Automobile has squeezed a few more rumors out of its news press, this time concerning the C8 Chevrolet Corvette. The whispers allege that sometime around late 2021, as a 2022-model-year offering, the eighth-generation Corvette Z06 will arrive with 800 horsepower and something like 700 pound-feet of torque, perhaps more. That mother lode of power will come courtesy of an evolution of Cadlllac's 4.2-liter twin-turbo Blackwing V8. The engine won't be called Blacking, as Cadillac has already made clear, but will likely adopt a generic GM name like LT7. This would make the next performance step in the Corvette lineup 305 ponies greater, with roughly 230 lb-ft more torque than one gets from the naturally aspirated, 6.2-liter V8 in the base Stingray.
There are years of insider intel to support this. If we go way, way back, Motor Trend reported in 2010 that the next Corvette would employ a brand new 5.5-liter V8, but the magazine was referring to the C7 generation. In November 2017, Corvette Forum discovered a leaked document from auto industry analysts IHS Markit that broke down coming engine options for the Corvette and a Cadillac. The Automobile piece doesn't mention a displacement for the Z06 motor, but it's expected to be the 5.5-liter engine from the IHS Markit report, with a maximum output of 850 hp and 720 lb-ft. The following month, Corvette Forum got hold of CAD drawings of what was labeled the Gen6 LT7. Then, last month, GM Authority got even more information on the TTV8 LT7, breaking down its similarities and differences to Cadillac's related 4.2-liter Blackwing TTV8.
Another GM Authority piece, based on the Automobile report, presented a handy chart of step changes in horsepower from the C7 generation, and we've added the C6 performance variants:
- Corvette C6 Z06: 7.0L NA V8 - 505 hp, 470 lb-ft
- Corvette C6 ZR1: 6.2L Supercharged LS9 V8 - 638 hp, 604 lb-ft
- Corvette C7 Stingray: 6.2L LT1 NA V8 - 460 hp, 465 lb-ft
- Corvette C7 Z06: 6.2L Supercharged LT4 V8 - 650 hp, 650 lb-ft
- Corvettte C7 ZR1: 6.2L Supercharged LT5 V8 - 755 hp, 715 lb-ft
- Corvette C8 Stingray: 6.2L LT2 NA V8 - 495 hp, 470 lb-ft
- Corvette C8 Z06 (rumored): 5.5L TT LT7 V8 - 800 hp, 700 lb-ft
Looking at the power increases from the ZR1 models to the next-gen Z06 models, 800 horses for the C8 generation is eminently reasonable. The coming Z06 will put on a sturdy range of mechanical and aero gear to harness every hoof in the corral, including wider fenders hiding larger rubber, active and passive aerodynamic features, and what should be an intense wing and diffuser package, the latter perhaps in mild and extravagant flavors.
At the intoxicating end of Automobile's scuttlebutt, there's a suggestion that Chevy could swap out the Stingray's eight-speed dual-clutch trans for a 10-speed dual-clutch, and that the Z06 could get a manual transmission option on top of that. Since we're already thrilled with the base Stingray, we'll be more than satisfied with 800 horsepower. Everything after that is just ginormous cherries.