It feels like the 2023 Corvette Z06 has been with us for years, but the captivating supercar debuted a little over six months ago. Series production should start later this year, but there are details Chevrolet still hasn’t announced and yes, top speed is among them. It should be faster than its Stingray sibling, but by how much? And perhaps of greater interest, will it break the 200-mph barrier?
We may not have definitive answers, but there’s a clue in the Z06 owner’s manual that points towards yes for the second question. As reported by CorvetteBlogger, a section of the manual outlines minimum speeds for upshifts, and maximum speeds for downshifts. The latter chart is of specific interest to us, as it lists 188 mph as the maximum speed for downshifting from sixth to fifth gear. Beyond that, speeds are listed as aero limited for downshifts into seventh and sixth.
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It’s certainly no smoking gun, but we now know the Z06 will reach 188 mph in fifth gear. That leaves quite a bit of room for the ‘Vette to keep stretching its legs in sixth, though it will eventually run into an aerodynamic limit. It also means the Z06 should achieve its top speed in sixth gear. Is there enough juice from the mid-mount V8 to give the ‘Vette an extra 12 mph?
Until Chevrolet offers an official number, nobody knows for sure. What we can say, however, is that the Corvette Stingray tops out at 194 mph in standard guise. As a reminder, its 6.2-liter V8 makes 490 horsepower or 495 with the Z51 performance package. Either way, that’s significantly less than the wild 5.5-liter DOHC V8 in the new Z06, belting out 670 hp at a sky-high 8,400 rpm.
Aero enhancements will obviously play a significant role in top speed, especially on models equipped with the Z07 package. But knowing that the Z06 is capable of 188 mph in fifth gear combined with nearly 200 extra hp on tap, 200 mph certainly seems well within reach.