2022 Chevrolet Corvette C8 Z06: Renderings + Rumors

Here's what to expect from the next Corvette Z06.

If you're not excited about the arrival of the eight-generation Corvette and it now finally adopting a mid-engine layout, well, you might want to check your pulse—or maybe your prejudices. Even though the standard Stingray version won't hit the streets for another few months, we're already looking ahead to the even-hotter Z06 variant. What we don't know about the car could fill a book, but there are a few items and rumors that are likely to come true.

First on that list is a DOHC twin-turbo V-8 engine based on the Cadillac CT6-V's Blackwing, though changed enough that Chevrolet and Cadillac can each call the engine their own. In fact, our colleagues at MotorTrend are reporting that the Z06 iteration may pack a flat-plane crankshaft (as seen in Ferraris and the Mustang GT350) and perhaps be bored out to help facilitate high-rpm performance. Given these fundamental changes, the engine almost certainly will lose the Blackwing designation, and probably will be called LT7. While a name isn't likely to spike your adrenaline, the horsepower output will: Expect the Z06 to pump out 800 horses and torque that could approach 700 lb-ft (flat-crank engines tend to produce lower torque levels). For reference, the current front-engine Z06 is rated for 650 horsepower and 650 lb-ft from its supercharged, pushrod LT4 small-block V-8.

One big unknown on the Z06's spec sheet is the transmission. While it's most likely that Chevy will keep the eight-speed dual clutch found in the Stingray, whispers suggest a 10-speed dual-clutch may be offered. Even more tantalizingly, we've heard that the Stingray's missing manual-transmission option may turn up on the Z06's option sheet. But while that's a nice dream—and makes a certain sort of sense, since the Z06 is the enthusiast's pick—we're not holding our collective breath.

Otherwise, the Z06 is expected to pack a host of active and passive handling and performance upgrades, like a harder-core tune for the magnetorheological dampers; carbon-fiber body panels and exterior accessories; and, as pictured in these renderings, a huge wing and diffuser package, front splitter, and underbody aero. It will also get wider fenders to make room for fatter wheels and wider, stickier tires. It will undoubtedly all add up to a lighter, more rigid, better-handling, quicker, and faster car than the regular C8.

We don't expect to see the Z06 version of the C8 Corvette until late 2021 as a 2022 model, though, so it will be some time before anything gets confirmed. And this isn't the end of the C8 Corvette progression, either; we expect a ZR1 (possibly called "Zora" instead) to come a year or two after the Z06, potentially packing a hybrid drivetrain, all-wheel drive, and more than 1,000 horsepower. In the meantime, we'll keep our ears to the ground for more rumblings and rumors on the C8 Corvette Z06.

This story was updated on August 27 to reflect new reporting from MotorTrend.

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