During a recent deep-dive presentation into the LT6 engine in the 2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06, the automaker's Global Chief Engineer Jordan Lee revealed that the team developed the powerplant under the codename Gemini. This is partially a reference to the Project Gemini NASA missions in the 1960s. In recognition of this, the crew hides 54 rocket ship Easter eggs all over the mill.
One of them is visible 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 serve a functional purpose as a directional indicator when assembling the engine. For example, one shows which way to point the pistons.
Gallery: 2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06
The Gemini codename happened 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 astronauts lease any of its products for $1 a year during this era. A lot of them chose 'Vettes, and the sports cars and these men became linked in the public consciousness.
Gemini is also Latin for "twin," and that is also a reason for the codename, 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 improves low-rpm torque. Three valves inside open or close when the engine reaches certain rpms to optimize the airflow going through it.
The LT6 displaces 5.5 liters and has dual-overhead camshafts. It makes 670 hp (500 kilowatts) at 8,400 rpm. The redline is at 8,600 rpm. The 460 pound-feet (624 Newton-meters) of torque peaks at 6,300 rpm.
There's no info yet about the Z06's price or specifically when it goes on sale. There are hints that the base cost could be below $90,000. A rumor from January 2022 suggests that dealers can start taking orders for the meaner Corvette on March 24. From there, production would begin on May 9. Usually, it takes several weeks after the start of assembly for vehicles to arrive in showrooms.