With a revealed planned for 26 October, we still have nearly a month to wait before seeing the C8 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 for the first time. Except, erm, here it is.
Perhaps to anticipate the inevitable leak raining on its parade, General Motors has released a front three-quarter image clearly showing the most track-focused version of the C8 revealed thus far. “Who needs spy photos when you’ve got the real thing?” a post on the Corvette Facebook page said.
First impressions? It looks a whole lot less lairy than the old C7 Z06. Compared to the standard C8 Stingray it seems to be sitting lower and is wearing a new front bumper plus reshaped side intakes. There’s nothing particularly outlandish on it, though, and the rear spoiler is pretty discreet compared to the wing of the Stingray’s Z51 package.
The good news is this isn’t the new Z06’s final form. There will be a ‘Z07’ package bringing with it increased aggression, including a sizeable, unusually shaped rear wing and front bumper-mounted canards, as seen in recent spy shots taken at the Nurburgring. Other upgrades expected in the pack include carbon ceramic brakes and a beefier suspension setup.
In any case, the really important changes are ones you can’t see. The biggest of these is the engine – replacing the ‘LT2’ naturally-aspirated, crossplane V8 from the Stingray is a 5.5-litre (also N/A) flat-plane crank engine which is expected to spin up to 9000rpm and develop about 600bhp. That’s over 100bhp up on the Stingray, and it should give the Z06 some Ferrari 458 Italia vibes. A less powerful variant of this engine is already in service in the C8.R FIA World Endurance Championship/WeatherTech SportsCar racer (above).
At the moment, we’re not expecting the Z06 to come to the UK officially in right-hand drive. Boo, etc. Chevrolet will, however, soon sell the standard Stingray with a steering wheel on the ‘correct’ side, starting at £81,700.
What do you think of the new C8 Z06?