Chevy’s boys down at the Bowling Green, Ky., plant sure are trying to get everyone’s attention, as they have recently released fresh teaser photos along with some stats on the limited-edition racing version of the iconic Z-series Corvette. According to Chevrolet’s recent media blast, the company will only be making 500 of these highly coveted Corvettes, and they will all sport a stout 650-horsepower, supercharged engine. Chevrolet is calling its ultra-limited supercar “a road-going, track-capable homage to the Corvette Racing C7.R racecars.”
But brawn isn’t the only amenity available to buyers of this car, and Chevy has decided to give the C7.R edition some added beauty to go alongside that serious set of beefy brakes to balance out all the grunt coming from up front. The ‘Vette’s Z06 Performance Package comes complete with carbon-ceramic Brembo brakes, fully-adjustable aero components, Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires, and a car cover with C7.R graphics so that people will know what car is underneath when they’re choosing what to drive over the weekend.
Buyers will have a choice of either a hard-top or convertible option, and thus far, the only two paint choices available are a bright yellow that has become synonymous with Corvettes and a stealth black for anyone wanting to fly below the radar. The C7.R totes exposed carbon fiber ground trim, a carbon hood, black mesh wheels with Corvette Racing logos on the center caps, and a mountain of suede on the microfiber-trimmed sport seats, steering wheel, shifter, microfiber instrument panel, and doors. A carbon fiber interior trim package will also come standard in a high-gloss finish, and every car will have Corvette Racing sill plates to match the individually numbered C7.R interior plaque.
The car also will have Magnetic Ride Control, Performance Traction Management, and an electronic limited slip differential so that drivers can put the power where it belongs: on the asphalt. Additional upgrades include a power-cinching hatch/trunk latch, a front curb-view parking camera so cracked carbon noses will be a thing of the past, and as with all Corvettes, the C7.R will come equipped with MyLink Wi-Fi connectivity and smartphone projection technology. Harlan Charles, Corvette’s product and marketing manager, said this extremely limited car has been designed to advance Chevrolet’s plan to “offer special-edition models that offer a unique, personal ownership experiences, which become important parts of Corvette’s legacy.”
So will this race-inspired Corvette blow all other models out of the water in a heads-up drag race? Surprisingly, no, it probably won’t, as the C7.R has the exact same LT4 supercharged 6.2-liter V8 engine as other Z06 models. Potential buyers will be disappointed to hear that they will still be stuck getting to 60 miles per hour in a dreary 3.0 seconds.
The car is also likely going to cost quite a bit, especially since we know that the base Z06 runs a cool $79,000 unequipped with all the goods we desire. When Chevy releases MSRP numbers down the line, don’t act overly surprised if the C7.R starts off in the six-figure range. All that carbon fiber and suede costs a lot to make, and we don’t even want to know how much those massive Brembo brakes cost to manufacture.
There is also the issue of ownership, for the C7.R is a very exclusive automobile, and it is more of a polished trophy than a weekend warrior. People who are interested in this kind of thing aren’t buying it to thrash around the track on the weekends — they have dedicated race cars for that task. This means that the C7.R seen here runs the risk of falling into that gray area between being a full-blown race car and a high-end supercar that is too nice to thrash thoroughly.
So what do you do with something like this, since it is too pretty to appropriately use and yet too aggressive to amble around town in? Well, from what we can gather, the C7.R appears to be a perfect contender for weekend canyon carving, because after a spirited early morning jaunt, the car can be safely parked in town so that it may be ogled over. Chevy says it wants to attract a lot of attention as it pushes to offer unique, one-off offerings, and nothing says “marketing” quite like a bright yellow, limited-edition supercar.