The automotive world’s newest supercar just started rolling out to its proud new owners. While many folks are content to roll into the nearest watering hole or show field with their latest acquisition, YouTuber Speed Phenom set out on a cross-country run with his brand-new 2023 Z06 Corvette. After picking his Z06 up at the National Corvette Museum’s R8C delivery program, the YouTuber heads west with his new car for several reasons. Thankfully, for our entertainment, it didn’t him long to roll his C8 Z06 onto a dyno.
The Z06 Corvette has a break-in mileage where output is limited for the first 500 miles. The drive across the states will easily fulfill the mileage requirement, which is a good thing because before Mr. Phenom makes it home with his Corvette, he planned to stop at Dallas Performance, a speed shop with a dyno and much experience with mid-engine cars.
With those power-limiting miles strewn somewhere beyond the rear-view mirror, the new Z-car is pulled into the dyno room for some real-world testing. Well, not quite. Anyone who knows dynos will attest that they are not precisely accurate when delving into those power numbers. For starters, each dyno is different, and the output can be swayed by environmental conditions or even within the drop-down menus of the dyno program itself. That said, they are one of the best factors in determining the output of our rides, and this Z06 was the first of its kind to go through the process.
The Difference In Mid-Engine
Just before the throttle bodies go wide-open, Austin (Speed Phenom) asks Shawn at Dallas Performance how much he thinks the car will make. Shawn quickly replies, “Around 600.” At first, when you consider the amount of parasitic loss of power through the typical driveline, you might deem this number a bit overly enthusiastic. But Shawn is well-versed in all things mid-engine and transaxle, and the first dyno run confirms this fact with a power output of 596 horsepower at 8,300 rpm.
Clearly, the C8 Corvette’s mid-engine platform isn’t nearly as subject to parasitic loss as the previous generations of Corvettes. Whereas the typical percentage of loss can range between 13-15-percent with a front-engine Corvette, placing the engine in the rear with a transaxle apparently lowers that loss to around 11-percent to the wheels. Some comments have suggested that the carbon fiber wheels also help reduce rotational drag. With a 40-50-percent reduction in weight for each wheel, the benefits are definitely there, but are they quantifiable?
Subsequent runs only seem to improve as Shawn and Austin give the engine a little time to cool. Shawn’s guess on the car’s second run is almost perfect, with the dyno showing 599 horsepower. Another quick cool down, and the car was ready for the final run. One of the benefits of today’s EFI is the ability of the ECU to fine-tune an engine’s operation. Each time on the dyno, the computer could be making subtle differences to the tune, which helped it reach its current milestone, an impressive 610 horsepower at 8,400 rpm!
Like the C8’s mid-engine design, there are several differences between the LT6 engine and previous Corvette engines of late. Much like the LT5 engine decades ago, the naturally-aspirated LT6 makes its power where overhead valve engines typically run out of steam. That said, the disparity between the engine’s horsepower and torque output is also not an apples-to-apples comparison with previous engines.
Even with a very flat torque curve, the LT6’s torque builds quickly to approximately 375 lb-ft at 3,500 rpm and keeps steady until around 6,600 rpm, when it begins to drop off. Interestingly, horsepower and torque do not cross at 5,250 rpm as usual but instead meet at approximately 7,600 rpm. [Edit- A keen-eyed reader pointed out that the scales for power and torque are not equal. Power is set to 650 while torque is set to 450). It will be interesting to see the outcome once someone puts a set of turbos or a supercharger on the car. Shawn, who was pretty accurate in his initial guess of the engine’s output, says, “With most Corvettes, you can typically add about 100 horsepower with bolt-ons. I wouldn’t think this would be any different.”
With this milestone firmly established, maybe it’s time for the aftermarket to start working on a kit to “boost” the output of the LT6 engine. We recently reported on some evidence that GM is doing the very same thing!