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.
“The Supercharged 638 hp Corvette ZR1 with two Grand Sports”
GM Behind the Scenes
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.
I guess the new Convertible Corvette Grand Sport is just too tame for some folks.
Here is a Velocity Yellow Corvette ZR1 that has gone topless. The pics were posted to Twitter, but I have no background info on the car or the conversion process. Obviously, the 638-hp Chevy supercar was on display at a car show somewhere. If you have any details, please share!
These pics date back to an August 8th car show in the Walmart parking lot in Harleysville, PA. Apparently, the owner bought the Corvette ZR1 and a yellow Corvette convertible donor car at the same time. He had a shop do the conversion which cut off the carbon fiber roof and then used parts off the convertible to complete the conversion.
There is no word on whether or not the frame was strengthened. As our commenters have pointed out, the aluminum frame wasn’t designed for a convertible body so he can expect some body flex. Most likely, this Corvette was built for show and will never see the track.
I’ve got to give the owner credit. Only one like it (for now)!