All posts in “Chevrolet”

Driving the GMC Canyon, and pour one out for the Camaro | Autoblog Podcast #812

In this episode of the Autoblog Podcast, Editor-in-Chief Greg Migliore is joined by Road Test Editor Zac Palmer. They start by discussing the the cars they’ve been driving, including the 2023 GMC Canyon AT4, ECD Jaguar E-Type EV, ECD Land Rover Defender 110 and the Genesis GV60. Next, they hit the news starting with the Chevrolet Camaro production ending. Rumors about the Hyundai N Vision 74 are bandied about, and then the two discuss the latest McLaren iteration named the GTS, which is a refresh of the GT. Lastly, the pair discuss who they think were the most influential leaders in the automotive industry throughout 2023

Send us your questions for the Mailbag and Spend My Money at:

Autoblog Podcast #812

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President Biden says he took a Porsche up to 171 mph

President Joe Biden went on Conan O’Brien’s podcast, “Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend,” recently, and he had a lot to say about cars. There’s plenty to unpack from the clip that you can watch above, but at one point he mentions that he recently took a Porsche up to 171 mph on the Secret Service’s private test track. Now that’s the kind of gearhead stuff we like to hear from politicians!

“I got a Porsche up to 171 mph,” Biden says while explaining how launch control works to O’Brien. Biden didn’t specify which Porsche model he was driving, but we’d bet it’s likely a 911. Of course, plenty of other Porsches are capable of 171 mph, so we don’t really know, but if any White House correspondents are reading, we wouldn’t mind if you asked Biden next time you see him.

In addition to Biden enjoying a Porsche at high speed, he said that he’s done the same with his 1967 Chevrolet Corvette, reaching 132 mph on the Secret Service airstrip test track. Biden even said that Jay Leno offered to buy his Corvette from him at one point for $144,000, but that he had to turn him down.

“They take me out to the Secret Service test track, which is an old runway. I got my Corvette up to 132 mph. It’s only a 327,” Biden remarks to O’Brien.

And speaking of Corvette news, we’ve already heard Biden spill the beans once on this topic, but yet again he makes the claim that an electric Corvette is on its way, and says it will do the 0-60 mph run in 2.9 seconds. That’s what the gasoline-powered C8 Stingray will do now with the performance exhaust, but we’re betting an electric Corvette would obliterate that time and be somewhere in the 2.0-2.5-second range.

It wasn’t just an electric Vette that Biden took to talking about, though, as he also claims to have driven an electric Ford Bronco.

“Oh and by the way, I drove one of those big Ford Broncos, electric. 4.9 seconds. Mine is 5.2,” Biden says making the comparison to his old Corvette.

We’re not exactly sure what he means by claiming to have driven an electric Ford Bronco. Such a vehicle does not exist from Ford currently, but there are restomods of original Broncos converted to electric power. There’s also the vague possibility that Biden has some inside scoop from Ford execs about future products, but it’s unclear from the interview. Regardless of the product implications, watching President Biden talk cars with O’Brien is an entertaining watch, so make sure you check out the video at the top of this post.

Turbo parts for an LT7 engine show up in GM’s parts catalog

We don’t remember a vehicle whose development was leaked and tracked almost exclusively by that vehicle’s engine, other than the Chevrolet Corvette. First came decades of predictions as to when GM’s small block would move, like Malcolm, to the middle. Then came years of chatter about the Z06 engine: In 2019, Bozi Tatarevic outed the 5.5-liter DOHC V8 designed for the C8.R race car as the 2023 Z06’s powerplant. The same year, the same Tatarevic parsed internal GM docs that hinted at two hybrid Corvettes, “both a hybrid ZR1 and a hybrid base model.” The hybrid is now suspected to be the Zora, above the ZR1, the E-Ray isn’t exactly a base model, but you get the point. Two years before that, way back in 2017, a CAD drawing leaked that was reported to be the twin-turbo 5.5-liter LT7 V8 going into the ZR1. And now? Mid-engined Corvette Forum credits “little birdies” for screenshots of the latest GM parts catalog selling turbo components for a turbocharged 5.5-liter LT7 V8.

Among the trove were listings for a baffle bolt duct resonator retainer, an air inlet adapter, and ducting to the turbo inlet. A dialog box on an initial screenshot gave a partial description of the motor as, “LT7 – Engine Gas, 8 CYL, 5.5L, DI, VVT, AFM, SC Turbo, DOHC,” before being cut off. The direct injection, variable valve timing, turbocharging, and double overhead cams line up with what we’d expect from a boosted Z06 engine. The “SC” in the turbo description is for supercharging, but a member of the Corvette Forum explained “for whatever reason, in the Parts Catalog and ECM Calibrations GM doesn’t distinguish between ‘Forced Induction‘ Turbocharger or Super Charger….they refer simply to SC/Turbo.”

The “birdie” at the center of this later clarified that AFM, which is GM’s Active Fuel Management cylinder deactivation, was a mistake. The Z06 doesn’t use AFM, and lively debates on forums question whether GM would endure the expense and complexity of engineering an AFM solution. The Z06’s LT6 uses mechanical lifters, and flat-plane-crank (FPC) engines have vibrational issues that would be exacerbated by shutting down cylinders and the ZR1’s buyers won’t fret over fuel economy.

However, other lively debates wonder if GM is going back to cross-plane with the ZR1 motor because of the motor’s relatively large displacement and to address issues around rotating mass when near the Z06’s redline of 8,500 rpm. This seems highly unlikely to us. The FPC TT V8 engines in cars like the AMG Black Series, Ferrari 488, and McLaren Senna either have smaller displacements and/or redlines below 8,500 rpm. Two further exhibits in favor of going to a lower redline (or other changes) instead of changing crank design are the Ferrari 458 Italia and the Koenigsegg Jesko. The Ferrari 458‘s naturally aspirated 4.5-liter V8 spun to a 9,000 rpm redline, the terminal limit lowered to 8,000 in the 488’s 3.9-liter. The Jesko is powered in part by a twin-turbocharged 5.0-liter V8 with a flat-plane crank and an 8,500-rpm redline. The engine alone makes 1,262 horsepower running 24.7 psi of boost, well above the ZR1’s rumored output targets of 850 horsepower and 825 pound-feet of torque. And have you seen the price of a Jesko? Another Mid-engined Corvette Forum member tried plotting output LT7 output curves, coming up with roughly 900 hp and 700 lb-ft at a 7,500-rpm redline.     

The catalog vehicle code for the engine parts is repeatedly shown as YR, referring to a new model figured to be the ZR1. This follows the YC Stingray, YG E-Ray, and YH Z06. The catalog contains a new transmission code as well, an eight-speed dual-clutch dubbed M1K, not the M1M code that applies to the Z06 transmission, M1L of the Stingray, or MLH of the E-Ray.

Whatever comes, it’s possible buyers will be able to lend a hand building their cars. The parts catalog mentions a “Customer Engine Build Program” at GM’s Performance Build Center. This was planned for the Z06 as well, then canceled after being deemed too difficult to implement.

The next royal birth in the Corvette range recently finished two weeks of testing at the Nurburgring, leaving the German hills without setting a timed hot lap. We expect it will debut next year as a 2025, but recent events in and out of the auto industry could push the launch back some. Eager buyers suspect a starting MSRP somewhere in the $130,000s or $140,000s.

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2025 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 spied running the Nurburgring with massive wing

The Chevrolet Corvette Z06 may already feel like it’s the top of the mountain, but we’re far from it, and these spy shots of what is likely to be the Corvette ZR1 show us exactly why.

This marks the first time we’ve seen a C8 Corvette more extreme than the Z06 with most of the heavy canvas camouflage removed. In its place is a skin-tight camo wrap that reveals all of the sharp edges, extra aero elements and new design for the next wrung up in the Corvette hierarchy. Up front, the lower bumper and splitter remind of the Z06’s Z07 package with the aggressive protrusions and wide-open grilles. However, the front hood is entirely new in this test car. Instead of a largely flat hood, this one has massive intakes reminiscent of the current Porsche 911 GT3. We’ll likely need to wait and see if Chevy retains the under-hood storage for this model, or invades it for additional cooling hardware. 

A similarly massive side protrusion as you see on the Z06 is present on this test car, but an additional opening is visible behind said intake, as well. The side sills themselves largely seem to match up with the Z07 package, but look up atop the rear fender, and you’ll find yet another opening that isn’t present on the Z06. It’s pretty clear that cooling is a major priority for this C8 variant, and for good reason, because the ZR1 is rumored to get a boosted version of the 5.5-liter flat-plane crank V8 in the Z06. Adding forced induction will add a whole lot of heat and a whole lot of power to the equation, which explains all of the added venting and openings throughout the body.

There’s no bigger change in the rear of the ZR1 than the utterly massive wing hanging out the back. It’s way bigger than even the big wing that comes with the Z07 package, and we presume it will produce big downforce numbers, leading to a feisty Nurburgring lap time.

The ZR1 is rumored to come out as a 2025 model year vehicle, so the wait for a reveal won’t be terribly long at this point. And we’re only getting more and more excited about it now that we finally have a decent general outline of what this extra-quick Vette will look like.

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2024 Chevrolet Corvette prices now up between $2,300 and $5,100

The 2024 Chevrolet Corvette is about to be unloaded on dealer lots with four-figure price increases in its frunk. Corvette Blogger got eyes on a dealer bulletin stating that, effective October 2, the starting price on all Corvettes will be $2,000 higher. That’s unwelcome enough. Even worse, the price changes and final prices are quite a bit higher. Starting with the entry Stingray, Chevy has the 2023 and 2024 models on its consumer site at the moment. Comparing Build & Price pages for each year shows a $4,100 price difference, not a $2,000 difference. It appears that what’s happened is the latest increase comes on top of an earlier $2,000 increase described in order guides that came out in July. Less than four months ago, Corvette Blogger reported that dealer Rick “Corvette” Conti revealed new pricing that would have the 2024 Stingray starting at $67,895. Instead, the new Stingray is shown as starting at $69,995. 

Exactly $100 of the $2,100 difference between now and July is an even higher destination charge that was already going up by $200, according to the July order guide. 

The total price bumps aren’t consistent across trims, though, so we’re comparing prices on the 2023 Build & Price page against the 2024 page to get the variations. For the coupe, that means:

  • 1LT Coupe: $69,995 ($4,100)
  • 2LT Coupe: $77,095 ($3,900)
  • 3LT Coupe: $81,745 ($3,900)

It’s a little less extreme on the Stingray Convertible side of the fence. The 2023 Build & Price page shows a Standard Vehicle Price of $72,000 and a destination charge of $1,395 for a 1LT Convertible, a total of $73,395. A Monroney from April of this year for a 2LT Convertible checks out against the configurator. Flip to the 2024 Corvette Convertible configurator, the 1LT starts at $75,300 with a destination charge of $1,695 at the time of writing. That’s a total of $76,995, a $3,600 difference. Back to the Monroneys, the window sticker for a 2024 3LT Corvette Convertible shows Standard Vehicle Price as $85,050 and destination as $1,595, while the configurator shows it as $87,050 with the $1,695 destination. This car would have been ordered before the October 2 price change date, explaining the difference. 

Here’s what 2024 Corvette Convertible pricing looks like on the retail site, compared to the 2023 pricing:

  • 1LT Convertible: $76,995 ($3,600)
  • 2LT Convertible: $84,095 ($3,900)
  • 3LT Convertible: $88,745 ($3,900)

Step up to the Z06 Coupe, and we find the highest increases so far. The prices on the retail site and their differences from 2023, after the $1,695 destination charge and $2,600 gas guzzler tax, are:

  • 1LZ Coupe: $114,395 ($5,100)
  • 2LZ Coupe: $120,595 ($4,800)
  • 3LZ Coupe: $125,245 ($4,800)

And here’s the outlay for your 2024 Z06 Convertible, which is up $4,800 across the board: 

  • 1LZ Convertible: $121,395
  • 2LZ Convertible: $130,295
  • 3LZ Convertible: $134,945

Finally, the 2024 Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray caught the same bug. Unlike with the Stingray and Z06, there was no 2023 E-Ray so we can’t compare pages on the consumer site. We can, however, compare to the launch price; the model wasn’t mentioned in the order guides from July. With winter approaching, buyers who want the security of hybrid all-wheel-drive are going to need $2,300 more than asked at launch — $300 of which is in the destination charge: 

  • 1LZ Coupe: $106,595 
  • 2LZ Coupe: $112,095 
  • 3LZ Coupe: $117,545

The 2024 E-Ray Convertible rises by the same amount:

  • 1LZ Convertible: $113,595
  • 2LZ Convertible: $119,095
  • 3LZ Convertible: $124,545

You’d almost think automakers — plural “automakers,” not only Chevy — uploaded new pricing to configurators without telling anybody because it’s all bad news. Or, in the Corvette’s case, is it? A Porsche 911 Carrera starts at about $116,000, a 911 GT3 starts at about $184,000. Ford’s Mustang Dark Horse starts at nearly $61,000, the take-all-comers Mustang GTD starts at the monumental-for-a-Mustang sum of $300,000. So what’s crazy about the Corvette price increases isn’t the increases, it’s the fact that even with the higher prices, for the money, the Corvette is still a screaming performance bargain. Like, screaming. What a world, eh?

Watch a Chevrolet Corvette Z06 fall off the lift at a dealer

Here’s your hard watch for this Thursday afternoon: A Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Convertible fell off a lift at the dealership, and someone caught the catastrophe on camera.

Posted on YouTube by Jason Grubb, the video starts with the Z06 already in the air. A few seconds in, the fall begins, and it almost looks like a video game glitch. The car falls toward the camera, so we get to see one of the lift’s arms cut through the fiberglass like a hot knife through butter. In a word, “pain” is what we all feel watching this supercar tumble to the ground.

The Vette hits the ground rear bumper first before rolling onto the rear tire. Its front end never finds the ground as the arm scrapes along the side of the body before it comes to rest half in the air half on the ground. The camera quality isn’t so hot, so it’s tough to tell the extent of the damages, but it’s safe to assume that it’s bad. Hopefully, the car can be repaired with a bunch of bodywork (and more), but seeing as we’re unsure which dealer this occurred at, it’ll be hard to know the Z06’s fate.

We’re also left to guess exactly what went wrong, but chances are likely that the Corvette’s lifting instructions (above) were not followed by the dealer. Comparing Chevy’s diagram to the grainy video, it looks like the rear jack may not have been placed far enough back in the spot that Chevy prescribes.

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Likely Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 prototypes spotted in Colorado

Chevrolet is engineering its next hot Corvette variant, the process far enough along to get prototypes out on the roads. In May, spy shooters caught a gaggle of Corvettes in heavy camo cruising around Detroit with an escort including a Corvette Z06 convertible, a Corvette E-Ray, and a Porsche 911 GT2 RS. At least one of the camouflaged cars could very well be the coming ZR1, said to be due next year as a 2025 offering. Now YouTube channel Frim Autos has caught another group of Corvettes testing in Golden, Colorado. The same school of cars got caught at a different location in Colorado a few days earlier. The E-Ray and the 911 GT2 RS didn’t make the trip out west, but there was another Z06 among the field.

To recap, the ZR1 is basically a twin-turbo version of the naturally aspirated Z06. Instead of a 5.5-liter V8 making 670 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque, the ZR1 would make up to 850 horsepower and up to 825 pound-feet of torque. The engine code for the ZR1 will be LT7, one up from the LT6 in the Z06.   

Corvette watchers have wondered if the ZR1 will keep the Z06’s flat-plane crank or if Chevy will go to a cross-plane crank with the addition of turbos. Engineers driving the prototypes in Colorado pulled out of the hotel parking lot with barely any throttle, so it’s impossible to detect the turbos much less the crank arrangement. What we tell from this video and the earlier photographs is that something interesting is happening in the frunk area. The vinyl camo on one of the ZR1s in the photos couldn’t hide Y-shaped lines below, while another prototype wore a raised flat panel over the frunk. The three prototypes in Colorado got the raised panel, but it’s affixed to the adjacent camo panels differently.

One school of thought believes whatever’s happening at the front could have to do with active aero devices. Another school of thought suspects the ZR1 could get an electric motor in front like the E-Ray and be all-wheel drive. The non-believers think Chevy is withholding active aero for the hybrid AWD Zora flagship, and that the E-Ray and Zora will be the two AWD Corvettes in the range.  

Both spy sightings have shown the purported ZR1 wearing the cow-catcher front splitter and stepped rear wing from the Z07 package available for the Z06. The ZR1 will be available without those, two of the Colorado cars featuring a tamer front and and a low spoiler on the decklid.  

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Goodbye Chevy Bolt, hello baby Ram and electric Chrysler 300 replacement? | Autoblog Podcast # 779

In this episode of the Autoblog Podcast, Editor-in-Chief Greg Migliore is joined by Senior Editor Jeremy Korzeniewski. They kick things off this week with some news. The Chevy Bolt and Bolt EUV will be discontinued. The McLaren 750S gets revealed and a four-door new flagship McLaren are rumored. Did Chrysler show dealers an electric 300 replacement, did we spy a new compact Ram, and are we closer to a production version of the Genesis X Convertible? Also, Greg recently visited Michigan Central Station, which Ford is revitalizing.

In this week’s fleet, your hosts discuss driving the Genesis Electrified GV70, Chevy Tahoe RST Performance Edition and the Polaris RZR XP. Finally, they take to Reddit for this week’s “Spend My Money” segment.

Send us your questions for the Mailbag and Spend My Money at:

Autoblog Podcast # 779

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2024 Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray prices top out at $122,245 before options

GM Authority dug up the price list for the 2024 Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray. As with the performance specs and base price we reported earlier, the trim walk stays in sight of the enthusiast special Z06, but the MSRP gap grows the further one climbs the six-figure ladder. The spec recap is: A 6.2-liter V8 powering the rear wheels with 495 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque, and an e-motor turning the front wheels with 160 hp and 125 lb-ft. Combined output hits 655 hp, a tiny stable shy of the 670-hp Z06, combined torque around 595 lb-ft, at least 100 lb-ft more than the Z06. Instant torque, an E-Ray-specific tune for the eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, and four scrabbling tires mean the E-Ray beats the Z06 to 60 miles per hour by 0.1 second, doing the deed in 2.5 seconds.  The E-Ray’s quarter-mile takes 10.5 seconds at 130 mph, another 0.1-second improvement over the Z06.

We’re not sure which tires GM used for the tests, but the differences could be larger even though the E-Ray weighs 274 pounds more than the Z06. Both cars get the same sizes of rubber, the Z06 coming on Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires, the E-Ray coming on Michelin Pilot Sports, with the 4S versions optional. 

MSRP’s for the E-Ray including the $1,395 destination charge applied to all 2023 Corvettes is:

  • 1LZ Coupe: $104,295
  • 1LZ Convertible: $111,295
  • 2LZ Coupe: $109,795
  • 2LZ Convertible: $116,795
  • 3LZ Coupe: $115,245
  • 3LZ Convertible: $122,245

The same bracket for the 2023 Z06 starts at $106,695 for the 1LZ Coupe and maxes out at $127,545 for the 3LZ Convertible before options. As the marketers would say, the more you spend on an E-Ray, the more you save compared to the Z06. 

Yet, consider what might be a better example of Corvette progress: When we tested the then-new C6 Corvette ZR1 in 2009, that car’s base price after destination was $102,450, which paid for a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 making 638 hp and 604 pound-feet of torque that could hit 60 mph in 3.4 seconds and do the quarter in 11.3. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Inflation Calculator tells us that $102,450 in May of 2009 is $142,309 today. The bad news is that the inflation figure is the most upsetting stat in this post. The good news is that for the equivalent of $38,000 less, a Corvette buyer can get an all-wheel drive coupe that is quite a bit better in every way than the 2009 ZR1, and when considering the interior, massively better than any previous Corvette. It’s good times for those who can afford it.   

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Hybrid Corvette E-Ray teased in ‘Stealth’ mode, will debut January 17

It’s almost time for the 2024 Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray to be revealed! Chevy just released its first teaser for the hybrid Corvette, allowing us a few glimpses of the exterior styling and revealing that it’ll feature a new “Stealth” mode. The official reveal date is set for January 17, which is one week from today.

The exterior shots do a decent job of confirming what we already knew about the changes from the configurator leak last month. Body-colored panels replace some of the regular C8’s contrast-painted bits, and we get a super-quick partial view of the E-Ray badge on the side of the car.

What’s most interesting in this teaser (above), though, is the presence of a “Stealth” mode. In Chevy’s video, the mode switcher is being used to swap between “Normal” and “Stealth” startup modes. This suggests that you’ll be able to put the E-Ray into a friendly neighbor mode of sorts to start the car up and leave the neighborhood in the morning. We don’t expect the E-Ray to be a plug-in hybrid with any extensive electric range, but like a typical hybrid, there should be enough battery power to back out of the driveway and get far enough away from the windows of your sleeping neighbor before the V8 is required to fire up.

Footage of the E-Ray driving around the city making a whirring electric sound suggests you may be able to put it into Stealth mode for brief periods of time when you want to drive on electric power, too. If it’s anything like the hybrid Acura NSX, this electric motoring will be a brief and neat party trick for the hybrid Corvette.

The last few bits of info we picked up from the video is the presence of what looks like a regenerative braking mode button on the interior, carbon ceramic brakes, and of course, snow. The E-Ray is confirmed to have all-wheel drive, which will make it the first production Corvette to send power to all four wheels. We’ll learn everything there is to know about the E-Ray in a week’s time, so buckle up for January 17.

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Corvette-based Chevrolet with ‘incredible performance’ coming in 2025

GM President Mark Reuss’ Investor Day presentation has been a font of information. Most of it’s been pretty straightforward, like the info about GM service centers working on Teslas and the GMC Acadia getting larger for its third generation. This one lives at the mysterious end of the foreshadowing pool. When discussing what’s in store for the Corvette, Reuss mentioned two vehicles. As reported by Fox News, the first is a straight-up Corvette trim, “the next version of the C8,” the “next-step in performance for Chevrolet” supposedly so good “you won’t be able to imagine it from a performance standpoint.” Since Reuss’ was reportedly talking about new vehicles due in 2024, he wouldn’t have been referring to the hybrid, all-wheel drive Corvette coming in 2023. The AWD hybrid could have been the trim referred to as the Corvette Grand Sport in a potentially leaked GM document from 2020. The powertrain in that coupe will be the 6.2-liter LT2 V8 from the base Stingray combined with electric motors driving the front axle to make somewhere around a combined 600 horsepower and 500 pound-feet of torque.    

The images in Reuss’ presentation were obscured for media viewers, but we suspect he meant the ZR1. That supposed leaked doc said its due in 2024 with 850 hp and 825 lb-ft. Output will come from an LT7 engine that’s already on the testing bench if a recent clue found at the National Corvette Museum can be believed.

What will follow that is a car Reuss called an “incredible performance car” that he expects to “put the world on notice” as to what GM is capable of and “set the standard of the world for performance for Chevrolet.” Based on the trim cadence we’ve been covering for years, this sounds like the Corvette rumored to be called the Zora, which would pair the twin-turbo LT7 V8 with electric motors for more than 1,000 hp. However, Reuss didn’t call this car a Corvette; he only said it would be based on the C8 architecture. Back to that 2020 GM document, it had the ZR1 coming in 2025. That’s a year later than this mystery offering, and we can’t imagine why Reuss wouldn’t call a Corvette a Corvette.

In a LinkedIn post from April that provided video of next years AWD Corvette, Reuss wrote, “we will offer an electrified and a fully electric, Ultium-based Corvette in the future.” On that note, the only unaccounted for Corvette family vehicles we’re aware of in the rumor pipeline are the electric Corvette-inspired crossover as part of Project R, and the electric Corvette sedan said to be coming mid-decade. So stay tuned, big electric things are coming from Chevrolet.

Related video:

2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 production numbers increased

The headlines say Chevrolet has re-opened order books for the 2023 Corvette Z06 after closing them in July. Those headlines should come with asterisks. What the small print explains — and should have always explained, even here — is that GM gatekeepers lowering the drawbridge means practically nothing for anyone who didn’t get on a dealer list a long time ago. When GM stopped taking orders in July, it stopped taking names off of dealer’s lengthy lists of reservation holders. The production process seems to be going better than planned, so “re-opening the order books” means GM has increased the number of cars it plans to build for the 2023 model year and has asked dealers to submit more names for orders to fulfill. A GM spokesperson told Motor1, “We had previously shared with dealers and the public that we had accepted enough Z06 orders to fill the number of Z06 production slots we had for calendar year 2022, so we stopped elevating dealer orders to accepted orders that the plant would build. Now we are saying we’re going to accept more dealer orders to continue filling the pipeline of Z06 production through the end of model year 2023.” 

We don’t have any details to explain any of this nor put it in context. GM didn’t reveal its initial production estimate, and it hasn’t said how many orders it will add to the previous mysterious number. It was thought GM’s conservative production window had to do with a supply constraint, but even that’s not clear. We don’t know how many reservations there are, either, although a thread at Mid-Engined Corvette Forum lists more than 100 dealers and suggests just eight of them have easily more than 6,000 reservations combined. One dealer would only say its reservation list was “out to 2025.”

GM built 39,940 of the C7 Z06 from 2014 to 2019, averaging a touch under 8,000 units per year. Dealers know this, so for one to say they’re booked until 2025, the order rolls must be relatively staggering. There’s no reason for dealers to be in a hurry to get cars built, either, with some charging anywhere from $35,000 to $100,000 over the base $106,395 MSRP per vehicle according to posters.

As for verified production, Corvette Blogger wrote a week ago that 41 customer Z06 orders have been built as of the end of October, 22 of them the 70th Anniversary Editions. On top of that, it’s said 216 Z06s have been built for GM’s Captured Test Fleet used for proving and data capture. The first customer deliveries have been made, including Rick Henderson acquiring the first one off the line, a Carbon Flash 70th Anniversary Edition he bought for $3.6 million at a charity auction in January of this year.

Corvette electric sedan rumored for C9 generation

GM President Mark Reuss already said that a battery-electric Chevrolet Corvette is on the way, telling CNBC in April, “In addition to the amazing new Chevrolet Corvette Z06 and other gas-powered variants coming, we will offer an electrified and a fully electric, Ultium-based Corvette in the future. In fact, we will offer an electrified Corvette as early as next year. Details and names to come at a later date.” The next big question is when. Muscle Cars & Trucks thinks a battery-only Corvette won’t arrive during the current C8’s generation, as the Y2 platform might need too much tinkering for an ideal conversion. Instead, MCT believes “the C9 Corvette EV feels more or less like an inevitability.” The outlet also figures that electrification will induce expansion of the Corvette nameplate that’s been water cooler talk for years, especially with the example of the Ford Mustang Mach-E.

Which is to say, they’re talking about an electric Corvette sedan. In MCT‘s words, “Here’s what we understand to be happening: GM is indeed making an electric performance sedan, but it’s with a Corvette badge, and it will be in showrooms by mid-decade.” Same as with every two-door Corvette for the past few decades, the electric family car would target Porsche, which means putting the Taycan in its sights. By then, though, the segment will be home to new performance-focused electric four-seaters from a gaggle of makers not in the segment now, such as Alfa Romeo, BMW, Dodge and Maserati. The Cadillac Celestiq would provide its bones for this sedan, built at the Lansing Grand River Assembly facility instead of the Warren Technical Center. Were that true, it would also mean the expansion of Corvette production beyond the Bowling Green, Kentucky home that’s been the sole source of ‘Vette manufacture since June 1, 1981

The expectation is that there’d be an electric Corvette SUV further down the road, which we’d guess is a challenger for the Macan or Cayenne. And if this is how everything plays out, MCT believes it eliminates any chance of the electric Camaro sedan that some predicted could arise from the ashes of the current Camaro’s retirement in 2024.

Until then, the thinking goes, the market will make do with electrified Corvettes. That means the E-Ray hybrid due next year, expected to introduce a 650-horsepower all-wheel-drive powertrain to the Corvette lineup, and a small electric range. After that, the full-fat Zora hybrid lurks in the mist, some suspecting the homage to the father of the Corvette will make near 1,000 horsepower.

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2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 and Stingray offer bounteous options

Someone with access to GM’s Work Book system to order new vehicles decided to put together some sample orders for the new 2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 and 2023 Corvette Stingray. Since the automaker won’t accept orders for the coming coupes until March 24, this person decided the best thing to do was take screenshots of the options sheets and send them to Corvette Action Center. That is how we know Chevrolet’s coming superstar Z06 will offer a terrific range of personalization. We already knew about the 14 exterior colors, confirmed when Chevrolet debuted next year’s 70th Anniversary special editions. But how about 11 varieties of exterior striping, with three stinger stripe packages for the hood and eight full-length versions, one of them part of the 70th Anniversary package? Z06 buyers can also choose from seven wheel types and finishes bolted over brake calipers that can be had in six colors, including dark gray metallic and orange, four kinds of wheel locks, and get center caps with the Jake logo. And have we mentioned the three possible colors for the rear badge alone?  

Or how about 21 interior treatment choices? Twelve come dressed in leather, nine in suede, some in solid colors like black or natural, some with contrasting seats like the suede in Jet Black with Sky Cool Gray seats, and one leather cabin with two-tone seats in Tension Blue and Twilight Blue. Six more splashes of contrasting color are possible depending on seat belt color, the permutations blown out again thanks to yellow or red contrasting stitching. Chevy’s outdone itself in offering individual power options for the seats; after checking the two boxes for eight-way power seats for driver and passenger, there are also individual boxes for power bolster and lumbar adjustment, and a memory package.

The Z06 comes with a few more optional treats than the C8 Stingray, like exterior ornamentation in a high-gloss woven carbon fiber finish, but not by much. And in one case, the C8 gets more choice than the Z06, offering a red full-length racing stripe, which the Z06 doesn’t.

The Work Bench pages don’t include pricing, not that the buyers still lining up to buy every Corvette the Bowling Green Assembly Plant will be deterred even when pricing does appear.

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9 cool things about the 2023 Chevy Corvette Z06’s LT6 engine

The 2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 is home to the most powerful naturally aspirated V8 engine ever in a production vehicle. The 5.5-liter V8 produces 670 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque, and it’s going to scream like an Italian exotic thanks to the flat-plane crankshaft.

After working on it since 2014, and knowing how special this engine is, the GM engineers who poured their sweat and time into it set aside an afternoon to go into detail about everything someone might want to know. From this, we give you the 9 coolest things about the LT6 in the upcoming Z06.

Race car (and Ferrari 458) learnings

Yes, Chevy initially let on that an exotic flat-plane crank engine was coming via its C8 R race car a long time ago. Since then, we’ve learned that the 5.5-liter V8 in said race car is hugely similar to the one going into the production Z06 — they share the cylinder block, heads, valvetrain and fuel system. We all know the saying: “Win on Sunday, sell on Monday.” GM has taken this mantra quite literally, as the racing program has helped engineers develop the street car engine to a certain degree. What is perhaps even more intriguing, the Z06 street car engineers have helped the racing team improve their version of the Gemini, too.

The main benefit to the production car team was all of the validation data they were able to glean from the race team running the engine in competition over thousands and thousands of miles being pushed to the limit. Engineers got data on wear surfaces, heat management, operating parameters and more. The race and production car teams even shared parts at times, swapping between each other when one wanted to test something new that the other came up with. Even to this day, the two teams are collaborating to finalize what will ultimately end up in buyers’ driveways.

As for the Ferrari 458 learnings, you’ll enjoy learning that GM bought a wrecked 458 from Europe for $25,000 years ago, completely tore it down to learn what makes the Ferrari flat-plane crank so good, then applied that knowledge to its own V8. So yes, there’s definitely some Italian flair hidden inside this American supercar. A modern 458, anyone?

Cooling and oiling

If you recall the C7 Z06, Chevy had all sorts of cooling issues with that vehicle on-track. Engineers were determined to keep that from happening with the C8 Z06, as its cooling capacity looks over-engineered to the max. The total cooling capacity is increased by 50% over the standard Stingray with the Z51 pack, and it features five total radiators that are augmented by more powerful fans. The front bumper even features a removable aero panel that increases the front grille’s opening by 75% — Chevy suggests you remove this panel for track use. The real kicker is that Chevy was able to add all of this cooling without reducing storage anywhere in the vehicle, including the front trunk.

Track rats will be happy to know that the Z06 has a new and bespoke dry-sump oiling system. It features an engine-mounted plastic oil tank, and the system ultimately provides 85% more cooling capacity than the one in the C7 Z06. It features six scavenge pumps, a bottom-mounted oil cooler and is designed for excellent scavenging even at the high lateral g’s the Z06 is capable of pulling. Chevy claims the Z06 with the Z07 package can pull 1.22 g of lateral acceleration on a skidpad.

A mechanical valvetrain with high-tech materials usage

One particularly intriguing aspect of the Z06’s engine is its use of a mechanical (not hydraulic) valvetrain that GM claims will never require maintenance or adjustment throughout the life of the engine. It’s lashed at the plant, and the clearances are measured three times throughout the life of the engine build, but it should never need service. GM says this is possible through the use of today’s modern materials. For example, the finger followers are highly polished with a diamond-like carbon coating and made of hardened steel. The exhaust valves are hollow cavity sodium-filled nitrided steel valves, and the intake valves are made of titanium. Everything is designed to resist wear to an extreme degree. Even in GM’s high-mileage validation runs, engineers say that everything remains in spec.

This all goes to underline that while the Z06’s engine might be an exotic design, GM says it won’t require an exotic level of maintenance and short service intervals. It’s been subjected to all the same GM validation tests that the Stingray goes through, so expect it to perform just the same in extreme conditions.

Of course, it’s a flat-plane crank design

Ultimately, the reason this Corvette will scream like an Italian exotic is down to its flat-plane (not cross-plane) crankshaft design. This gives you a different firing order and a balanced air and exhaust flow. Chevy says the crankshaft is made of forged steel, and it’s 33% lighter than the crankshaft in the Stingray’s LT2 engine.

Every engine is hand-built by a single technician

Plus, each Z06 engine gets a plaque that is signed by the single technician who put it together. Chevy says that it takes approximately 3 hours to build a single engine, and all of them will be assembled at the Performance Build Center in Bowling Green, KY.

Once built, every LT6 gets shipped to a local dyno facility where it’s put through a 20-minute procedure that runs the engine under full-load and high engine speed. Similar to the standard Corvette, the break-in period is 500 miles long. Torque in first and second gear is automatically limited during this time.

The air conditioning system is track-rated

GM’s target for its air conditioning system in the Z06 was to enable proper cabin cooling during track use with an ambient temperature of 100 degrees Fahrenheit. If that isn’t the most American supercar target to hit, we don’t know what is. To achieve that goal, Chevy had to engineer a new air conditioning system that is different from the C8 Stingray. To run the compressor when the engine is screaming at 8,600 rpm, Chevy used a lower pulley ratio. However, this slowed the pulley down too much at low speeds and at idle, so the team had to increase the A/C compressor size to make up for the change. GM suggests that the air conditioning in the Z06 is actually slightly better than the Stingray now because of this switchup. Plus, you can be nice and cool running on track in extreme conditions.

The exhaust system’s adjustable valving is a first for GM

The exhaust of the Z06 is such a key factor to enjoying the car, and GM didn’t overlook its importance. Instead of a normal adjustable exhaust where the valve has two settings, open (loud) or closed (quiet), the valving in the exhaust system is highly adjustable through many settings. The valves — found in the center pipes — are controlled by the engine ECU using patented software, and it allows GM to tune them in 2 degree increments. The outboard pipes are the Corvette’s “low-flow” pipes and do not feature valves. In total, GM allows three different valve preset positions that are selectable by drive mode: Tour, Sport and Track. As expected, Track is the loudest setting, though GM says it’s loud enough that you may have to dial it back on racetracks with strict noise regulations.

As for the exhaust performance, GM says its new exhaust architecture results in a 21% backpressure reduction versus the C7 Z06, and the muffler itself is 20 pounds lighter than the C8 Stingray’s muffler. Just as you’ve seen in the photos, it features a center exit that GM says was a last-minute change to drastically improve the sound.

54 Gemini rockets can be found throughout every LT6 engine

Chevy’s internal name for the LT6 project was Gemini, in reference to NASA’s Gemini space program. The team sees this as a moonshot of an engine, so therefore it wanted to imbue it with some space tributes. If you look hard enough, you’ll be able to find a total of 54 Gemini rockets throughout every single engine. Happy hunting!

Chevy still calls it a Small Block

This one’s weird. The only thing the LT6 has in common with the traditional Chevy Small Block V8 is its 4.4-inch bore centerline spacing. Also, it’s been engineered and designed by the same team responsible for the traditional Small Block V8. Besides that, this engine is a totally new, clean-sheet design. Formally, GM engineers say it’s a “Gemini Small Block.” In practice, there’s nearly nothing similar between this advanced DOHC engine design and the old push-rod V8 found in the regular Corvette Stingray. So go ahead, get to the comments and give us your thoughts on whether this should still be referred to as a “Small Block V8.”

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GM to dealers: Stop playing games with 2023 Chevy Corvette Z06

It wasn’t even two weeks ago that Ford’s VP of sales for the U.S. and Canada decided he needed to tell the dealer body to stop squeezing 2022 F-150 Lightning buyers for more reservation money. The shenanigans risk alienating the very important new customers of a very important new truck. Corvette Action Center reports that now Steve Carlisle, General Motors‘ president for North America, has done the same thing with the Chevrolet dealer body to stop the same kinds of antics happening with the 2023 Corvette Z06. The problem according to Carlisle is “a small number of Dealers [that] have engaged in practices that do not support a positive sales experience for our customers.” Those dealers who don’t end such practices will risk losing their Z06 allotments.

The letter identifies three unwelcome tactics. The first is dealers insisting customers pay more than the $1,000 reservation fee that GM set for the Z06. This problem is already years old, with some dealers opening up their own reservations lists in 2019, more than two years before GM announced the car. While some dealers only took $1,000 for a reservation, a dealer in New Hampshire claimed to have more than 1,300 potential buyers who had put down $2,000. 

The second game Carlisle wants to take down is the dreaded market adjustment, dealers having “requested customers to pay sums far in excess of MSRP in order to purchase or lease a vehicle.” We’re not sure what recourse GM has against this. We’re sure Ford isn’t happy about F-150 Lightning markups, either, but Ford specified in its letter that it wouldn’t tolerate gaming the reservation system as opposed to ADMs. Carlisle insists that these methods can be “harmful to the reputation of Dealer, General Motors, or its Products,” and “puts our collective interests at risk and generates negative press that reflect poorly GM’s brands and your dealership.”

The third offense is dealers reselling vehicles to brokers; having a broker volunteer fat sums over MSRP is an easy way for a dealer to sidestep having to ask for more money. Carlisle notes that this practice is explicitly outlawed in the dealer’s sales and service agreement with GM.

It will be interesting to see how dealers respond. With the prodigious sums on offer, we expect some dealers will continue to explore where the line is and whether it can be nudged further into the black. Surcharges have been around as long as there have been more buyers than product, and in a market where a dealer feels justified asking a $38,000 ADM on a regular 2022 Corvette — which GM hasn’t said anything about, remember — stopping all of these practices could be a mighty challenge. GM has to put up a fight, though. Just like Ford, it has additional, crucial new products arriving soon that are trying to attract crucial new audiences, and it needs to be seen doing its best to provide the best experience.

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2023 Chevy Corvette, including Z06, reportedly a few months away

After getting eyes on a memo General Motors sent to Chevy dealers, the Corvette Action Center site has posted some key dates and information concerning the 2023 Chevrolet Corvette. We’re not sure if it’s because of the new generation or “the new normal” in the state of world affairs, but the coming model transition won’t be like those in recent memory.

First, the dealer order guide for the 2023 Corvette is two months away, coming out on March 21. Three days later, on March 24, dealers will be able to begin placing orders for next year’s coupe and convertible. CAC says the online configurator for keyboard tire kickers will launch that day, too. On March 31, dealers will be able to begin pairing orders with their Corvette allocations.

Six weeks later, on May 6, 2022 Corvette production is expected to end. 

Here’s the first departure from the norm: Instead of Bowling Green Assembly Plant taking the traditional one- or two-week gap between model years, 2023 Corvette production is slated to begin on May 9, three days after the last 2022 leaves the line. That May 9 date matches the date Corvette Blogger and GM Authority posted as the commencement of 2023 Corvette production in November 2021.

That brings us to the second switchup in Corvette production. In previous years, GM kept allocations of standard Corvettes separate from the Z06. For the C8, Corvette allocations won’t be separated. This suggests that 2023 Corvette Z06 production will begin on May 9, the same day as the standard car. Furthermore, with the C7 Corvette Z06, GM based dealer allocations on how many Z06s the dealer had sold the previous year. With the C8, GM will use a dealer’s Average Daily Supply to gauge how quickly that dealer is selling Corvettes, then determine how many of each Corvette the dealer gets.  

If all of these dates hold, the 2022 Corvette would have spent just eight months in production, having started down the lines on September 6, 2021. With the 2023 Corvette Z06 having sucked all the air out of the room — in part to power its brand new and massively powerful V8 — we don’t expect much beyond small cosmetic and option changes for the standard Corvette for the coming model year.

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First 2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 to be auctioned

We expect the 2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 to break at least one record before the coming super-coupe has been objectively timed and tested. Barrett-Jackson will auction the first retail example of what should be the most amazing Z06 the world has ever seen during the auction house’s annual Scottsdale, Arizona, event on January 29 at around 8:30 p.m. The last charity Corvette the auction house sold was the first 2020 C8 Corvette, which NASCAR team owner Rick Hendrick bought for $3 million. With his winning bid, Hendrick set the benchmark hammer price for a Barrett-Jackson charity car, and eclipsed the $2.9 million paid for the last front-engined Corvette in 2019. Although not assured, it doesn’t take much imagination to conceive of bidding for the 2023 Z06 cruising right past $3 million to a new record.  

Whatever the final tally is, every cent of the hammer price for lot #3009 will be donated to a charity called Operation Homefront, Barrett-Jackson forgoing its usual fees. The 20-year-old nonprofit Operation Homefront exists to help the post-9/11 wounded, military families, and veterans with financial assistance and housing support.

The car on the block will be a stand-in hardtop, not convertible, the Z06 not scheduled to enter production until September of this year. It sounds unlikely the winning car will be VIN 001, with language noting the coupe could be “subject to a state-issued VIN and/or other state requirements” depending on where the owner hails from. After winning, the buyer will be invited to configure what will be the first retail example of the production line, meaning choosing one of 12 exterior colors and seven interior and wheel treatments, then making the even bigger choice of whether to append the Z07 Performance Package that adds frills like a big rear wing, canards, and carbon fiber wheels.

And with two more powerful Corvette versions thought to be on the way — the ZR1 and the performance hybrid perhaps called Zora or E-Ray — the Z06 likely won’t hold for long the benchmark among its kind for price at the gavel.

As for the everyday buyer, it’s going to require a few trips around the sun to take delivery of a new Z06 even for those who put reservations in months ago. Buyers in one thread on the C8Z06 forum talked about making $2,000 refundable deposits with one dealer as soon as the reservations system opened, then being told they were as far back as between 4,000 and 5,000 on the waiting list. And that’s just one dealer. Might not be too soon to start thinking about putting money aside and making friends at a dealership to get a good shot at the C9.

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