2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 vs. 2022 Porsche 911 GT3: Epic Specs Battle
Updated: Nov 10, 2022
Written by Andrew Beckford | MOTORTREND.COM | Nov 8, 2022
The 2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 and the 2022 Porsche 911 GT3 may seem like wildly different sports cars, from their powertrains to their styling. Yet, anyone who follows GT racing knows that these two cars have been locked in an ongoing battle for years. With "passionate" fans in both camps, that battle has spilled over into Reddit threads, forums, and car meets—and most importantly, the street.
It will be a tough fight. We voted the 2022 Porsche 911 GT3 as our Performance Vehicle of The Year this past February, and we have referred to the 2023 Chevrolet Corvette z06 as the "best American sports car ever made." These are two greats going up against each other like Wolverine vs. The Hulk, Iron Man vs. Captain America, Bartman vs. Fallout Boy, you get the picture.
This is the sort of battle in which numbers tell a tale. We'll compare the specs and our test results of the 2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 (with Z07 package) and the 2023 Porsche 911 GT3 PDK to see how these street legends shake out.
In the past, one of the biggest differences between the Corvette and the 911 was the drivetrain layout. The 'Vette had its V-8 up front, while the 911's boxer engine lives in the back. However, the C8 generation Corvette changed all of that, with its engine now just behind the driver. The Porsche is still rear-engine, while the Corvette is now mid-engine, but the C8 brought the two arch-enemies closer together than ever before.
The 2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06's new LT6 5.5-liter flat-plane V-8 is derived from the mill used in the C8.R GTLM race car developed by Pratt & Miller Engineering. The race car is limited to 500 horsepower due to regulations. However, the engine in the Z06 breathes freely, making 670 horsepower at a lofty 8,400 rpm and 460 ft-lb of torque at 6,300 rpm. That's more naturally aspirated horsepower than any production V-8 in history. The components combine like a symphony to create a combustion orchestra that our own Frank Markus described as a "baritone Ferrari. " Aside from the sound, during our first drive we became quickly addicted to its top end power. There is a reason why we consider the LT6 as an "all-time great" naturally aspirated engine.
The 2022 Porsche 911 GT3 responds with its coveted 4.0-liter H-6 motor. Like the LT6, the 911's engine lives on the upper floors of the high-rpm skyscraper, making its max 502 hp at 8,400 rpm and 346 ft-lb at 6,100 rpm. The high-revving swarm of angry metal bees propels the GT3 down a quarter-mile strip in under 11 seconds. Only a few naturally aspirated cars—including the 2023 Z06—can achieve that feat, and they're either electric or have much bigger engines than the Porsche. It's astonishing to think that Porsche could have pushed this engine even further if it were not for the fact that they had to ensure the mill met emissions regulations.
On the spec sheet, the Corvette Z06 has a sizable advantage over the 911 GT3 in the engine department, but that's not the whole story. The GT3 makes up for the power gap in other areas. For instance, with a curb weight of 3,213 pounds., the 911 GT3 has a 473-pound advantage over the Z06, which weighs in at 3,686 pounds. The GT3's weight is a major contributing factor to its performance advantage over the 991.2 model despite only marginal improvements to its engine. The GT3's "PorscheActive" Suspension Management (PASM) system primes the Porsche for corner carving. Helping the 2022 Porsche 911 GT3 slice through the air is an aerodynamic package that can produce up to 510 pounds of downforce in its factory setting—a 50 percent bump over the previous model. In the 2022 GT3's most aggressive aerodynamic settings, downforce increases to 850 pounds.
While it's true that the 2023 Corvette Z06 is heavier than the GT3 by nearly 500 pounds, that doesn't mean it isn't light on its feet. The Z06 comes equipped with Magnetic Selective Ride Control 4.0, which allows the driver adjust the dampers' characteristics on the fly. There are some electric nannies like "StabiliTrak Electronic Stability Control" and traction control but their involvement can be adjusted depending on user-selected drive mode. If a buyer opts for the Z07 package, the Magnetic Selective Ride Control gets a track-focused tune. If you still want to pull some weight out of the car the aforementioned Z07 package has a carbon fiber wheel option that trims 41 pounds off the scale.
What good is a high-revving, high power engine if the power can't leave the engine bay? A great transmission is crucial to the supercar driving experience. If gearshifts are slow, clunky, and otherwise unsatisfying its a "major vibe killer" as the TikTok children say. The 2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 comes an M1L dual-clutch transmission similar to the one found in the standard Corvette, but retuned to allow for more aggressive shifts. The transmission computer will let you do just about anything you want short of over-revving the engine. Ironically, we've said that the Z06 transmission software is "as good as Porsche's benchmark PDK," so this part of the battle may be a stalemate.
Speaking of, the 2022 Porsche 911 GT3 has an available 7-speed dual-clutch PDK transmission which our team enjoyed very much. In fact, we said that the GT3 has "one of the world's best engine and transmission combinations. " We are were more than pleased with the PDK's ability to "choose the correct ratio at the right time" regardless of the drive mode selected. The GT3's PDK will give you the gear you want almost faster than you can think about it.
With the scales, tape measures, and calculators put away, it's time to see how the Corvette Z06 and the 911 GT3 match up on the test track. We put both cars through a battery of tests—and the results may surprise you. You would think in tests that favor brute force, the Z06 would come out on top. However, the Z06 is slower than GT3 to 60 mph by 0.1 seconds. Both cars are officially Toretto-approved with a 10.8 second quarter mile time. However, the Z06 carries slightly more speed across the line.
Meanwhile, the Porsche 911 GT3 stays nearly neck-and-neck with the Z06 in all tests, which is a testament to its suspension tuning and lighter weight. The GT3 is just 0.4 second slower than the Z06 through our famous figure-eight test. The Porsche also comes to a stop from 60 mph a full 2 feet sooner. The GT3 can't blow the Z06 out of the water in any of these categories, but the fact that the Z06 can't do it either may reflect more positively on the Porsche.
Conclusion: Who Wins?
The 2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 definitely comes out swinging with its glorious flat-plane crank V-8 engine, Magnetic ride system, and near 650 horsepower all without the aid of forced induction. Our reviewers already believe the new Z06 to be the best American sports cars ever made, could it be the best performance car ever? Stay tuned for more about that. For now, all we can say is that the 2023 Corvette Z06 delivers more than what mere numbers on a spec sheet can say.
Meanwhile, the 2022 Porsche 911 GT3 has already won our 2021 performance car of the year crown. Considering its pedigree it can be argued that the 911 GT3 doesn't have much to prove. Our own testers found the GT3's handling to be "extraordinary" and found it so track-focused that they thought perhaps the Porsche may be "overkill" for driving on the road—a perfect illustration that the GT3 really blurs the line between street and track.
It's clear that despite their differences both are phenomenal sports cars, pushing the envelope in their niche. And it's truly remarkable how closely they mirror each others moves. One of the greatest modern rivalries is showing no sign of slowing down.