By most accounts (including ours), the new eighth-generation Chevy Corvette is a revelation — but as with the last few generations of 'Vette, the first version out of the blocks is just the beginning. For the mid-engined C8, Chevrolet allegedly has a whole arsenal of democratic speed in the works, with an array of increasingly powerful Corvettes planned to roll out over the next few years — culminating in a super-hybrid or all-electric version.
And now, a new report suggests we could see the first of those — the new Corvette Z06 — by July 2021, or even sooner.
That's the word transmitted our way via Muscle Cars and Trucks, which caught word of it via the Mid-Engined Corvette Forum. According to the forum's co-founder, an employee at Estero Bay Chevrolet in Florida named Marcus Viega announced in a post that "July 2021 we will be able to tell you more about this amazing car. Z06 is not a project anymore!"
(We checked, and Estero Bay Chevrolet's dealership page does indeed reveal an employee with that name among their ranks.)
If the employee's report is valid, that would suggest that General Motors is planning to reveal the new Chevy Corvette Z06 by July at the latest — because, as MC&T pointed out and common sense also dictates, a dealership can't talk about a vehicle that a manufacturer hasn't formally unveiled yet.
If true, it would suggest Chevrolet could be fast-tracking the new Z06 — if not for production, at least enough to give us a taste of the car soon. Last March, The Detroit News reported that GM was delaying a whole host of updates and model revisions, such as the mid-life updates of the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra — as well as delaying "a future variant of the Chevrolet Corvette that was not slotted for 2020."
Given that Corvettes usually roll out in a predictable order — Stingray base model, convertible, Z06, Grand Sport, ZR1 — that suggests the new 'Vette to which the newspaper referred was likely the Z06; and considering it was apparently worthy of being mentioned in the same breath as a bunch of updates originally planned for 2020, it seems logical to assume it would be breaching the surface not long after those vehicles, which suggests an early 2021 debut.
A summertime debut doesn't necessarily mean we'd be able to drive it ASAP, though. The 2020 Corvette Stingray debuted in July 2019, but it wasn't planned to enter production until the end of that year (and wound up being delayed months longer due to a UAW strike).
As for what we can expect from the 2022 Corvette Z06, precedent suggests it'll be more powerful and more track-focused (and, of course, more expensive) than the base model. Reports have widely claimed it'll use a 5.5-liter naturally-aspirated V8 with a flat plane crank like Ferrari and the Shelby GT350 use, which should rev past 8,000 rpm and make 600 horsepower or more. One thing's for sure, though: it'll be faster than the Stingray.