There Are More Powerful Corvettes on the Way. Here’s a Breakdown.

A Z06 with 800 ponies? A ZR1 with a flat-plane-crank V8? It’s all possible.

2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray
The performance Z06 and ZR1 Corvettes most likely won't be unveiled until 2021, but rumors are already flying.
By Alex Lauer / August 28, 2019 1:02 pm

The automotive rumor mill is normally at its highest in the month leading up to the release of a car (which we’re seeing play out for the new Defender). But for the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, the rumors have actually increased after the sports car was unveiled in July. What gives?

The answer is twofold: The C8 Corvette blew away expectations in terms of power, design and, most importantly, price, so interest in the car is skyrocketing; and previous models have been available in upgraded, performance-oriented configurations — notably the Z06 and ZR1 — so it’s only a matter of time before these are also available for the C8. 

While we’re still years away from the Z06 and ZR1, details have been emerging from anonymous sources, and they may just make you want to put a hold on buying a standard Stingray in favor of a faster model. There’s a lot of conflicting information being passed around, but here’s what we know now:

  • The C8.R race car (via Motor1): Back in July, the publication pointed out that the race version of the Corvette would be revealed sometime this fall. That’s all Chevrolet has officially revealed for now, but it’s lead to leaks about consumer-facing performance models. 
  • The Corvette Z06 (via Automobile): This weekend, the magazine reported that the Z06 model is coming in 2021 for a 2022 model year and will put out “800 horses and torque that could approach 700 lb-ft.” That’s 150 HP over the C7 Z06 and 305 HP over the stock C8 Stingray. Then on Monday, Motor Trend “confirmed with a deep source on the Corvette team that the upcoming C8.R race car and, more crucially, the C8 Corvette Z06 will be powered by a flat-plane-crank twin-turbo dual-overhead-cam V-8.” What does that mean in plain English? Engines have been rumored for the Z06, including the Cadillac-exclusive Blackwing V8, but if these claims are to be believed, we’re looking at something entirely new (and more exciting). 
  • The Corvette ZR1 (via Muscle Cars and Trucks): For those unversed in ‘Vette terminology, all you have to know is the ZR1 is basically a better, more expensive version of the Z06 (the progression here being Stingray, Z06, ZR1). After Automobile published its story this weekend, Muscle Cars and Trucks wrote on Monday that their “sources paint a slightly different picture.” According to their own anonymous Chevy insight, the 800 horsepower Corvette will be a ZR1, not the Z06. “Corvette enthusiasts weren’t too thrilled with the C7 Z06 featured a supercharger, so for the next go-round, the Z06 will once again be naturally aspirated,” they write. And the cheaper Z06 will be closer to 600 HP, not 800.

Again, this is all speculation for the time being, and apparently we have conflicting sources within Chevrolet itself. But it just goes to show how popular the new C8 Corvette has become. So while we’ll have to wait and see how the specs play out in the coming months, and years, one thing is for certain: you’re about to see way more ‘Vettes on the road and on your local track.

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