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Kelley Blue Book: It’s a joy and a thrill: The 2023 Chevrolet Corvette has the poise and reactions of the finest mid-engine supercars

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Pros

Supercar performance

Supercar styling

Relatively affordable

Cons

Rearward vision not great

No automatic emergency braking

No adaptive cruise control

What’s new?

The high-performance Z06 version arrives

70th Anniversary package is introduced

Other new cosmetic additions are also offered

The 2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06

Chevrolet

The 2023 Chevrolet Corvette is the latest chapter in the story of a supercar, marking the debut of the 670-horsepower Z06. 2023 Corvette pricing starts at $61,900.

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Anyone with even a vague interest will know that this current version of the ’Vette has a mid-engine configuration, which is quite a departure for Chevrolet from the usual front-engine setup of every past Corvette.

An upcoming hybrid version with all-wheel drive and a fully electrified Corvette will make an even sharper break with the past. The Corvette EV will use GM’s
GM,
+1.45%

Ultium electric-car platform which forms the basis of the Cadillac Lyriq SUV and the 1,000 horsepower GMC Hummer EV pickup.

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As it stands, the mid-engine arrangement gives the Corvette its final set of supercar credentials, the ability to compete with exotic machines that are twice or sometimes three times as expensive. And 2023 marks the debut of the 670-horsepower Z06 model. If there’s anything faster on a track, it’s probably an esoteric open-wheeled single-seater like a Formula One car.

The trouble with an F1 racing machine — apart from the cost of a couple of million bucks or so — is that it can’t go for a road trip with a weekend’s worth of luggage, accommodate one’s significant other, play music, or provide daily thrills at a relatively affordable cost. The 2023 Corvette can.

The 2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06

Chevrolet

2023 Chevrolet Corvette pricing

Starting with the 2023 Corvette Stingray coupe in 1LT trim, the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) is $61,900, plus a destination charge. The convertible in the same trim is $69,400. It’s virtually $81K for a convertible in the top 3LT trim.

There are many options. The priciest is the Z51 performance package at $6,345, followed by the new-for-2023 70th Anniversary package costing $5,995. Buyers may also choose things like an adaptive suspension, ultra-sporty seats, and interior color schemes.

We expect the 670-horsepower 2023 Z06 to start at around $90,000.

Admittedly, spending $60K and up on a car can seem extravagant, but the Corvette is one of the more affordable supercars. Something like a McLaren GT costs at least $200K, as does the Lamborghini Huracán. The Jaguar F-Type is not mid-engine, but packs a supercharged V8 as standard and comes in at a slightly more reasonable $70K.

Or there are the Porsche 718 Cayman/Boxster sports cars, both starting in the low 60s. But the most powerful GT4 versions (and therefore the most expensive) “only” have 414 horsepower.

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Before buying a new Corvette, check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area paid for theirs. The Corvette achieves yet another impressive performance in terms of resale values.

The 2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06

Chevrolet

Driving the 2023 Chevrolet Corvette

All those well-worn phrases like “America’s supercar” and “the performance machine that’s also a daily driver” can’t help but spring to mind because that’s exactly what the Chevrolet Corvette is. It’s a joy, a thrill, an experience to be savored, treasured, relished, and repeated.

It all starts with the 6.2-liter V8 propelling a lightweight (it’s predominantly a composite body on a metal frame) 2-seater car with 490 horsepower. By placing the engine just behind those seats and fitting a well-tuned suspension, the 2023 Corvette has the poise and reactions of the finest mid-engine supercars.

Fast, precise steering matches rapid acceleration, while a standard mechanical limited-slip differential contributes to traction. From the 2LT trim and up, the Corvette also comes with a performance data recorder.

It all gets turned up to 10 with the Z51 performance package. As well as an exhaust system that raises power by a fraction, this bundle brings a more track-focused suspension, stronger brakes, electronic limited-slip differential, high-performance tires, heavier-duty cooling, plus a Z51 front splitter and rear spoiler.

The 2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06

Chevrolet

It all gets turned up past 11 with the new 2023 Z06. This is an even more trackable machine: more rubber, more downforce, more sportiness in the adaptive suspension, and more power from a special engine.

This 5.5-liter V8 has a lightweight flat-plane crankshaft, forged aluminum pistons, and forged titanium connecting rods. They all help to enable a high-revving unit that can develop 670 horsepower at a spine-tingling 8,400 rpm.

Neither Corvette engine has any forced induction like a turbocharger. Using good old-fashioned natural aspiration makes it possible to make fine throttle adjustments while screaming through high-speed corners (on a track, of course).

Pay no heed to the cave men (or cave women? Cave persons?) moaning about the lack of a manual transmission. The 8-speed dual-clutch automated setup in every 2023 Corvette is better. Drivers can still choose when to change gears by using the shift paddles behind the steering wheel. But the actual shift action is faster than any human can manage. And it will never miss a gear.

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Interior comfort

It’s almost obligatory to put a flat-bottomed steering wheel into a sporty car these days. That’s because it’s easier for the driver’s knees to slip under. The 2023 Corvette goes one better with a flat top as well. It all makes sense from the driver’s seat, where the missing upper arc results in better forward vision. And it looks cool.

In the upper trim levels, the materials — and leather or simulated suede wrapping of the instrument cluster, door panels, and center console — are more like high-class luxury cars than the actual performance bargain that a new Corvette Stingray really is. But even the basics are done right, with a driver-centric cockpit and a well-considered layout of all the controls.

A Stealth interior package joins the options list of the 2LT and 3LT models, bringing dark-finished aluminum trim pieces. This year’s new 70th Anniversary package for the 3LT coupe and convertible includes white leather seating surfaces, red seat belts, and special weekend bags of premium leather.

Speaking of baggage, the Corvette has a trunk between the engine and the rear of the car. It’s roomy enough for a couple of golf bags. There’s also a small storage area under the hood.

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Exterior styling

Three years on from its debut and this generation of Corvette still turns heads with its “is that a Ferrari?” styling. The usual mid-engine supercar cues are evident, like the large air intakes on the sides, the position and shape of the cabin, and the engine visible through the rear window.

The coupe has removable roof panels, available in optional carbon fiber or transparent. The convertible comes with a power-folding hardtop that deploys while on the move. So no one has to get out of the car as they would to remove and stow the coupe’s panels.

The 2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06

Chevrolet

Both body styles of the Corvette Stingray ride on 19×8.5-inch alloy wheels up front and 20×11-inch alloys at the back. The optional 70th Anniversary package available with the 3LT trim comes with its own design of forged alloy wheels, plus red-painted brake calipers.

This year’s fresh paint choices are White Pearl Metallic Tricoat and Carbon Flash Metallic.

The new Z06 is wider than the Stingray, with 20×10-inch alloys at the front and 21×13-inch rims behind, all wearing Michelin
ML,
+0.46%

Pilot Sport 4S ZP tires. Its aerodynamic additions have also been developed specifically for this car. With the optional Z07 package, there are 734 pounds of downforce at 186 mph.

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Favorite features

Z51 performance packageSince the 2023 Corvette is a sports car, our favorite bits are unapologetically in the pursuit of driving thrills. The Z51 performance package sharpens and upgrades several aspects to explore and exploit this machine’s potential.

Z06New for 2023, the 670-horsepower Corvette Z06 is available as a coupe or a convertible with a power-retractable hardtop, just like the regular Stingray version. The chassis is stiff enough for there to be no suspension differences between the two.

Standard features

Trim levels for the 2023 Corvette Stingray coupe and convertible are 1LT, 2LT, and 3LT.

The 1LT comes with LED headlights, a 12-inch driver information display, keyless entry/ignition, remote start, 8-way power-adjustable seats, power-adjustable steering column, leather-wrapped steering wheel, leather seating surfaces, and dual-zone automatic climate control. The convertible model also has a power-folding retractable hardtop.

The infotainment setup contains an 8-inch touchscreen, wireless Apple
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+3.28%

CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone integration, Wi-Fi, satellite radio, two USB ports, Bluetooth, and a 10-speaker Bose sound system.

Although the Corvette has a regular cruise control feature, Chevy doesn’t offer anything like adaptive cruise control or forward collision mitigation with automatic emergency braking.

Factory options

Following on from the lack of advanced safety systems in the 2023 Corvette, the 2LT and 3LT coupes gain a rear camera mirror, which is also standard in every convertible model. Plus blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert. Given the otherwise poor rearward vision that comes as part of the territory with a mid-engine supercar, we’d say the 2LT is a better call than the base model.

A head-up display also comes in at the 2LT level, along with memory settings for the seats/mirrors/steering wheel, performance data/video recorder, heated/ventilated seats, heated steering wheel, front curb-view camera, wireless charging, and a 14-speaker Bose audio upgrade.

A lot of buyers will be interested in the Z51 performance package, itemized in the Driving section. A special Z51 adaptive suspension is also available, along with a version for cars without this particular package. The optional front lift feature with adjustable height and memory is a $2,260 alternative to scraping the front lip on speed bumps and things like entrances to gas stations.

There are stripes, different colors of brake calipers and seat belts, competition bucket seats, bespoke luggage, and different wheel designs to choose from. This year brings the 70th Anniversary package, mentioned in this review’s Interior and Exterior sections. Buyers can even take delivery of their new Corvette from the Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

Offered as a coupe or hardtop convertible, the 2023 Z06 is its own animal, with model-specific wheels and aerodynamic treatment in addition to its powerful engine and standard sport-tuned adaptive suspension. It does have special options as well, such as carbon-fiber wheels. Plus, the Z07 package that retunes the suspension, fits Michelin Sport Cup 2 R ZP tires, adds Brembo
BRE,
+2.53%

carbon-ceramic brake discs, and a carbon-fiber rear wing.

Engine and transmission

The engine in Stingray versions of the 2023 Corvette is a 6.2-liter V8 generating 490 horsepower and 465 lb-ft of torque. When the performance exhaust system of the Z51 package is in the picture, add another five horses and five pound-feet.

The new-for-2023 Z06 has a hand-assembled 5.5-liter V8, yet develops greater power from this lower displacement — 670 horsepower — along with 460 lb-ft of torque.

Both engines are mid-mounted and naturally aspirated, meaning no turbochargers or superchargers. And they each drive just the rear wheels using an 8-speed dual-clutch automated transmission.

Premium gasoline is recommended throughout. These fuel economy estimates for the Stingray are from 2022, but we don’t expect the Environmental Protection Agency to announce any significant changes for 2023.

As more details emerge about the upcoming hybrid and electric versions of the Corvette, we’ll be on the front lines to provide each model’s performance specs, including horsepower output and driving range.

6.2-liter V8 (Stingray)490 horsepower @ 6,450 rpm (495 w/performance exhaust)465 lb-ft of torque @ 5,150 rpm (470 w/performance exhaust)EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/24 mpg

5.5-liter V8 (Z06)670 horsepower @ 8,400 rpm460 lb-ft of torque @ 6,300 rpmEPA city highway fuel economy: TBA

This story originally ran on KBB.com

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