2023 Corvette Z06 engine is giving up after only 52 miles

As exciting as the new Chevrolet Corvette Z06’s wider body and improved aerodynamics are, the 5.5-liter flat-plane LT6 V-8 engine behind the driver is the star of the show. Unfortunately for new Z06 owner Marco Garcia, the motorsport-derived engine in his Corvette Z06 failed after only 52 miles on the original delivery.

Garcia bought the black-and-red Corvette Z06 1LZ on Dec. 23 from Covina Hills Chevrolet in Covina, Calif., according to his YouTube videos. The sought-after sports car had a sticker price of $113,975, but documentation fees and dealer fees saw the final sale price come to $182,457.38. Garcia currently owns two Stingrays and even arrived to buy a Z06 with his modified C8. With the purchase process complete, one of the dealership’s salespeople suggested Garcia follow him to his construction yard with the Stingray in question. Garcia would take them up on this offer and agreed to drop the seller back at the dealer after the exchange.

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After dumping the Stingray in the yard, the seller jumped into the Z06 for the relatively short drive back to the dealership. Garcia noted in his follow-up video that the two enjoyed some gentle pulls during the ride, but didn’t push the car too much. Garcia further noted that he was already quite familiar with the C8 platform break-in procedure due to his previous ownership experience. Shortly after returning the seller to the dealership, things went horribly wrong.

Garcia noticed a lack of power from the engine and decided to pull off the highway to investigate. A check engine light and some aggressive rattling noises accompanied the problem, which started with just 52 miles on the odometer, Garcia said. After going into town to charge his phone, the dealer told Garcia he couldn’t take the car back there that evening. Furthermore, OnStar struggled to help because they did not yet have adequate warranty information for such a new vehicle. That night, Garcia had to tow the Z06 back to his construction yard.

Things didn’t improve much the next day. OnStar sent a tow truck for the vehicle on the 24th, but that tow truck was not authorized to return the vehicle to the selling dealer. That created a new problem that apparently required Garcia to spend hours calling OnStar again for help. When the car did arrive at a proper dealership, Garcia’s email inbox began to receive numerous error codes sent through OnStar services. The most notable of these problems was listed as an engine and transmission system fault, which could only be expected based on the sound found in the video.

Garcia says he’s faced with the situation and that he’s not interested in continuing his Z06 ownership experience. After repairing the car, he is going to pass it on to the next owner.

“Dead Z06 for sale soon,” Garcia said in a follow-up post. “I think I’ll probably try to fix it up and sell it to someone else. It’s a shame.”

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Ever since the Z06 debuted, General Motors has been adamant that the LT6 V-8 is a bombproof engine. The LT6.R V-8 has currently been used by the Corvette Racing C8.R for several years, and the street engine has an almost identical top design. That said, large-displacement flat-plane V-8s are notoriously tricky, as previously highlighted by Ford’s Voodoo V-8 and its vibration concerns.

A GM spokesperson confirmed R&T: that the company is aware of the incident involving this Z06 and is actively investigating the situation. As is common practice with this type of failure, GM will likely tear this engine apart to determine what is wrong with this particular example.

Let’s hope this LT6 was just a bad egg. At this point, this problematic example appears to be just a drop in the bucket as owners continue to take home their new Z06s.


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