GM unveils new high-performance Chevy Corvette Z06 ahead of EV plans

2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06

GM

DETROIT — General Motors on Tuesday unveiled a new, high-performance Z06 version of its iconic American sports car that takes it back to its roots.

The Chevrolet Corvette Z06 2023 – an important track-focused model – will be powered by a new naturally aspirated 5.5-liter V8 engine that delivers 670 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque. According to General Motors, it is the most powerful engine of its kind in any production car.

It’s a return to normal for Vette fans. The previous Z06, last produced for 2019, was the only one in its history – dating back to 1963 – to feature a V-8 with a supercharger. A supercharger raises the engine’s performance but is heavier and can be considered a shortcut to boosting power.

2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06

GM

“We didn’t think we could go any further in terms of natural ambition, which is when we supercharged,” Corvette chief engineer Tadge Jochter told CNBC. “But this time we’re starting with a blank sheet of paper. This car is more of a blank sheet of paper than we’ve ever done with the Z06.”

Officials declined to reveal specific pricing but said they would be 44% comparable between the last-generation Z06 and the base model. That would put the initial price at around $86,400.

Production of the 2023 Corvette Z06 is expected to begin next summer at GM’s Bowling Green assembly plant, according to GM.

Define the American supercar

The new Z06, including a hardtop convertible version, is wider than the current mid-engine Corvette Stingray and features a rejuvenated exterior design that includes larger air-circulating grilles as well as wider wheels. Additional packages will also be available to increase aerodynamics and track performance.

“The new Corvette Z06 is the defining American supercar,” General Motors President Mark Royce said in a statement. “It builds on the distinctive design and pioneering dynamics introduced with the mid-engine Corvette and upgrades it to deliver refined but unrivaled track capabilities with world-class performance.”

2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06

GM

The car is expected to hit 0-60 mph in 2.6 seconds, making it the fastest Corvette to date. This is similar to other hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of supercars from Lamborghini and others, but slower than some all-electric Tesla cars, such as the Model S Plaid, in less than two seconds.

The company said other details about the Z06 such as top speed and fuel economy will be released near the car that goes on sale.

Sales of Z06 models made up as much as 30% of Corvette sales, according to Steve Majoros, Chevrolet’s vice president of marketing. He said he expects that to continue, if not higher, with the new release.

“There are only two things in our portfolio that you can, to use an overused term, be ‘rely on’ and really be a brand magnet. And the Z06 is definitely one of those things,” he told CNBC.

General Motors unveiled the Corvette Z06 2023 online on Tuesday before an advertisement for the car was shown during Game One of the World Championship later in the day.

This is the fifth generation of the Z06. It’s the first Z06 since General Motors first introduced the Corvette as a mid-engine car in 2019. Prior to that, the engine was located under the front hood.

Finale before the electric Corvette?

General Motors plans to become an all-electric car maker by 2035, ending production of light trucks and cars equipped with internal combustion engines, which will include the Corvette.

While General Motors has said nothing or nothing to confirm the existence of an electric Corvette, rumors and reports about the vehicle – possibly an electrified hybrid called the E-Ray – have been circulating for years. Notably, President Joe Biden has said at least twice that he’s been told an electric version of the sports car is coming.

2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06

GM

When asked about an electric Corvette, Goshtar said, “Only the future will tell.” He later said he was “pretty sure” the company was hitting the limits of the V-8 engine and that the Z06 could be the coup d’état on the traditional gasoline-powered car.

“No one is investing in this area anymore,” he told CNBC. “We’re bucking the trend here. I don’t know how long we’ll be doing that, but we’re happy to do it now.”

Auto forecasters anticipate at least one Corvette hybrid before the electric version of the car and possibly an electric Corvette SUV as early as 2025. AutoForecast Solutions anticipates a hybrid variant as early as the 2023 model year, while LMC Automotive anticipates everything—the Corvette crossover. Electric overhead in mid to late 2025.

2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06

GM

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