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GMSV locks in RHD Corvette Z06 for 2023

Confirmed: RHD versions of the fastest Corvette ever are coming to Australia.

Right-hand drive production of Corvette Z06 confirmed, Oz arrival of Stingray imminent


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27 Oct 2021

GMSV has confirmed that Australia and New Zealand will be among the first right-hand drive markets to receive the new track-focussed C8 Corvette Z06 as Chevrolet production capacity returns to normal following COVID-19 related delays.


The Corvette Z06, which will be hand built for both left and right-hand drive markets, will be manufactured at General Motors’ Bowling Green assembly plant in Kentucky. Production of left-hand drive vehicles will take precedence, beginning in the North American summer of 2022, with right-hand drive production to “start some months later”.


General Motors Specialty Vehicles (GMSV) revealed plans for a right-hand drive version of the C8 Corvette Z06 earlier this year when a right-hook model was registered as part of the brand’s local validation and testing procedure but says today’s “official statement” is exciting news for Corvette fans.


“It was announced this morning that the Corvette Z06 will be manufactured in both left and right-hand drive and we’re incredibly excited to confirm GMSV in Australia and New Zealand will be part of the global program,” said GMSV director Joanne Sogiannis.


“News that the C8 was available as right-hand drive was reason enough to make Corvette enthusiasts cheer, but this latest update is absolutely phenomenal. Details such as price, anticipated arriving timing, and [the] number of vehicles allocated to our market will be revealed next year.”


The C8 Corvette is the first to adopt a mid-rear engine configuration. Debuting Chevrolet’s lightweight naturally aspirated LT6 5.5-litre V8 with dry sump oiling system and flat-plane crankshaft design, the rear-wheel drive coupe develops 500kW at 8400rpm and 623Nm at 6300rpm.


The DOHC aluminium mill uses twin 87mm throttle bodies and a four-into-two-into-one exhaust system GM says engineers took two years to develop, creating a distinctive, rich exhaust tone “unlike anything ever heard from Corvette”.


Former Holden boss and current GM president Mark Ruess said the Corvette’s engine is the highest horsepower naturally-aspirated V8 to hit the market in any production car ever, a fat that he said sets it apart from anything available in the market today.


“The new Corvette Z06 defines the American supercar. It builds on the distinctive design and groundbreaking dynamics introduced with the mid-engine Corvette and elevates them to deliver refined but uncompromising track capability with world-class performance,” Mr Ruess said. 


Development of the Z06 was strongly influenced by GM’s involvement in motorsport. GM said that the direct knowledge transfer from the track to the street “has never been more evident”. 


The Z06 chassis has underpinned Corvette Racing’s C8.R since it began competing in 2020, the road-going model sharing similar engine architecture and exterior proportions.


“Racing was the reason the Z06 was developed in 1963, and it continues to support development of the road models to make them better on the street and the track,” said Corvette’s executive chief engineer, Tadge Juechter.


“It also means we’ve tested the Z06 on the best racetracks around the world, from the Circuit of the Americas here in the United States to the Nurburgring in Germany.”


Performance credentials of the Z06 build on the already impressive Corvette Stingray and include larger 370mm front and 380mm rear brake rotors with six and four-piston Brembo calipers, wider rear guards housing 345-series tyres, model-specific front and rear bumper covers, increased air ducting and aerodynamic features, and 20-inch front and 21-inch rear forged aluminium wheels – the largest to ever be offered on a production Corvette.


The Stingray and Z06 are the first factory-built right-hand drive Corvettes in the 68-year history of the brand and also one of the most expensive. 


Australian pricing for the Corvette begins at $144,990 for the ‘entry spec’ 2LT with mid-tier 3LT variants retailing from $160,500. Convertible versions attract a $15,000 premium.


Regular Corvette variants are powered by a 6.2-litre V8 making 370kW/673Nm and drive the rear wheels via an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission. 


Australian models are also equipped with GM’s Z51 Performance Pack encompassing a bi-modal exhaust, magnetic ride-control suspension, Brembo brakes, electronically-controlled LSD and additional aerodynamic features.


Deliveries of the 2022 Corvette Stingray to Australian and New Zealand customers are imminent, said Ms Sogiannis.


“The Corvette is one of the world’s most recognisable sports cars and over-delivers on performance expected of such a machine. It is the epitome of a true icon as it has heritage, performance, and unparalleled desirability generation after generation,” she said.


“We’re looking forward to the first C8 customer cars shipping from Bowling Green to Australia and New Zealand in the coming weeks and can’t wait to deliver these to their new owners. It’s an incredibly exciting time to be a Corvette fan.”

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