When testing the 2023 Chevy Corvette Z06 at Monticello Motor Club for Road & Track's 2023 Performance Car of the Year test, Chevrolet sent a minder for the car who exclaimed, as the car flew by on the track’s front straight, “Can you believe Ferrari had this formula eight years ago, and bailed on it?” That says pretty much everything you need to know about the Z06.
GM reverse-engineered the Ferrari 458 Speciale and brought it to market in six years. The powertrain, a naturally aspirated 5.5-liter monster that revs to 8700 rpm and makes 670 hp in the process, is the most exciting new powertrain since Porsche’s 4.0-liter N/A six. It screams. But unlike the 458 Speciale, one of the wildest, most unhinged cars in Ferrari’s lineup (which is almost exclusively made up of wild, unhinged cars), the Z06 is sticky.
The front end, with its track-ready alignment and Cup 2R tires, never runs out of grip. The giant pie-pan ceramic brakes are astonishingly good. And the whole package is balanced enough that within just a few laps you’re beating personal bests.
At $167,000 as tested, it’s not cheap, but considering F8 Tributo’s regularly sell for prices starting with a 4, the Z06 still keeps up its “Performance of a Ferrari for one-third the price” end of the bargain.
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