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Fittingly unveiled on the Fourth of July, American Independence Day, New Zealand received its latest resident of American origin! The Tarmac team were invited to meet this superstar sportscar and get up close with the new Corvette Z06.

Video goes live at 9.15am

Arriving at the venue, Harry and I were greeted by Ed and Rochelle from GMSV NZ, both of whom were beaming with excitement about the launch of the Z06. Its predecessor, the C8 Stingray has been well received locally with the marque on track for an even better year in 2023. However, this Z06 isn’t just an evolution of the Stingray, it’s something even more special as the engine alludes.

Close up of the 5.5L flat plane crank engine mounted in the middle of the new Corvette Z06
Meet the most powerful production naturally aspirated V8 in history!

Seated in the middle of the car is nothing short of an engineering marvel. A 5.5L LT6 naturally aspirated flat-plane crankshaft V8, all of that might sound a bit technical but just know this, it is the most powerful naturally aspirated V8 ever fitted to a production car! With 670 bhp on tap, the Corvette Z06 can catapult itself from 0-100 in 2.7 seconds. That’s hypercar territory!

An 8-speed dual-clutch transmission takes power to the wheels while the ride is kept in check thanks to a Magnetic Ride Control 4.0 system, especially developed for the Z06. The powerplant itself is hand assembled by “master engine builders” at Corvette’s home in Bowling Green, Kentucky, but the revolution doesn’t stop there.

Close up shot of the wheels on the new 2023 Corvette Z06
Featuring the largest wheels ever fitted to a factory Corvette, specially designed tyres and brakes

Another record breaker for this Corvette Z06 comes in the form of the wheels. The forged aluminium units are the largest ever fitted to a Corvette from factory. 20 inches at the front and 21 inches at the rear, these hide some rather menacing Brembo brakes.

A Z07 Performance Package adds 398mm Brembo rotors at the front and 391mm Brembo rotors at the rear with carbon ceramic discs for stopping. Carbon fibre wheels are available as an option, the addition of which saves 18.6 kgs of unspring mass!

A peering through the window shot of the interior of the new 2023 Corvette Z06
Z06’s interior feels exotic!

The carbon fibre theme continues into the interior where the material has been used liberally! The steering wheel, paddle shifters, driver instrument cluster and centre console all feature various levels of carbon fibre incorporation. For those wanting even more, the Z07 Package adds a rear spoiler, front splitter, front corner dive planes and underbody strakes, all made of carbon fibre!

Finished in a gorgeous shade of ‘Red Mist Metallic Tintcoat’, this Z06 show car proved the difference that the more menacing stance makes to the Corvette’s look. A width increase of 9.4cm is functionally required to increase air flow to the engine. Similarly, the front has seen a redesign to accommodate the Z06’s greater cooling needs. While at the back, the New Zealand model does not receive the famous quad central exhaust system, the unit swapped in favour of a pair of dual tailpipes on either side to allow for a particulate filter to meet our emission regulations.

Front three quarters view of the new 2023 Corvette Z06 in metallic red.
New Corvette Z06 is a game changer!

Gone are the days of left hand drive conversions, this Z06 is factory built for the right hand drive market at Corvette’s home in Kentucky. The incorporation of that spectacular engine and a unique exhaust system to suit our regulations shows GMSV and Corvette’s dedication to the cause. I tip my hat to their efforts to keep naturally aspirated V8 engines alive in a world where many have all but given up on it. All the signs are there to suggest that the New Zealand market will receive the new Corvette Z06 with an even greater level of enthusiasm!

Thanks for reading! For more Corvette news and reviews, visit Tarmac Life.

Special thanks to GMSV NZ, Rochelle and Ed for the opportunity.

Words by Matthew D’Souza, pictures courtesy of Harry de Souza.

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