Less than a month after the base-spec C8 Corvette was shown to the public, rumors of what the hotter C8s will be like are already percolating.
Automobile is reporting that the C8 Corvette Z06 is due as a 2022 model and could feature a version of Cadillac’s Nightwing hot V twin-turbo V8 making upwards of 800 horsepower and perhaps more than 700 lb-ft of torque. That engine won’t wear the Nightwing name though, probably trading it for LT7.
According to Automobile, the new Z06 could see some major changes from the base Corvette when it comes to the transmission as well. While this is far from confirmed, both a 10-speed dual clutch gearbox could replace the 7-speed currently on offer. Perhaps less likely is the third pedal that is no longer an option on the standard car but Automobile says a manual transmission could be an option when the Z06 hits the market.
This upgraded powertrain could be matched to wider fenders to accommodate the fat rubber needed to put all of that power down, in addition to aerodynamic and suspension improvements like revised magnetic dampers and a massive wing and diffuser combo as rendered by Automobile that would keep the car planted on the track.
The previous Z06, based off of the C7 Corvette, was a beast in its own right, with a supercharged LT4 V8 making 650 HP making it capable of a reported 2.95 second 0-60 time. This performance wasn’t without cost though. Numerous owners found themselves limping home after driving their cars hard for as few as 15 minutes because of cooling issues. Chevy made some changes for 2017 to try and keep the cars on the track and driving hard for as long as owners could handle them, but it seems that the issues remained prevalent based on a number of class-action suits brought by owners against GM.
While the details remain hazy and nothing is confirmed as of yet, we may see the Z06 as soon as 2021 because it only took one model year for the last Z06 to make it to dealerships after the base C7 came out for 2014. I hope we get it sooner rather than later because I’m excited to see just how much GM’s engineers can pull out of their new mid-engined machine. I’m sure we won’t be disappointed.
If you are, that’s alright. There just may be a hybrid-powered ZR1 packing upwards of 1000 HP coming for you too.