2023 Corvette Z06 Pops Engine After Only 52 Miles

2023 Corvette Z06 Pops Engine After Only 52 Miles

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

Garcia bought the black-on-red Corvette Z06 1LZ on Dec. 23 from Covina Hills Chevrolet in Covina, Calif., according to his YouTube videos. The sought-after sports car carried a sticker price of $113,975, but documentation fees and dealer fees saw the final sale price reach $182,457.38. Garcia has owned two Stingrays at this point, and even managed to buy the Z06 into his modified C8. With the purchase process complete, one of the salespeople at the dealership offered to follow Garcia back to his build yard with the Stingray. Garcia would take them up on this offer and agreed to return the seller to the dealer after the exchange.

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After dumping the Stingray in the yard, the salesman jumped into the Z06 for the relatively short trip 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 is already quite familiar with the break-in procedure for the C8 platform due to his previous ownership experiences. Shortly after the seller returned to the dealership, things went horribly wrong.

Garcia noticed a lack of power coming from the engine and decided to pull off the highway to investigate. A check engine light and some aggressive knocking noises accompanied the problem, which started with just 52 miles on the odometer, Garcia says. After going into town to charge his phone, Garcia was told by the dealer that he could not tow the car there that evening. Additionally, OnStar struggled to help as they did not yet have the correct warranty information for such a new car. Garcia was forced to tow the Z06 back to his construction yard that night.

Things didn’t get much better the next day. OnStar sent a tow truck for the car on the 24th, but that truck was not authorized to return the car to the dealer. This created a new problem, apparently requiring Garcia to spend hours going back to OnStar for help. Once the car arrived at the right dealer, a ton of error codes started popping up in Garcia’s email inbox, sent via OnStar services. The most obvious of these issues was listed as an engine and transmission system fault, which you’d expect based on the audio found in the clip alone.

Garcia says he’s had it with the situation and isn’t interested in continuing his Z06 ownership experience. Once the car is repaired, he is planning to pass it on to the next owner.

“Dead Z06 on sale very soon,” Garcia said in the following 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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From the moment the Z06 debuted, General Motors has been adamant that the LT6 V-8 is a bombproof engine. The LT6.R V-8 has been used by the Corvette Racing C8.R for several years at this point, with the street engine featuring an almost identical top design. That said, large-displacement flat-plane V-8s are known to be tricky, as previously highlighted by Ford’s Voodoo V-8 and its vibration concerns.

A GM spokesperson confirmed to R&T that the company is aware of the incident involving this Z06 and is actively looking into the situation. As is common practice with this type of failure, GM will likely destroy this engine to figure out what went wrong with this specific example.

Hopefully this particular LT6 was just a bad egg. For now, this problematic example appears to be just a small drop in the bucket as owners continue to take their new Z06s home.


Lucas Bell Born and raised in Metro Detroit, Associate Editor Lucas Bell has spent his entire life surrounded by the automotive industry.

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