During a recent in-depth presentation into the LT6 engine in the 2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06, the automaker’s Global Chief Engineer Jordan Lee revealed that the team is developing the powerplant under the codename Gemini. This refers in part to NASA’s Project Gemini mission in the 1960s. In recognition of this, the crew hid 54 rocket ship Easter eggs throughout the factory.
One of them can be seen in the image above. It’s on the right side of the block just to the left of the red valve cover. According to Lee, some of them have a functional purpose as an indicator of direction when assembling the machine. For example, someone demonstrates how to steer a piston.
Codename Gemini came about because of the team’s enthusiasm for the astronaut era in the 1960s and 70s. There’s also a Corvette connection to it. Chevy let the astronauts rent one of its products for $1 per year during this era. Many of them chose the ‘Vettes, and sports cars and these people became connected in the public consciousness.
Gemini is also Latin for “twin,” and that’s also the reason for the code name, according to Lee. For example, there are two intake plenums and a pair of throttle bodies.
The LT6 is full of neat features. For example, it has a split intake manifold with internal runners that increase low rpm torque. Three valves inside open or close when the engine reaches a certain rpm to optimize airflow through it.
The LT6 has a capacity of 5.5 liters and has dual-overhead camshafts. It makes 670 hp (500 kilowatts) at 8,400 rpm. Redline at 8,600 rpm. 460 pound-feet (624 Newton-meters) of torque peaks at 6,300 rpm.
There is no info on the price of the Z06 or specifically when it will go on sale. There are hints that the base fee could be under $90,000. A rumor from January 2022 suggests that dealers could start taking orders for the meaner Corvette on March 24. From there, production will begin on May 9. Typically, it takes several weeks after the start of assembly for the vehicle to arrive at the showroom.