Barely three months into 2022, and it’s already shaping into a big year for the C8 Chevrolet Corvette. In addition to the 2023 Z06 getting ready to shriek into the street, Chevrolet is launching a one-year-only package for the Corvette’s 70th birthday. But GM isn’t the only one celebrating a Corvette-related anniversary right now. Renowned tuner Callaway is, too, with a special Corvette gift of its own.
Callaway has been tuning Chevrolets, especially Corvettes, for 35 years
Apart from Hennessey and maybe Yenko, few tuners have the same kind of relationship with Chevrolet that Callaway enjoys. But the path founder Reeves Callaway took to get here didn’t start with a Corvette.
In the 1970s, Reeves Callaway was an aspiring SCCA racer with bills to pay. So, he started working as a driving instructor at Bob Bondurant’s school, teaching others behind the wheel of a BMW 3 Series. Eventually, though, he found that the school’s 320i was a bit anemic in the horsepower department. As he’d picked up some fabrication and engine-building skills, Callaway decided to build a turbo for the 320i. And after Car and Driver got a test ride in the prototype build, he found himself with orders pouring in. Thus, Callaway Cars was born.
However, while a BMW kickstarted Callaway’s company, it was a C4 Corvette that truly cemented it in the performance community. In the mid-1980s, the Callaway Twin-Turbo Corvette was one of the most powerful road-legal cars in the US. Although a bit finicky to run, its twin-turbocharged 5.7-liter V8 made 382 hp and 562 lb-ft of torque. That’s more power than the C4 ZR1 originally made.
But that wasn’t the only thing that set the C4 Callaway Twin-Turbo Corvette apart from other aftermarket tuner cars. This was the only tuned Corvette with a GM Regular Production Option (RPO) code—B2K—which basically made it a factory option. And not only did the twin-turbo kit have a warranty, but it didn’t even void the factory warranty, Car and Driver says.
Since then, Callaway has released tuning options and parts for multiple Chevrolet cars, including essentially every Corvette generation. On the C7, for example, it offered a shooting brake-style body conversion called the ‘Aerowagon.’ And before the C4 left production, Callaway created a one-off 880-hp version called ‘Project Sledgehammer’ that topped out at 254.76 mph. In 1989, that made the fastest street-legal car in the world.
Now, 35 years later, Callaway is turning its attention to the C8 Corvette.
The B2K 35th Anniversary Package cuts weight, tweaks aero, and adds carbon fiber—all with a GM RPO code
Like the Twin-Turbo C4 before it, Callaway’s limited-edition C8 Corvette has a GM RPO code. And in another historical nod, it has the same code: B2K. Unlike the C4 version, though, this one doesn’t add extra horsepower or torque. However, it does boost the C8’s performance in other ways.
Firstly, the B2K 35th Anniversary Package replaces the stock C8 Corvette wheels with Callaway’s forged ones, shaving off 26 pounds. And that’s 26 pounds of unsprung weight, which should improve handling and ride quality.
Secondly, Callaway replaces the stock exhaust with its center-exit ‘double-D’ stainless-steel exhaust. Not only is it 40 pounds lighter than stock, but it reportedly offers “’a smoother, higher-pitched note” that’s not “’raucous,’” Muscle Cars & Trucks reports. Also, unlike some performance exhausts, it’s 50-state emissions-compliant. And you can get it with black tips.
In addition to the weight-saving measures, the Callaway B2K 35th Anniversary Package gives the C8 Corvette some extra carbon fiber. Specifically, a carbon-fiber front splitter, rear diffuser, rear wing, and rocker-panel extensions. Besides changing the Corvette’s looks, these aero add-ons should improve high-speed stability.
Furthermore, Callaway claims its ‘slot gap’ rear wing is also a spoiler, kind of. Its raised center section is wing-shaped, while its sides and ‘winglet’ end caps bear conventional spoiler designs. Thus, it should reduce rear-end lift without increasing drag.
How much does this limited-edition C8 Callaway Corvette cost?
Like the original, C8 Corvette buyers can order the Callaway B2K 35th Anniversary Package at their local Chevrolet dealer. They can also pair the Anniversary Package with Callaway’s other C8-specific parts, such as billet-aluminum pedals and anodized door sills. And the parts come with a 3-year/36,000-mile warranty.
But if you want one of these limited-edition Corvette builds, you’ll have to act fast and bring quite a bit of cash. Callaway is only making 35 of these Anniversary Packages, and they start at $34,960. That’s slightly over half the price of a base 2022 Corvette.
However, not every 2022 Corvette can get this limited-edition package. Callaway requires potential donor cars to have the Z51 Performance Package as well as the Aero Delete Package (RPO ZF1) and five-spoke Bright Silver aluminum wheels (RPO Q8P), MC&T says. And if your C8 has one of the following RPOs installed, Callaway won’t touch it:
But even if you don’t get one of these limited-edition ‘Vettes, here’s hoping Callaway and Chevrolet continue collaborating.
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