The first example of the track-focused Chevrolet Corvette Z06 has hit Australian shores ahead of an on-sale date later this year.
But American muscle car fans with deep pockets will have to wait a little while longer before finding out how much the new performance flagship will cost.
Greg Rowe, the Director of Chevrolet importer and remanufacturer, GMSV, told CarsGuide this week that pricing might not be confirmed until the second half of the year.
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Deliveries of the coupe are expected to start either late in 2023 or early 2024.
Whatever the price ends up being, expect it to be quite a bit more than the existing Stingray 3LT Coupe that currently tops the hardtop range at $160,500 before on-road costs.
Given the different powertrain and additional performance parts, the Z06 could easily top $200,000, while some reports have it significantly higher than that.
If that’s the case, that would push the Z06 into contention against the Lexus LC500 (from $201,461) and the Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 (from $224,000).
Another new Corvette variant is also locked and loaded for Australia and New Zealand – the petrol-electric hybrid E-Ray. Details on the E-Ray aren’t yet clear, though it is likely to be pricier than the Stingray but more affordable than the Z06.
Rowe said that despite the fact that pricing and allocations had yet to be confirmed, GMSV has seen healthy pre-launch interest for the Corvette Z06.
“The interest has been solid and strong around the network. We’ve asked the dealers not to take deposits until such time as we can come out and say, ‘okay, here’s your pricing, here’s the specification, this is your timing, this is your allocation’. So we have asked them not to take deposits, but there’s strong interest nationally across Australia and New Zealand,” he said.
While anticipation for Z06 is high, its exclusivity means the Stingray will remain the most popular variant, according to GMSV Marketing and Communications Manager, Jodie Lennon.
“The tyres on this (Z06) really are sort of set for track. And Stingray is more of your everyday drive. So what we’ll find is that there’s a lot of track enthusiasts for this particular vehicle and it will be in smaller volumes.”
GMSV was born from the ashes of Holden and Holden Special Vehicles and it is a subsidiary of Walkinshaw Automotive Group. As well as remanufacturing Chevrolet Silverado pick-ups to right-hand drive in its Dandenong, Melbourne facility, GMSV also launched the factory-built right-hand drive Corvette in mid-2022 sourced from GM’s Bowling Green, Kentucky plant.
Offered in coupe and convertible guise, the Corvette currently starts from $144,990 before on-road costs for the 2LT coupe.
The Z06 differs from the Stingray in a few areas, but the biggest difference is that it does away with the 369kW/637Nm 6.2-litre V8 engine and replaces it with a new LT6 5.5-litre naturally aspirated petrol unit pumping out 500kW and 624Nm, driving the rear wheels via an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission.
It makes for a 0-60mp/h time of 2.6 seconds, which translates roughly to a sub-3.0-second 0-100km/h dash time.
Helping ensure this track weapon stops is the inclusion of larger 14.6-inch front and 15-inch rear Brembo rotors, and six-piston front callipers compared to four-piston calipers on the Stingray.
It also comes with the largest wheels ever available on a production Corvette – 20-inch forged aluminium ‘Spider’ wheels at the front and 21-inch at the rear.
Inside the Z06 3LZ features a carbon-fibre-appointed steering wheel, carbon-fibre paddle shifters, and bucket seats with Nappa leather and carbon-fibre inserts.