QUICK SHIFTS: LT6 Envy, Five Secrets of Carbon Fiber Wheels, Stingray Updates and C8Z Wallpapers


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QUICK SHIFTS: LT6 Envy, Five Secrets of Carbon Fiber Wheels, Stingray Updates and C8Z Wallpapers

While we wait for the levy to break on the kind of C8 Z06 content that can bring this column back into the light, CorvetteBlogger would like to welcome you to an abbreviated edition of Quick Shifts! The purpose of this quick version of QS is threefold: first, we would like to take a minute and really appreciate how unlikely and monumental achievement the LT6 V8 is. You can also think of this as a teaser trailer for the upcoming mountain of magnificent C8Z content that we will see in the coming weeks, and, finally, share a few recent and excellent C8 stories from around the web that you might have missed. In the words of my kid’s favorite Italian plumber, Let’s-a-go!

FIRST GEAR: Original Content!

The LT6 Is a Masterclass in Engine Building and the Envy of the Industry!

Chevrolet’s first high-performance Corvette variant since moving their halo car to a mid-engine architecture is almost here, promising to bring an exotic experience that used to be exclusive to the world’s millionaires to working-class garages everywhere (if we can keep those ADMs under control, but that’s a topic for another column)!

2023 Corvette Z06 LT6 V8

Photo Credit: Keith Cornett

Car enthusiasts of all stripes are still in disbelief about the specs; 670-horses, 8,600 RPM, and no forced induction. It is that last point that completely set the automotive world on fire, but it has also become a point of contention among a small minority of prospective owners who wanted the C8Z to continue the horse-for-horse competitive style started by its seventh-generation predecessor (remember this awesome graphic?). People in that camp are completely missing the point of the C8Z. Tadge and Friends have repeatedly said that they were after an experience with their new baby, not raw numbers, and for driving enjoyment, it is nearly impossible to beat a free-breathing, high-revving V8.

Those LT6 detractors are in luck, though, because a twin-turbo ZR1 to go toe-to-toe with the likes of the McLaren 765LT and a “Zora” that adds hybrid-electric power and AWD to the mix are both in the pipeline, but we are on the heels of the sweet spot, not just for Corvette, but for the all-time American sports car industry. We are talking about motoring nirvana here!

2023 Corvette Z06 LT6 V8

Photo Credit: Keith Cornett

When all is said and done, it will be hard to argue against the C8 as the most versatile generation to ever wear the Crossed Flags. The Stingray is an award-winning sports car and grand tourer that has even drawn comparisons to Rolls Royce with its supple ride. The drag, roll, Texas Mile, and bragging rights contingents will have the upcoming blown cars to fulfill all of their four-digit HP dreams. But it’s the Z06 that will be the one to remember. It is a love letter to people who love to drive, the purist’s choice. It is going to be bloody fast, but it couldn’t care less what snooze-fest Tesla Plaids are doing at the strip or the numbers that Hellcats and GT500s are putting up on the dyno. The Z06 was built to the winning formula that gave the world the 911 GT3 and some of the top tracks on Ferrari’s greatest hits album, with names like Challenge Stradale, Scuderia, and Speciale. Somehow, a little Chevrolet has the chance to be the last – and best example – of a vehicle baked with this superb recipe, and Ferrari fans are definitely taking notice!

Why Free-Breathing Engines are So Coveted

The Z06’s return to normal aspiration is a welcome one for enthusiasts of the badge and the envy of long-time Ferrari customers everywhere. Ferrari gave up on atmospheric V8s in 2015 to keep up with McLaren’s power numbers and follow the industry trend of downsizing and adding turbos. There was a time when the word “Turbo” was extraordinary, but, as snails have become more and more ubiquitous in the industry, to the point that, save the GT3 and GT3 RS, all fifty-four or so variants of Porsche’s vaunted 911 line-up now feature turbos. This “progress” has left the naturally aspirated performance engine as the rare find in 2022, and, among enthusiast drivers, these gems are considered the high-water mark of engagement. Why? The simple answer is two-fold; they sound better, and they offer a superior, purer driving experience. For someone who drives for pleasure, not pink slips, the NA powerplant is the undisputed king. Compared to even the most advanced modern turbocharged engines, they have the edge in these all-important categories:

  • Instant throttle response
  • Nice, linear power delivery
  • A higher redline
  • Glorious, unmuffled exhaust sounds

They’ve also proven to be more reliable and collectible than most turbocharged machines (that weren’t built in Japan). According to Hagerty’s valuation tool, Ferrari’s last NA V8 supercar, the 458 Italia, is worth 62% more than it was a year ago, and its performance limited edition, the Speciale, is up 85%. It is the same story at Porsche, where even the lowly Carrera trim has seen a 43% run in values for the final NA models, and examples of the similar vintage GT3 RS command 86% more than they did a year ago; which is around double the going price for even the finest contemporary Turbo and Turbo S models that are also up in value, but still hovering around their original MSRP. Even with the inevitable dealer markups, the prospect of the Z06 joining the club of final-NA models should alleviate all worries! Don’t you wish you put away a C7 ZR1 a couple of years ago?

SECOND GEAR: On to Carbon Fiber Wheels

While we are on the topic of C8Zs and Hagerty, we wanted to share an outstanding piece by Jack Baruth, who had the opportunity to sit down with Ashley Denmead, the founder of Carbon Revolution, and talk about one of the Z06’s most desirable options, among other things. Check it out by following this link.

Carbon Revolution
Photo Credit: Carbon Revolution

THIRD GEAR: Stingray Reads

The Z06 is the main thing on our minds around here right now, but the base car hasn’t lost an ounce of its luster in its three years on sale! We’ve got a pair of nice reads for the Stingray faithful out there. First is Car and Driver’s 20,000-mile update on their long-term ‘Vette. Second, we have a road trip love story that involves a Red Mist Metallic C8 and the F1 Miami Grand Prix from Jalopnik, an online publication that finally has a writer who loves Corvettes enough to put aside their employer’s trademark GM snark!

FOURTH GEAR: Wallpapers!

Until first drives hit the ‘net soon, background-worthy Z06 pictures have been few and far between. Not to worry, we’ve rustled up a few to tide you over!

Top Gear is responsible for the one currently gracing your author’s desktop. It is sneakily embedded in their story about Corvette out Ferrari-ing Ferrari from April, but we were able to track down a hi-res version for our readers! Enjoy this beauty and this stunning secondary shot!

We will leave you with a pair of “Wallpaper Wednesday” posts from Chevrolet Performance’s The Block website. Auto show C8Z, anyone? How about some sweet rolling shots of the coolest pace car in history? You can’t go wrong!

2023 Corvette Z06 Indy 500 Pace Car

Photo Credit: Chevrolet

Until next time, when we hopefully have a full six gears for you, have a great one, Corvette Nation!


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By Bethann