and revs to 8600 rpm. The engine produces 670 horsepower and has a Ferrari-like howl that’ll send shivers down the spine of bystanders. The unconventional V-8 hooks up to an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive. Performance is explosive and at our test track, the Z06 blasted to 60 mph in just 2.6 seconds and sailed through the quarter-mile mark in 10.5 seconds at 131 mph. A set of wider, stickier tires and more powerful brakes help it corner harder and stop shorter than the regular Vette. Chevy also has strengthened the Corvette’s structure and transformed the chassis to ensure the Z06’s performance advantages are most obvious at the racetrack. To unlock its full potential, there’s an optional Z07 package that adds aerodynamic elements, reduces weight, and further upgrades the brakes and tires. The car comes standard with 20-inch front and 21-inch rear forged aluminum wheels, but a set of lighter and stronger carbon-fiber rollers are optional.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The Z06’s EPA fuel economy estimates of 12 mpg city and 19 mpg highway make the Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck look efficient. When we get a chance, we’ll take the Z06 on our 75-mph highway fuel-economy test route and update this story with its real-world results. For more information about the Corvette Z06’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
The Bow Tie brand went above and beyond to ensure that the mid-engine Corvette’s interior could not be called boring. While the design certainly transcends what’s found on every other Chevy model, the square steering wheel and wall of climate-control buttons on the center console are unusual elements, to say the least. Still, the cabin layout caters to the driver, and the list of standard and optional features is extensive. It includes a digital gauge cluster, a head-up display, heated and ventilated seats, and even wireless phone charging. Its track-worthiness is made more apparent inside with microsuede accents and more aggressively bolstered seats as well as two carbon-fiber-intensive interior packages. The Corvette’s capacious rear trunk should continue to provide a spot for drivers to carry two sets of golf clubs.
Infotainment and Connectivity
Cooked into the Corvette’s multilayered dashboard is an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system. It includes Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a Wi-Fi hotspot. Likewise, two separate Bose stereos are expected to be offered: a standard 10-speaker system and an optional 14-speaker setup. The Z06 also offers a Performance Data Recorder (PDR), which allows you to record video of everything from your track exploits to relaxed country-road cruises. And if you dare leave your Z06 with a valet, there’s a setting that keeps track of any nefarious activities the car-parker might try.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
Although the regular Corvette Stingray only offers a handful of driver-assistance technology, those features are also available on the Z06. For more information about its crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:
- Standard rear parking sensors
- Available multi-view camera system
- Available blind-spot monitor and rear cross-traffic alert
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
Chevy provides all of its models with a middle-of-the-road limited and powertrain warranty. While the company offers more complimentary maintenance than automakers who skip the free service altogether, it’s one of the shortest such plans in the industry.
- Limited warranty covers three years or 36,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers five years or 60,000 miles
- Complimentary maintenance is covered for the first visit
2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 w/Z07
Vehicle Type: mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive, 2-passenger, 2-door targa
Base/As Tested: $127,185/$166,205
Options: 3LZ equipment group (leather-wrapped interior with microfiber headliner, heated and ventilated GT2 bucket seats, navigation, wireless phone charging), $13,850; visible carbon-fiber wheels, $11,995; carbon-fiber interior trim, $4995; front-axle lift, $2595; visible carbon-fiber targa top, $2495; Bright Red painted calipers, $695; black exhaust tips, $395
DOHC 32-valve V-8, aluminum block and heads, direct fuel injection
Displacement: 333 in3, 5463 cm3
Power: 670 hp @ 8400 rpm
Torque: 460 lb-ft @ 6300 rpm
8-speed dual-clutch automatic
Suspension, F/R: control arms/control arms
Brakes, F/R: 15.7-in vented, cross-drilled carbon-ceramic disc/15.4-in vented, cross-drilled carbon-ceramic disc
Tires: Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 R ZP
F: 275/30ZR-20 (97Y) TPC
R: 345/25ZR-21 (104Y) TPC
Wheelbase: 107.2 in
Length: 185.9 in
Width: 79.7 in
Height: 48.6 in
Passenger Volume: 51 ft3
Cargo Volume: 13 ft3
Curb Weight: 3666 lb
C/D TEST RESULTS
60 mph: 2.6 sec
100 mph: 5.9 sec
130 mph: 10.3 sec
1/4-Mile: 10.5 sec @ 131 mph
150 mph: 15.2 sec
170 mph: 24.9 sec
Results above omit 1-ft rollout of 0.2 sec.
Rolling Start, 5–60 mph: 3.1 sec
Top Gear, 30–50 mph: 2.0 sec
Top Gear, 50–70 mph: 2.2 sec
Top Speed (mfr’s claim): 189 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 139 ft
Braking, 100–0 mph: 274 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft Skidpad: 1.16 g
C/D FUEL ECONOMY
Observed: 12 mpg
EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Combined/City/Highway: 14/12/19 mpg