During the month of May 2020, Callaway Cars teased their unique take on the C8 Corvette Stingray. Not much was given out, but from the wider body, a center-exit double-D-shape exhaust, and a unique set of wheels, it looks to be a promising package. But, over a year later, the world is still waiting. And the world will be waiting a little longer still, as company founder and owner Reeves Callaway has stated that this new variant won’t debut until sometime in 2022. This will likely happen after Chevrolet pulls the sheet off of the upcoming 2023 Corvette Z06, which could happen later this year.
Callaway C8 Corvette: Details
Speaking with Autoweek, Reeves mentioned that there are no less than four C8 Corvette Stingrays being experimented on at the company’s east coast headquarters in Old Lyme, Connecticut. All of them are undergoing “some form of positive manifold pressure,” according to Callaway, which means some form of forced induction is in the works. Looking at the company’s current offerings for various upgrades on General Motors products – everything from the Chevrolet Camaro to the GMC Canyon – all of them feature superchargers.
Considering that the 6.2L LT2 V8 in the C8 Corvette Stingray is the same engine architecture as other Gen.V Small Block engines like the LT1 and LT4 found in the Camaro and C7, it doesn’t take a wild guess to assume that a supercharged V8 is probably in at least one of those Callaway C8 Corvettes undergoing testing.
Reeves Callaway was also adamant on positioning the company’s products in a way that won’t directly compete with any of factory offerings from General Motors. A look at the Callaway portfolio implies just that. Chevrolet does not make a supercharged Silverado, but Callaway will build you one. Nor does Chevrolet offer a supercharged V6 in the Colorado. But Callaway will build you one. Chevrolet also never offered a Corvette shooting brake, but Callaway will also build you one in the form of the AeroWagen.
All of these packages run alongside GM’s factory warranty – something no other third party company can claim at this time. And this is probably why Callaway is looking for the “dog to wag the tail,” as he once told us.
Callaway Corvette Vs Factory 2023 Corvette Z06
The 2023 Corvette Z06 is expected to debut later this year, and it stands to be radically different from any previous-generation Z06 before it. Aside from now utilizing a rear/mid-engined chassis, the C8 Z06 will be powered by a 5.5L DOHC V8 engine that promises to be the most powerful atmospheric eight-cylinder engine ever produced by any automaker, at just over 600 hp and spinning at over 8,000 RPM.
This new engine architecture is currently being tested on the race track through Corvette Racing and the championship-winning C8.R in both IMSA and FIA WEC endurance racing. MC&T was also first to report that the 2023 Corvette Z06 will feature 345-section Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 R tires in the rear, along with a center-exit exhaust and radical aerodynamics for the Z07 performance package.
Considering the C8 Z06 isn’t out yet, there’s little chance that Callaway has a prototype of one in the garage, let alone a copy of the DOHC (dual overhead cam) LT6 V8 engine powering it to experiment on. This would mean that whatever Callaway is working on with its own C8 Corvette would have to be based on the 6.2L OHV (overhead valve) LT2, as noted above. This would uniquely separate the Callaway C8 Corvette and its forced induction powertrain from both the naturally aspirated Stingray, as well as the more exotic theme of the new Z06.
Will Callaway Get Access To The Corvette’s Encrypted ECU?
Despite high hopes for the Callaway C8 Corvette, a major hurdle stands in the way between here and the finish line: the so-far impenetrable cybersecurity of GM’s Global B electrical architecture, otherwise known as GM VIP. This neural network operates with encrypted engine and transmission control modules, keeping would-be tuners locked out. As such, there is no turn-key C8 Corvette package offered for sale from any of the usual performance shops. There are only a few, barely streetable, builds that operate with multiple work-arounds and piggyback control units that aren’t what we’d describe as refined, or well-packaged. All the while, the ECU and TCU remain under lock and key.
Hope for General Motors to perhaps provide access to the encrypted ECU and TCU of the C8 appear to have been squandered by Corvette chief engineer Tadge Juecther himself, based on what he told us in a recent interview. However, considering GM’s longstanding relationship with Callaway, they just might get the keys to the kingdom.