2021 Corvette production may have been cut short, but Chevrolet is moving right along to the next model year. However, the 2022 Corvette isn’t exactly the same car as the 2021 model. In addition to a few tweaks scattered throughout, Chevy is giving the ‘Vette an extra performance touch. Or rather, a performance look. There’s a new limited-edition Corvette for 2022, and it’s an homage to the Corvette C8.R race car.
The Chevy Corvette C8.R won the 2020 IMSA Championship
First shown in 2019, the Chevy Corvette C8.R was designed to race in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. As it’s based on the C8, the Corvette C8.R is Chevrolet’s first mid-engine race car. And while it shares more with its road-going counterpart than previous racing ‘Vettes, the C8.R is extensively different, MotorTrend points out.
Although both ‘Vettes have V8s, the C8.R has a 5.5-liter flat-plane-crank V8, rather than a 6.2-liter one. It’s also slightly more powerful, sending 500 hp and 480 lb-ft of torque to the rear wheels. And it’s routed through a six-speed sequential transmission rather than an eight-speed dual-clutch. The upcoming C8 Z06 might use an even more powerful version of this same engine.
The Corvette C8.R is just as long as the road-going car, but it’s wider, lower, and over 800 pounds lighter. It also has larger brake rotors and wider wheels fitted with racing slicks. The race car also has a larger rear wing and aero features too extreme to comply with road safety regulations. And while it lacks the road car’s magnetorheological dampers, the C8.R has fully adjustable coil-over shocks and a bespoke suspension system.
With drivers Jordan Taylor and Antonio Garcia behind the wheel, the Chevy Corvette C8.R earned seven pole positions and six race victories in the 2020 season. And it earned the team the 2020 IMSA GTLM Driver’s and Team Championships, and Chevrolet its 13th GT Manufacturer’s title since 2001.
And for 2022, Chevrolet is having a little celebration to mark the occasion.
It’s not a C8.R, but the 2022 Chevy Corvette IMSA GTLM Championship Edition borrows its looks
To be sure, the 2022 Chevy Corvette IMSA GTLM Championship Edition isn’t a carbon-copy of the C8.R. So, no flat-plane 5.5-liter V8, no drastic weight savings or racing aero, and the standard DCT.
However, it is based on the 3LT trim with the Z51 Performance Package. That means it has grippier tires, brake cooling ducts, a transmission cooler, an extra radiator, larger brakes, an electronic limited-slip differential, and a front splitter and multi-plane rear spoiler. Plus, it has a performance exhaust that bumps the 6.2-liter V8 from 490 to 495 hp.
But the 2022 Corvette IMSA GTLM Championship Edition does get something from the C8.R: its design. The limited-edition trim is available in Accelerate Yellow or Hypersonic Gray. The former mimics the No. 3 car and the latter the No. 4 car. Also included are numerous Corvette Racing graphics and the race team’s ‘Jake’ logo on the wheel caps. Plus, the IMSA GTLM Championship Edition adds black rocker panels and wheels, yellow brake calipers, and a carbon-appearance rear spoiler and mirrors.
Inside, the 2022 Corvette IMSA GTLM Championship Edition has standard GT2 seats, though sportier ones are available. And depending on the exterior color, the interior is finished in yellow or gray to complement it. The seatbelts, though, are yellow regardless. There’s also a numbered plaque mounted inside. And rounding out the special features is a car cover that mimics the No. 3 or No. 4 racing livery.
How much will it cost?
The 2022 Chevy Corvette IMSA GTLM Championship Edition adds $6595 to the car’s sticker price. And the Corvette is slightly pricier for 2022, Roadshow notes. The base model now starts at $62,195 after destination. Based on the 2021 model’s pricing, a 3LT with the Z51 will likely start around $80,000. So, figure about $87,000 for the limited-edition version—and that’s without the performance version of the magnetorheological dampers.
If you want one, you’ll have to act fast. Chevrolet is only making 1000 examples of the Championship Edition, and dealer orders start on July 1, 2021.
Considering it’s essentially an appearance package, $6595 extra might seem excessive. However, if you add up the cost of the decals, paint, interior colors, and other accessories, it approaches that amount. But while you can partially recreate the Championship Edition’s looks, some of its decals, and that car cover, are unique. In that sense, the limited-edition package is arguably a good deal. And it lets you rock the C8.R look on a road-legal car.
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