Back in 2020 when the C8 Stingray was released, the new mid-engine Corvette became an award-winning juggernaut with the winning of both the North American Car of the Year and also being named the MotorTrend Car of the Year. While the late introduction of the Z06 didn’t allow for inclusion in the 2023 NACOTY awards, the revolutionary 2023 Corvette Z06 with its 670-hp naturally aspirated flat-plane crank V8 engine appears to be back in contention for MT’s 2023 Car of the Year award.
MotorTrend had gathered 15 distinct nameplates competing for their 2023 “Golden Calipers” award, and that has since been widdled down to these seven finalists for the coveted award:
• 2023 Acura Integra
• 2022 BMW 2-Series Coupe
• 2022 BMW i4
• 2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06
• 2023 Genesis G90
• 2023 Genesis Electrified G80
• 2023 Honda Civic Type R
In a new article posted on Wednesday titled “2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 COTY Review: Flat Fabulous,” MotorTrend’s Frank Markus offers a new Pros and Cons review featuring a standard 2023 Corvette Z06 Convertible with the 70th Anniversary package.
The Z06s Pros include “Euro-Supercar performance,” “Sport-bike engine note,” and “Tour mode ride comfort,” while the Cons call out the Z06’s “Overwrought exterior and interior design,” “Road/Wind noise,” and also deriding that the 70th Anniversary’s full-length racing stripes are stickers and not painted on.
Several writers also offered their praise for the car. The flat-plane crank’s exhaust note was of particular interest. “It’s worth its price on engine sound alone,” buyer’s guide director Zach Gale said. MotorTrend Features editor Christian Seabaugh says it “sounds like the trumpets of Jericho howling in your ear.”
The judges also complimented the Z06’s supercar performance, likening it to competitors including “the Ferrari F8 Tributo, Lamborghini Huracán STO, McLaren 765LT, or Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series”, but also because the Z06s Tour Mode offers comfort that meets or exceeds any others more costly sports cars for roughly half the price.
The Z06 does well where it matters, but not all the judges are all in on America’s newest supercar. Here is what MotorTrend doesn’t like about the new Corvette Z06.
Our praise for the Z06’s engine and chassis performance was as unanimous as our disappointment in the car’s overall design. Guest judge Chris Theodore felt the wider track and the redesigned side scoop graphic improved the C8’s proportions and visually lengthened the car, but he found the aero add-ons (and 70th Anniversary sticker stripes) added further visual clutter to an already “enthusiastic, immature design.”
The other criteria where the Corvette Z06 struggled somewhat were efficiency (it incurs a gas-guzzler tax of $2,600 to $3,000) and safety (no agency has tested a Corvette). But if the new Z06 had to sacrifice a little in those areas on the way to become a living legend, well, we imagine Zora wouldn’t have it any other way.
MotorTrend will be announcing the winner in early 2023 so for now you can check out the Finalists reviews and see the other contenders that didn’t make the finalist cut at MotorTrend.com.
The C8 Corvette Stingray is Named MotorTrend’s Car of the Year
Detroit News Readers Name the 2023 Corvette Z06 as ‘Best in Show’ at the Detroit Auto Show
The 2022 Corvette Had the Least Issues of Any New Vehicles in the J.D. Power Initial Quality Study