It’s a car. It’s a videogame. It’s the Chevy Corvette Gran Turismo Concept.
GM did the Corvette aftermarket no favors by releasing the '14 Corvette Stingray just weeks ahead of the annual Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show in November. But despite the minimal prep time, Vette-parts manufacturers managed to cook up an appealing, if limited, menu of speed parts for the all-new C7. I'll be using this month's column to take a quick look at some of them, along with a few fresh morsels for older models as well.
Look for a full roundup of new-at-SEMA Corvette parts in an upcoming issue of VETTE.
Forcing the Issue
While Edelbrock admitted that its E-Force Stingray kit wasn't quite ready to ship at the time of the show, we were duly impressed that the company managed to install a functional prototype in the limited time allotted. Look for the finished product to drop early this year, and to make well over 600 (crank) hp on an otherwise-stock C7.
The big news from ProCharger these days is the recent release of the innovative, boost-programmable i-1 system for C6 applications, but the company's newly available black- powdercoated supercharger systems are worth mentioning as well. After all, who said blowers have to be shiny?
Finally, a recently reconstituted STS Turbo showed off a C7 equipped with one of its unorthodox rear-mount turbo kits. We haven't heard much from STS of late, but we're looking forward to seeing how this behind-the-bumper puffer package performs on the all-new Vette.
Heads of the Class
TFS showed off two new cylinder heads for LS engines: an LS7 GenX 260 and a “Porter's Casting” C5-R. The former promises better flow (and power) than the already-excellent stock piece, and considering the gains we've recorded with past GenX offerings, we don't doubt that a bit.
The C5-R heads, meanwhile, bring real race-engine cachet to the street market, at a significantly lower price than their GM namesake. LS7.R street engine, anyone?
Planning to put more power through your seven-speed Stingray's driveline? McLeod's Street Twin clutch might be right for you. It's claimed to handle up to 1,000 hp, while still offering a light pedal and smooth engagement. Also of note: McLeod's pull-to-push conversion clutch for C4s.
LT1s for the Masses
While the Stingray Gran Turismo in our lead photo and other C7 show cars garnered the bulk of the attention in the GM display, we were more interested in the “LT1 Concept Crate Engine” being shown in the adjacent Chevrolet Performance Parts area. Cagey nomenclature aside, we're told the 'ray's new DI mill will become available through Chevy dealers in the very near future.
And Speaking of LT1s…
Lingenfelter Performance Engineering wowed passersby with a blown LT1 crate engine, said to be good for a rousing 720 hp. As you might expect, the longtime Corvette tuner has much more on the way for the new Vette mill, with items ranging from camshafts to stroker packages.
Wheels are among the first items Corvette owners tend to swap out post purchase, so it should come as no surprise that we espied several fresh C7-compatible designs—including some especially snazzy offerings from Vossen and HRE—in the halls of the Las Vegas Convention Center.
On a related note, we're told Continental will be entering the late-model-Corvette tire market this year, a welcome development given the current paucity of offerings in that segment.
Exhausting the Possibilities
If any modification is more popular than wheels, it's exhaust systems. And, indeed, we unearthed a trove of C7-compatible setups from Borla, B&B, Corsa, and others, along with a full headers-to-tips kit on display in the Kook's booth. While it remains to be seen how the LT1 engine will respond to such modifications, it's nice to know that we'll have no shortage of opportunities to find out.