Why will the C8 Corvette Z06 be naturally aspirated?

Corvette Z06 Badge

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Chevrolet had earlier announced that the Z06 trim of their next-gen C8 Corvette will be naturally aspirated, unlike the C7 Z06 which had a supercharger. That might initiate concerns about the power figures and performance of the car. Yet, Chevrolet insists that it is for the benefit of what you expect out of a ‘Vette.

No more snorkels

One major issue that the C7 Corvette Z06 had was overheating when out on the track. Despite a forced induction system, the engine would get hot after a few hours of intense track-day driving. This would ruin the fun of any petrolhead and required a lot of oil and tire changes for just one weekend.

With a naturally-aspirated engine, the cylinder heads undergo a lot less pressure and have increased durability. This is reflected in the Corvette C8.R racing car that ran the Daytona this year. Since the C8R would require at least 300 road-legal units as per the FIA, the Z06 is the best candidate. Although the C8.R produces 500 hp with its flat-plane-crank LT2 V8, the Z06 will have fewer restrictions and will be capable of close to 670 hp.

C8 Z06 Render
C8 Z06 Render

More than just the engine

It doesn’t matter how much power lurks underneath the hood but how it is used. With a mid-engine mounted design for the first time in any Corvette, the Z06 will have the perfect balance for the body, massively increasing the car’s agility. Moreover, since the engine is closer to the rear axle, it would require a shorter driveshaft. This means less power loss at the wheels and better efficiency.

The small-block DOHC 5.5L engine that will inhabit the Z06 will be lighter. Its compact size and aluminum alloy boltings will reduce the car’s overall weight, making the driving experience that much more intense.

What the future holds

The C8 Corvette is claimed by Chevrolet to be its best iteration yet. So far, the base Stingray is the only one to see the light of day. It has already astonished most fans with its ridiculous power output and sharp design. Chevrolet has claimed that the pre-orders for all 2020 C8 Stingrays have been filled.

A ZR1 trim is rumored to be in the works. Perhaps this is the one that will feature a supercharger. Chevrolet is also pursuing hybrid powertrains for the C8 Corvette. Dubbed the E-Ray, it will mark the first time any EV component has made its way on-board a ‘Vette. A hypercar edition Project Zora is also in the works. We shall receive more news once the Stingray heads to the Chevy showrooms in February.

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