2023 Corvette Z06 – The Best American Sports Car Ever Made.
In the past, one of the biggest differences between the Corvette and the 911 was the drivetrain layout. The ‘Vette had its V-8 up front, while the 911’s boxer engine lives in the back. However, the C8 generation Corvette changed all of that, with its engine now just behind the driver. The Porsche is still rear-engine, while the Corvette is now mid-engine, but the C8 brought the two arch-enemies closer together than ever before.
The 2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06’s new LT6 5.5-liter flat-plane V-8 is derived from the mill used in the C8.R GTLM race car developed by Pratt & Miller Engineering. The race car is limited to 500 horsepower due to regulations. However, the engine in the Z06 breathes freely, making 670 horsepower at a lofty 8,400 rpm and 460 ft-lb of torque at 6,300 rpm. That’s more naturally aspirated horsepower than any production V-8 in history. The components combine like a symphony to create a combustion orchestra that our own Frank Markus described as a “baritone Ferrari. ” Aside from the sound, during our first drive we became quickly addicted to its top end power. There is a reason why we consider the LT6 as an “all-time great” naturally aspirated engine.
The 2022 Porsche 911 GT3 responds with its coveted 4.0-liter H-6 motor. Like the LT6, the 911’s engine lives on the upper floors of the high-rpm skyscraper, making its max 502 hp at 8,400 rpm and 346 ft-lb at 6,100 rpm. The high-revving swarm of angry metal bees propels the GT3 down a quarter-mile strip in under 11 seconds. Only a few naturally aspirated cars—including the 2023 Z06—can achieve that feat, and they’re either electric or have much bigger engines than the Porsche. It’s astonishing to think that Porsche could have pushed this engine even further if it were not for the fact that they had to ensure the mill met emissions regulations.