When it comes to some of the best models America has to offer, the 2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 and the 2022 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 are, without a doubt, at the top of the list. And, to choose which is actually better is very hard, if not close to impossible. After all, it will always be a matter of taste and preferences, but when you put the two side-by-side, the Corvette Z06 does offer a little bit more than the Shelby GT500, and we’re here to expose why one is better than the other.

Related: Meet The World's First Twin Turbo 2023 Corvette Z06

10 The GT500 Is More Powerful Than The Corvette Z06, But It Is A Lot Heavier

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Engine of the 2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06

At first glance, it may appear that the Shelby GT500 is the better car. It is powered by a supercharged 5.2-liter V-8 engine that delivers a total of 760 horsepower and 625 pound-feet of torque. On the other hand, the Corvette Z06 is powered by a high-revving 5.5-liter naturally aspirated, flat-plane V-8 engine that makes 670 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque. If you do the math, the GT500 is about 90 horses and 165 pound-feet more powerful, which should give it a huge advantage. However, if you factor in the weight: 4,080 pounds for the GT500 vs. 3,434 pounds for the Z06, the Chevy supercar wins by a lot. It has a power-to-weight ratio of 407 BHP/ton, while for the GT500 the number goes down to just 377 BHP/ton.

9 The Corvette Z06 Is A Lot Faster Than The Ford Mustang

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2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 looking fast on the track

While both models deliver impressive performance figures, the Chevrolet Corvette Z06 is a lot faster than the Ford Mustang Shelby GT500. The Corvette Z06 needs only 2.6 seconds to sprint from 0 to 60 mph, while for Mustang GT500 takes 3.5 seconds. Also, while the Z06 can hit the 200 mph barrier, the GT500 tops out at 186 mph. As for the quarter mile, the Z06 completes it in 10.6 seconds at 131.6 mph, according to MotorTrend’s test, while the GT500 needs 11.3 seconds at a maximum speed of 131.6 mph.

Related: The Race We've All Been Waiting For: Corvette Z06 vs. Shelby GT500

8 The Z06 Probably Has The Better Transmission Than The GT500

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Front end shot of a red Ford Mustang Shelby GT500

Neither the GT500 nor the Corvette Z06 are offered with a manual transmission, which is understandable considering the amount of power they deliver. Both, however, are offered with a Tremec dual-clutch transmission. The GT500 has a 7-speed DCT, while the Z06 has an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission – a slightly revised version of the one used in the Corvette Stingray. The GT500's transmission can shift in just 80 milliseconds, while the one in the Z06 is “lightning quick”. There are no official details what exactly that means, but since the Stingray shifts in 100 milliseconds, we expect the Z06 to be a lot faster.

7 The Corvette Z06 Sounds As Good As A Ferrari

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Exhaust system of the Chevrolet Corvette Z06

The 2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 is equipped with a special exhaust system that makes it sound, according to Chevrolet engineers, like a "wild animal, with a polished edge." The Z06 features a central stainless steel exhaust system with "four-into-two-into-one" end pipes and two sets of opening and closing valves. One set is an intake manifold tuning valve, and the second includes variable exhaust valves. What is special about these new valves is that they can open in 2-degree increments - helping to adjust the sound of the V-8. According to Chevy, engineers spent two years crafting a distinctive, rich exhaust tone unlike anything ever heard from a Corvette. So, while the GT500 sounds like a true American muscle car, the Corvette Z06 is a true American exotic.

Related: Emelia Hartford Just Proved How Fast the 2023 Corvette Z06 Really Is

6 The Corvette Z06 Is Equipped With A Front Suspension Lift

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Front wheel of the 2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06

The Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 is offered with standard Magnetic Ride Control, while in the Corvette Z06 you will get it only if you opt for the Z07 package - which is not such a big deal since most clients get that anyway. But, one of the coolest feature the Z06 has to offer is the front suspension lift. It increases the ground clearance by approximately 1.57 inches in 2.8 seconds and at speeds of up to 23 mph. This feature will protect the Z06's front bumper against speed bumps, potholes, steep driveways, and any other type of road disturbances. And, to make things even more interesting, Chevrolet equipped it with a GPS-based memory, which means you can program in the speedbumps you drive over frequently, and the suspension will be adjusted automatically. It can save up to 1,000 locations.

5 The Corvette Z06 Is Designed With Aerodynamics In Mind

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Front end view of the 2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06

It is somehow unfair to compare the design of a muscle car with one of the sports cars that has been seen by many as the American Ferrari, but, many have agreed that the Corvette Z06 is the best-looking Corvette ever. It received substantial styling upgrades when compared to the C8 Stingray and Chevrolet focused its attention on offering the best aerodynamics in the segment. The Z06 features a front splitter and a unique rear spoiler that together will significantly increase downforce: they add 365 pounds more at 186 mph. The optional carbon fiber package makes the aerodynamics even better. It adds a larger front splitter, front-corner canards, a pedestal-mounted rear wing, and underbody aero strakes.

Related: The C8 Corvette Z06 Definitely Isn't the Fastest Vette Ever Made

4 The 2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Has The Better Cabin Than the GT500

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Cabin-view of the 2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06

Both the Shelby GT500 and the Corvette Z06 have features you would expect from a modern car, but when seen side-by-side the Z06 has the best-looking interior. The Chevy supercar only has two seats, while the Shelby GT500 is offered in a 2+2 configuration. However, the rear seats are not very comfortable, and most clients opted to have them removed. Both models are equipped with a 12-inch instrument panel and an 8.0-inch infotainment system, but the placement in the Z06 makes it a little bit more prominent. The base Corvette Z06 is offered with bucket seats wrapped in Mulan Leather and eight-way power-adjustable, in the base GT500 the seats are wrapped in a combination of leather with Miko suede, and they are only six-way adjustable. Paying extra will significantly improve the quality of both models.

3 The Shelby GT500 Currently Sold Is Based On The Older Generation

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Front shot of a blue 2022 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Heritage Edition with white racing stripes parked in front of a hangar

Ford unveiled its seventh generation Mustang back in September when only the base GT and the Dark Horse versions were announced. So, right now, if you want to buy a Shelby GT500, you need to go back a generation, but what's even worse is that production of the muscle car ended in 2022. That means that if you are not on the waiting list for the GT500, your only chance to get one is to look on the aftermarket to find one. On the other hand, the Corvette Z06 went into production in the summer of 2022 and went on sale as a 2023 model. As to be expected, with a newer model you also have newer technologies. However, due to the current shortage, the 2023 Corvette Z06 is no longer available for order, and there are no details on what is going to happen for the 2024 model year.

Related: Here's How Much the 2023 Corvette Z06 Costs with All Options

2 Chevy’s Optional Z07 Performance Package Transforms The Corvette Z06 Into A True Track Weapon

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2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 driving on the track

In its standard form, the Chevrolet Corvette Z06 has everything it needs to take on any supercar out there, but with the optional Z07 package things get a lot better. The Z07 package is priced at $8,995, and it requires the Carbon Aero package too - the latter will add up to $10,495 depending on the options. But these will be money well spent, as the Z07 package improves the Z06's aerodynamics, tires, and brakes so that your Corvette Z06 goes faster, stops better, and turns harder. The changes that come with the package include unique FE7 suspension with specific Magnetic Ride Control 4.0 calibrations, optional carbon fiber wheels that are 41 pounds lighter than the standard set, Michelin Sport Cup 2R ZP tires, and Brembo carbon-ceramic brakes.

1 The Corvette Z06 Is Significantly More Expensive, But Well Worth It

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Rear end view of the 2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06

The 2023 Corvette Z06 is priced from $106,695 - which makes it a lot more expensive than the $65,895 Corvette Stingray. On the other hand, the 2022 Shelby GT500 was priced at $80,795, significantly higher than the 2022 Mustang's base price of $27,205. If we were to compare things, the Z06 is only $40,800 more expensive than the base Stingray, while the GT500 costs $53,590 more than a base Mustang. There are three trims to choose from: 1LZ, 2LZ, 3LZ, 14 exterior colors, nine different wheel designs, 21 options for the interior colors, and five different packages. After all the options, the price for a Corvette Z06 can easily go up to $184,000 – which is still a lot cheaper than most of the supercars it can compete with.