The new 650-horsepower, 6.2-liter V8 monster engine that will power the upcoming 2015 Corvette Z06 will be assembled in two locations.
But only the engines that are put together at the Corvette assembly plant in Bowling Green, Ky., will be eligible for the build-your-own program, according to a report on Edmunds.com.
All of the C6 Z06 engines were built in one location – GM’s Performance Build Center in Wixom, Mich., so any Z06 owner since 2011 who was willing to shell out an extra $5,800 could help a GM technician build their motor during an eight-hour session.
However, production of the Z06 powerplant for the C7 has been moved to Bowling Green and Tonawanda, N.Y., and GM has indicated that it will offer the “build-your-own” program only at the Kentucky facility.
“This is where it gets tricky,” Monte Doran, a Chevrolet spokesman, told Edmunds. “It depends on if your engine is going to be built in Bowling Green or Tonawanda.”
Doran says GM is still trying to figure out exactly how the program will operate.
“We plan on doing that program for the seventh-generation cars,” he said. “(But) we have not quite worked out all the details. How will the process work? How much does it cost? How do the functions of that experience work for the customer?”
The effects of having three options previously closed to Z06 owners – targa roof coupe, open-air convertibles and automatic transmissions – are yet to be seen, however. While just 807 of the fixed-roof Z06s were sold last year, that number obviously could climb substantially because the potential market will be larger thanks to those expanded options.
We’d be surprised, though, if Chevy doesn’t somehow find enough room for any customer willing to pay the extra fee to build their engine, except of course maybe for those people who wait until near the end of the model year when time might become a limiting factor.
One good side effect about building some of the engines in Bowling Green, however, is that enthusiasts who go on a tour of the Corvette assembly plant starting in early 2015 may have a chance to see several of the LT4 V8 engines being assembled as part of their experience.
“If you take the tour, you will be able to see Z06 engines being assembled — not for every Z06, but for several of them,” Doran said. “It kind of adds to the experience in Bowling Green. You can see basically the assembly of almost all of the major parts of the car under one roof.”