Now that the bubble of anticipation surrounding the mid-engine Corvette has burst, excitement is building for the even-mightier Z06 model. With an exotic flat-plane-crank V-8 engine, the 2022 Chevy Corvette Z06 will sound, unlike any Vette that’s come before. It’ll also look meaner than the mainstream C8 thanks to flared fenders, larger air scoops, and an aerodynamic addendum that actively adjusts to maximize high-speed downforce and cornering traction. Along with its exclusive powertrain and enhanced appearance, the super Chevy will inherit all the best features and technology from the regular model. Although we still don’t have all the juicy details about the new Z06, here’s what we know so far.
What’s New for 2022?
The first mid-engine Corvette Z06 is expected to go on sale in the early 2022 model. As is tradition, it’s a more hardcore, track-focused version of the standard Vette, complete with bolder styling cues and serious performance attributes.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The upcoming Corvette Z06 will receive a special engine that should make it sound similar to the supercars it’s trying to dethrone. The naturally aspirated 5.5-liter V-8 features a flat-plane crank, which means it should rev to between 8500 and 9000 rpm. This engine is expected to make over 600 horsepower, and its Ferrari-like howl is all but guaranteed to send shivers down the spine of bystanders. The unconventional V-8 will hook up to an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive. Considering that the 495-hp 2020 Corvette Z51 we tested rocketed from zero to 60 mph in just 2.8 seconds and completed the standing quarter-mile in 11.2 seconds at 122 mph, the Z06 will be even quicker in a straight line. A set of wider, stickier tires and more powerful brakes will help it corner harder and stop shorter than the regular Vette, too. Chevy will also strengthen the structure and recalibrate the suspension tune on the Z06 to help make sure its performance advantages are most obvious at the racetrack. A host of active aerodynamics that automatically adjusts to optimize downforce will join the party for this new generation. We’ll have to wait until we get our hands on one to evaluate how its myriad improvements compare with the outgoing Corvette Z06.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
The Bow Tie brand went above and beyond to ensure that the mid-engine Corvette’s interior could not be called boring. While the design certainly transcends what’s found on every other Chevy model, the square steering wheel and wall of climate-control buttons on the center console are unusual elements, to say the least. Still, the cabin layout caters to the driver, and the list of standard and optional features is extensive. This includes a 12.0-inch fully digital gauge cluster, a head-up display, heated and ventilated seats, and wireless charging. All of this and more will continue inside the new Z06. We expect its track-worthiness to be made apparent through additional carbon-fiber and microsuede interior accents as well as a set of even more aggressively bolstered seats. The Corvette’s capacious rear trunk should continue to provide a spot for drivers to carry two sets of golf clubs.