The C8 Corvette Z06 is simply brilliant. This 2023 menace rivals Italian exotics for a fraction of the cost, while setting N/A V8 records in an era when turbocharging and electrification are tightening their grip on the supercar world. And while the factory soundtrack isn’t quite as wild as the dynamics of the mid-engined machine, this straight-piped C8 Z06 is here to fix that.
Three days ago, we were all treated to a little preview of the straight-piped 2023 Corvette Z06 revving, but now we can enjoy a full video sampling the supercar, complete with figures for the dyno and the weight savings.
Compared to the stock C8 Z06, this example loses the mufflers, while featuring high-flow catalytic converters. And it appears to be the first in the world to do it.
The car belongs to Michael Hyssong of the Street Speed 717 YouTube channel, but most of you may remember his as the vlogger who got fined over $50,000 for jumping his TRX over a creek in Pennsylvania last year—here’s the enthusiast drag racing his Lamborghini Aventador SVJ against a twin-turbo Ram TRX, which is not the same truck.
Based in the same state as the YouTuber is Fabspeed, an aftermarket exhaust specialist that loves exotics, so it just couldn’t say no to the new Z06.
There are many degrees to customizing an exhaust, with some enthusiasts prefering a valve system that allows the driver to choose the decibel level. However, this is the most extreme take possible, which simply features a “race” x-pipe and carbon-ceramic tips.
Straight-piped C8 Z06 vs. stock Z06, straight-piped C8 and C8.R race car sound comparison
As we mentioned in the intro, the C8 Z06 could do with a little help in the aural department. After all, with this ditching the 6.2L LT2 V8 of the standard C8 in favor of a 5.5L LT6, which closely related to the unit powering the C8.R racecar, the soundtrack expectations are high.
Now, the YouTube clip below provides two comparos: C8 Z06 before-and-after (9:21 timestamp), plus straight-piped C8 Z06 vs. what is likely an also-straight-piped standard C8 (11:42).
However, we’ll add this short Twitter video of the C8.R motorsport toy from back in 2019 when the thing was first showcased.
High-flow catalytic converters and X-Pipe C8 Z06: power and weight benefits
In factory form, the flat-plane crank LT6 on the Z06 has an official rating of 670 hp and 460 lb-ft at the crankshaft. However, with Fabspeed having recorded 640 hp and 445 at the rear wheels (an extra 30hp compared to a run done on another dyno), they don’t speak of the engine packing more muscle than advertised. Instead, they credit the impressingly limited drivetrain loss (probably under 10%) to the highly efficient 8-speed dual-clutch transmission and the midship configuration, as well as to the lightweight (optional) carbon wheels.
Check out the dyno comparison from the YT clip and you’ll notice the high-revving LT6 (8,600 rpm redline) gains about 20 hp in the low range and 26 hp at the top for a devilish 666 RWHP dyno rating.
As far as the scale footprint is concerned, removing the mufflers on the 2023 Z06 shaves over 30 lbs, while the sport cats bring the total weight loss to 40 lbs. For the record, this is about the same improvement as you’d see from those optional OEM carbon wheels, which are around 50% lighter compared to the standard units.
Aftermarket headers for the C8 Z06
For now, Mike’s 2023 Corvette Z06 still features the factory exhaust headers. And, as Fabspeed explains in the Instagram post below, GM engineers went with a 4-2-1 “Tri Y” configuration that favors low and mid-range torque, which makes sense for a street car.
However, since a 4-1 design would be focused on high-rev gains, the exhaust specialist is now running some tests to see what such an architecture could do for the LT6. And we can’t wait to listen to the results!