2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06: Friendly on the Road, Monster on the Track

2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06: Friendly on the Road, Monster on the Track

Depending on where you’re driving the Z06, it can be as docile and friendly as the standard Corvette or an absolute monster, capable of chasing down just about anything with four wheels. On the road, it’s definitely the former. The Z06 can be driven with a light touch thanks to nicely weighted steering and an intuitive brake pedal. Even with the optional carbon-ceramic brakes, the Z06 can be slowed predictably and gently with none of the grabbiness you can sometimes get with carbon-ceramic brakes.

But when you turn the Z06 loose on a racetrack, you should really know what you’re doing. The throttle response in the Z06 is arguably the most immediate and responsive of any car we’ve driven in recent memory. The digital tachometer cracks like a whip to the engine’s stratospheric 8,600 rpm redline and a delicate touch is needed to keep the Z06’s 14-inch-wide rear tires from spinning up at the wrong moment. The steering response is just as immediate but also demands a delicate touch as the Z06 will go right where you point it, right now.

Grip levels are immense, but the mid-engine layout of the C8 Corvette prefers that you do most of your braking in a straight line in order to keep the back wheels of the Z06 behind the front ones. Highly skilled drivers can be a bit more aggressive with their inputs, but smoothness is still the name of the game. Any fast track will see the Z06 clearing 150 mph without a problem. Thankfully, the Z06 continues to use Chevrolet’s much-loved, and -appreciated, Performance Traction Management (PTM) system. It allows the driver to select diminishing levels of stability and traction control intervention as they become more comfortable with the car, the track, the conditions or all of the above. It’s extremely well engineered and can be enjoyed by drivers of all skill levels.

How comfortable is the Corvette Z06?

As extreme as the Z06 might be in terms of performance, it maintains almost all of the standard Corvette’s on-road comfort. Its adaptive suspension can be relaxed and allows the Z06 to eat up hours of highway miles without unduly punishing its passenger. Bumpy roads are a bit bumpier than in the standard Corvette but we see any extra ride stiffness as a more than fair trade-off for the insane levels of grip the Z06 delivers on track.

Like the ride, the majority of the Z06’s creature comforts carry over as well. The climate control works well, and the seats can be had with both heating and ventilation. As you might expect, noise levels are a bit higher in the Z06. Under normal driving conditions that’s down to the much wider tires. But when you turn up the wick, the Z06’s howling exhaust note permeates, not only the interior but your brain as well. If you love it, as well you should, you will never mind the sound of that engine.

How’s the Corvette’s interior?

This eighth-generation Corvette’s interior was a massive step forward compared to the last Corvette, which in turn was significantly more luxurious than its predecessor. The C8 has a driver-focused interior with a touchscreen canted toward the driver and an arching control panel that clearly separates the driver and passenger compartments.

The cabin hasn’t changed much for the Z06. You still get an interior decorated in leather and faux suede, though there is a new carbon-fiber package that adds copious amounts of the racy lightweight material throughout the cabin.

Edmunds says

The promise of the C8 Corvette’s mid-engine layout has been fulfilled by the 670-horsepower Z06. Packing more power, more grip and more capability than any other Corvette in history, the Z06 is poised to take on Europe’s best supercars for half the price.

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