How the Corvette Z06 Compares with Its Benchmark, the Ferrari 458

corvette z06 vs ferrari 458
Corvette Z06 vs. Its Benchmark, the Ferrari 458Chevrolet, Ferrari

It's no secret that Chevrolet looked closely at the Ferrari 458 Italia while developing the latest Corvette Z06. Prototypes of the high-powered 'Vette were spotted testing alongside the Ferrari, and engineers admitted to taking apart the 458's engine to learn its secrets. The two share their mid-engine layouts, naturally aspirated flat-plane-crank engines, and high-revving demeanors. So, as with any benchmarking exercise, this all begs the question: did Chevy do its homework?

Now that we've strapped our test gear to the new Z06, it's high time to see how it stacks up against this exotic, Italian benchmark in terms of performance. We're using our test numbers of a 458 Italia from a 2011 comparison against the McLaren MP4-12C and a Porsche 911 GT2 RS that was conducted in the U.K. And our Z06 numbers are from our recent test of a coupe equipped with the Z07 package.

Engine and Performance

In the grand tradition of the American way, the Z06 offers more of everything: 5.5 liters of displacement versus the Ferrari's 4.5; 670 horsepower to the Ferrari's 562 hp; and 460 pound-feet of torque to the Ferrari's 398 pound-feet. But the Ferrari's engine does scream higher, with a redline of 9000 rpm compared with the Z06's 8500 rpm redline. Both use dual-clutch automatic transmissions, a seven-speed unit in the Ferrari and an eight-speed gearbox in the Corvette.

It's no surprise that the significantly more powerful Z06 beats the 458 in a straight line, with a 2.6-second run to 60 mph and a quarter-mile run of 10.5 seconds at 131 mph. But the Ferrari isn't far behind, as it reached the same trap speed in the quarter mile and was only 0.4 second behind in the run to 60 mph. (The Ferrari's numbers were generated using our old correction method, before we introduced the industry-standard 1-foot rollout into our acceleration testing.)

The difference in tires between the two cars likely explains the disparities in skidpad and braking results. Despite its extra heft, the Z06's Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 R rubber helped it stop from 70 mph in 139 feet and pull 1.16 g on the skidpad. The Ferrari stopped in 146 feet and gripped to the tune of 1.01 g; it wore less aggressive Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires.

Size and Price

The Z06 is a significantly larger car, weighing in at 3666 pounds, 341 pounds more than the 458. The Corvette is also longer, wider, and taller than the Ferrari. Predictably enough, it offers more cargo space thanks to its front and rear trunks that combine to provide 13 cubic feet of room to the Ferrari's 8 cubic feet.

Price isn't the easiest comparison to make, as the 458 ended production years ago and was succeeded first by the turbocharged Ferrari 488 and then the F8 Tributo that currently serves as Ferrari's mid-engine V-8 supercar. But the 458 we tested more than a decade ago stickered for $332,032, or almost exactly double our 2023 Corvette Z06's as-tested price of $166,205. Factor in inflation, and the Ferrari's price would be well over $400,000 today, although used examples are going for far less than that these days. No matter how you look at it, the Corvette Z06 is a dynamite value and a worthy foil to one of the last naturally aspirated Ferrari models.

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