As Corvette Racing gears up for the start of the 2010 American Le Mans Series, the team is releasing additional details regarding the changes needed for competing in the now unified GT class. The most notable change for the GT Corvettes is the new LS5.5R V8 engine. Built alongside its LS9, LS7 and LS3 dry-sump brethrens at the Performance Build Center in Wixom, this new LS7 based engine is slimmed down to 5.5 liters and delivers 485 horsepower at 5800 rpms.
Blue Devil / ZR1
“The Supercharged 638 hp Corvette ZR1 with two Grand Sports”
GM Behind the Scenes
A GM official told Jalopnik that they were considering letting Corvette ZR1 buyers build their own LS9 638 horsepower engine that would then be installed in their very car. This was confirmed by Tom Read from GM’s Advanced Powertrain Technology Communications who said “We are considering the program”.
A Corvette ZR1 , ZO6 and Supercharged Indy 500 Pace Car do doughnuts. Goes perfectly with your morning coffee so enjoy!
In October, we posted a video claiming to show the fastest quarter mile time set for a bone-stock Corvette ZR1. That run of 10.851 @ 129.89 MPH was just eclipsed last week by Corvette Forum member “blownlt1&c6z” who ran 10.74 @ 133.21 mph in his bone-stock (including tires) 2009 Corvette ZR1. Both these runs happened at the same track – Maryland International Raceway.
This Wixom walk-through video was released in late November on Chevrolet’s YouTube channel. Master Engine Builder Don Henley takes us through the various stages and quality checks as a 638-hp LS9 is assembled. For us, the real magic comes when we see the interaction these builders have with Corvette owners.
Lingenfelter had their Corvette ZR1 test mule making quarter mile passes at Maryland International Raceway on December 7th and during one of the runs, the Corvette ran 9.81 @ 145.74 mph. This is believed to be the first Corvette ZR1 to see the 9′s on a quarter mile run.
Autoblog had the rare opportunity to visit GM’s Performance Build Center in Wixom, Michigan where they worked along side master engine builder Mike Armstrong to assemble an LS9 engine. The PBC is unique to GM’s other engine assembly centers as each engine is assembled by hand from start to finish by a single engine builder as opposed to sending the engine down an assembly line where multiple workers add the same part over and over.
This may be the first bone-stock Corvette ZR1 to run the quarter mile in the 10′s. Corvette Forum’s Racerns posted video and the time slip from last Monday’s drag run at Maryland International Raceway. Following the bone stock quarter mile runs, the Corvette ZR1 switched to drag radials and the forum’s “Ranger” dialed up an even faster run of 10.730 @ 132.46 mph. Videos of both runs are after the jump.