Detroit automaker kicked off the week by confirming the existence of the first high-performance variant of the mid-engine ‘Vette, which will arrive as a 2023 model. The brand isn’t ready to reveal what the vehicle will look like just yet, but it did offer up a teaser of what its specially tuned powerhouse sounds like. The answer: glorious.
A 25-second clip posted to the brand’s YouTube page on Monday features the first official glimpse of the eagerly anticipated speed machine. Since its shot from the perspective of the new Z06, the car itself isn’t visible as it rips around the Circuit of Americas road course in Austin, Texas. As disappointing as that may be, the growl of its naturally aspirated V-8 revving and accelerating more than makes up for it. If the video is to believed, the C8 Z06 will sound more like a Ferrari than any of its American peers, even the current C8 Stingray.
It should come as no surprise that the new Z06’s engine can roar. It’s been widely reported that the high-performance variant will be fitted with a brawny 5.5-liter DOHC flat-plane crank V-8 engine that can rev up to 9,000 rpm and produce 617 hp. That’s slightly less powerful than the supercharged V-8 in the C7 Z06, but it would make the mill the most powerful naturally aspirated V-8 on the market, according to Road & Track. It would also be significantly more powerful than the 6.2-liter LT2 V-8 in the C8 Stingray, which produces 490 horses and 465 ft lbs of twist.
A more powerful engine won’t be the only difference between the two C8s. Spy video and photos of the C8 Z06 undergoing testing suggest it will also have a subtly reworked body. It seems likely that it’ll feature even more intense aerodynamic elements and a larger rear wing.
We’ll find out for sure sometime this fall, which is when Chevy promises to unveil the new Z06. No price info has been released, but it’s expected to cost up to $25,000 more than the C8 Stingray’s $59,900 starting price. Even so, we can’t imagine ardent ‘Vette loyalists will mind paying that kind of premium for a street-legal sports car that promises track-quality performance.