Old Lyme, Connecticut (August 8, 2005) – In August 2004, Callaway Cars and Lance Miller of Carlisle Events decided to collaborate to prepare a special 2005 Corvette. As a tribute to Lance’s father, Chip, and his appreciation of Corvette performance and Callaway engineering, the Carlisle Callaway Corvette was conceived.
The primary objective of this project was to build a C6 that would be capable of running 10-second 1/4 mile elapsed times consistently while maintaining the production Corvette’s “streetability”. It had to be blindingly quick while retaining all of the car’s creature comforts, including air conditioning, navigation system, XM radio, etc. The car was going to be used in all sorts of traffic, in all sorts of weather, using pump gasoline; high coolant temperature, high clutch pedal effort, and setting diagnostic trouble codes would be unacceptable. In addition, stock-type suspension had to be retained. No hard riding, racing-only parts would be installed. In other words, the car was to be a 10-second daily driver.
In order to accomplish the ET objective, we calculated that it would require over 550 bhp. It isn’t necessarily very difficult to build an LS2-based engine that would produce this power level; there are plenty of engine builders that can do this. The challenge is to get there without complicated supercharging systems, without diesel-like compression ratios, without eardrum-stretching exhaust, without bone-rattling cam profiles, without 10 zillion RPM – all the things that can make a car “unstreetable”. This was just the sort of scenario that would illustrate Callaway’s systems engineering approach, providing refined engineering solutions to unique technical challenges.
Since last August, we’ve utilized the Carlisle Callaway Corvette to test and validate numerous prototype and production parts fro the C6, incrementally increasing the car’s power and overall perfomance. This testing allowed Callaway engineers to confirm that the projected performance and durability levels were actually attained.
With the objectives accomplished, like all of the proverbial “good things”, this project is approaching its end. Most recently, we’ve installed our latest SuperNatural engine configuration, a 6.8L, 414 cid version that we’ve stepped up to 570 bhp @ 6,200 RPM. This engine still retains all of the properties to make it perfectly “streetable” and is capable of propelling this missile to 10-second ET’s, all day long.
At the car’s first outing with the new engine configuration on July 3, 2005, Mike Zoner, Callaway’s Managing Director, made one shake-down pass to make sure everything was in place. The next pass was the final pass we made that day: 10.761 s @ 128.59 mph.
One 10.76 pass does not equate to “consistent 10’s”, so we attended the next possible venue. That was two days later at the East Coast Superchargers Corvette Challenge, at Raceway Park in Englishtown, NJ, on August 6. With very high ambient temperatures, Mike Zoner piloted the car to three 10.9 second runs.
The Carlisle Callaway Corvette was the quickest naturally aspirated Corvette at the event. A typical 10.9 second pass is shown in the clip shown below:
One of the three consecutive 10-sec. passes: Movie Clip – August 6, 2005 – Raceway Park, Englishtown, NJ
Next, we removed the ET Street drag tires, installed a set of Hoosier tires for Autocross use, and drove over to the Autocross course, where the car took 1st Place honors.
As of this writing, the Carlisle Callaway Corvette may well be the quickest naturally aspirated C6 in the world. The car will be on display under the Callaway tent at Corvettes at Carlisle, August 26 – 28, along with an assortment of Callaway’s latest performance products for C5 and C6 Corvettes. At Carlisle, Callaway engineers will return the car’s keys to Lance Miller who plans to use the 10-second Carlisle Callaway Corvette as a daily driver. Callaway engineers will also be available to elaborate on the project as well as to discuss your Corvette’s performance.