Chevrolet has simply lastly given us a take a look at what could be very doubtless one of many last, totally gas-powered high-performance automobiles on the planet. In case you slept by it—unlikely—I’m speaking in regards to the C8 Corvette Z06. The usual C8 Corvette delivers already riveting efficiency–11-second quarter miles, 0-60 in 2.8 seconds, and almost 500 horsepower. That’s courtesy of GM’s “LT2” engine, a naturally aspirated 6.2-liter V8.
The Z06 cranks all that as much as the following degree – and it didn’t come straightforward. Chevy engineers, benchmarking the timeless Ferrari 458, designed a completely revised, flat-plane crank V8 engine dubbed the “LT6”. Spinning all the best way to eight,400 rpm and producing a depraved 670 horsepower, the LT6 is a excessive watermark for engine design. However most remarkably, I discover that the ethos and expertise behind it matches up intently to what BMW M has been doing for years. So it begs the query: is it even doable for BMW M to make a Z06 competitor in 2022?
The Z06’s LT6 makes use of a variety of revisions from extra conventional GM engine layouts. However a few of it’s stuff that BMW M has been doing for years. Hole camshafts and solid pistons discovered on the C8 Z06, for instance, return so far as the early 2000s within the S54 engine. The cam lobe and finger follower design is arguably previous information, too. It’s a part of the explanation common valve adjustment is required within the S54. Allegedly, Chevy has engineered that requirement out. Level being, Chevy has handled this engine precisely the best way BMW M has handled its most particular powerplants.
BMW M nonetheless makes a V8, though pure aspiration is out of the query. Its latest iteration is the S68 and it powers every thing from the XM, to the 760i, to the X7 M60i. Whereas it gained’t fairly match the redline, nor character of the LT6, we all know it’s going to be good for at least 617 horsepower, matching the numbers from the outgoing S63. BMW M would haven’t any drawback integrating it right into a devoted high-performance sportscar software.
Chassis and Suspension
The Z06 makes use of customary 20-inch entrance and 21-inch rear wheels to place the facility down, that are a bit greater than the usual C8. The brakes have additionally been upgraded to six-pistons within the entrance. Brembo carbon ceramics are additionally an choice with the Z07 bundle, which may also supplant the automobile’s customary PS4S tires with super-sticky Michelin Cup 2s. Chevy’s latest MagRide iteration can also be customary on the Z06.
It’s straightforward to see the similarities between the C8 Z06 and just about any BMW M product. Larger wheels, aggressive brakes, and revised suspension work is principally “The M Cookbook.” If solely there was a devoted sports activities automobile platform within the portfolio. BMW used to have the carbon fiber i8 chassis, which might have been excellent, however it’s not longer in manufacturing and BMW felt it was too costly to justify continued utilization.
Physique and Aero
Similar to with suspension, the C8 Z06 follows a well-recognized method—it’s lighter and grippier than a pedestrian C8. Like many former BMW M merchandise, there aren’t a ton of indications that you simply’re one thing much more particular than the bottom automobile. Cautious observers will observe a revised entrance fascia and a three-inch wider rear observe, a necessity for the huge 345 mm tires. An virtually obsessive degree of consideration to element has been taken with regards to aero. Borrowing some data gleaned from the racetrack, the brand new Z06 even sports activities aerodynamic “channels” on the Corvette’s undertray to raised funnel air. In whole, three completely different aero packages exist; every with a predictably bigger wing than the final.
Similar to within the suspension division, this isn’t something completely different than what we see with regards to BMW M’s most interesting productions. Particularly in vehicles just like the M4 CSL, with track-focused alterations like a rear seat delete and bespoke, aero-optimizing physique panels.
What May’ve Been
BMW can’t produce vehicles on the identical degree because the C8 Z06. That was my preliminary thought, anyway. However I began desirous about the upcoming 3.0 CSL. Whereas it’s hyper unique and ludicrously costly, it speaks to the extent of element modern-day BMW is able to.
So BMW is succesful. It has a particular engine, with the S68. It’s already demonstrated the power to “M-ifiy” any automobile it chooses to by altering suspension elements, slapping on some greater brakes, and including wings and different bits. And it’s clearly not against altering physique elements, even for low production-run automobiles. So why is BMW M unwilling to construct the last word M automobile?
Effectively, I feel it has. The XM is positioned as the head M halo automobile of the trendy period. And whereas I do know it is going to break all types of information and supply mind-melting acceleration, I simply can’t assist imagining what may’ve been. Think about as an alternative the right Z06 fighter. A barely modified CFRP tub borrowed from now-forgotten i8 designs. A mid-rear mounted S68 nestled proper behind the pilot’s seat. Throw on carbon-ceramics from the present F90-series M vehicles, and seize the suspension, too. Why not? What does your Z06-equivalent M automobile seem like?