The mid-engine C8 Chevrolet Corvette has just arrived but the rumor mill is already in high gear with details of versions sitting above the base Stingray. The latest talk centers on the C8 Corvette Z06, which is expected to ditch the C7 generation's supercharged V-8 in favor of a new twin-turbocharged V-8.
Definite information is at a premium, but Automobile on Friday reported that the new Z06 will feature an engine derived from the Cadillac-exclusive twin-turbo V-8 referred to as the Blackwing. The Cadillac engine features a 4.2-liter displacement and double overhead cams and is currently rated at 550 horsepower in its most potent guise, found in the CT6-V.
CAD drawings depicting a mystery twin-turbo V-8, as well as the C8 Corvette, surfaced in 2017. The mystery engine was referred to as a “Gen6 LT7” in the drawings and could point to the powerplant destined for the new Z06. The C7 Corvette Z06's engine, a supercharged 6.2-liter good for 650 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque, is code-named the LT4. The C7 Corvette ZR1's engine, also a supercharged 6.2-liter V-8, is code-named the LT5 and pumps out 755 hp and 715 lb-ft of torque.
CAD images of the mid-engine Chevrolet Corvette - Image via Michael Accardi
With the extra traction made possible by having the engine sitting on top of the driven wheels, the mid-engine C8 Corvette Z06's numbers could be rated even higher than both C7 variants. Rumors point to an 800-hp output, which could make the car a McLaren 720S and Ferrari F8 Tributo killer.
The most obvious transmission is an uprated version of the C8 Corvette Stingray's new 8-speed dual-clutch transmission. However, Automobile reported there are whispers of a 10-speed DCT making the cut. The magazine also said it's heard of a manual transmission being made a possibility, though the move is doubtful given the low demand for manuals making the cost of engineering the car to fit one difficult to justify.
Look for the Z06 to debut in 2021 as a 2022 model. It won't be the end of the performance road for the C8 Corvette, though. You can count on a new ZR1 (or possibly Zora), and this time around the Corvette top dog is expected to pack a hybrid powertrain, all-wheel drive, and an output approaching 1,000 hp.