It’s almost three months into 2022, and it’s already been a big year for the Chevrolet Corvette C8. As the 2023 Z06 is getting ready to scream to the streets, Chevrolet is launching a one-year package for the Corvette 70th birthday. But GM isn’t the only one celebrating a Corvette-related anniversary this time. Famous tuner Callaway too, with its own special Corvette prize.
Callaway has been tuning Chevrolets, especially Corvettes, for 35 years
Aside from Hennessey and possibly Yenko, few tuners share the same Chevrolet-like relationship that Callaway enjoys. But the path founder Reeves Callaway took to get here didn’t start with a Corvette.
In the 1970s, Reeves Callaway was an aspiring SCCA racer with bills to pay. So he started working as a driving instructor at Bob Bondurant’s school, teaching others behind the wheel of a BMW 3 Series. Eventually, however, he found that the school’s 320i was a bit understaffed in the horsepower department. While he was picking up some fabrication and engine building skills, Callaway decided to build a turbo for the 320i. And then Car and Driver got a test ride in prototyping, he found himself with orders pouring in. Thus, Callaway Cars was born.
However, while BMW started the Callaway company, it was the C4 Corvette that really cemented it in the performance community. In the mid-1980s, the Callaway Twin-Turbo Corvette was one of the most powerful street legal cars in the US. While a bit finicky to run, its twin-turbocharged 5.7-liter V8 engine makes 382 hp and 562 lb-ft of torque. That’s more powerful than the C4 ZR1 it was originally built for.
But that’s not the only thing that sets the C4 Callaway Twin-Turbo Corvette apart from other aftermarket tuner cars. It is the only Corvette tuned with the GM Regular Production Option (RPO) code—B2K—which essentially makes it a factory option. And the twin-turbo kit not only has a warranty, it doesn’t even void the manufacturer’s warranty, Car and Driver say.
Since then, Callaway has released tuning options and parts for several Chevrolet cars, including basically every Corvette generation. On the C7, for example, it offers a firebrake-style body conversion called the ‘Aerowagon.’ And before the C4 left production, Callaway created a one-off 880-hp version called the ‘Project Sledgehammer’ that hit 254.76 mph. In 1989, it made the world’s fastest street legal car.
Now, 35 years later, Callaway has turned his attention to the C8 Corvette.
B2K 35th The Anniversary Package reduces weight, changes aero, and adds carbon fiber—all codenamed GM RPO
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Like the previous C4 Twin-Turbo, the limited edition Corvette C8 Callaway has the code GM RPO. And in another historical nod, it shares the same code: B2K. Unlike the C4 version, this one doesn’t add any extra horsepower or torque. However, it improves the C8’s performance in other ways.
First, B2K 35th The Anniversary Pack replaced standard C8 Corvette wheels with forged Callaway wheels, trimming 26 pounds. And that’s 26 pounds of unsprung weight, which should improve handling and ride quality.
Second, Callaway replaced the standard exhaust with a stainless steel ‘double-D’ exhaust center out. Not only is it 40 pounds lighter than stock, but it reportedly offers a “‘softer tone, higher pitch” that isn’t “‘raucous,'” Muscle Cars & Trucks report. Also, unlike some performance exhausts, it meets 50-country emissions. And you can get it with black tips.
In addition to weight-saving measures, the Callaway B2K 35th The Anniversary Pack gives the C8 Corvette some extra carbon fiber. In particular, the carbon fiber front splitter, rear diffuser, rear wing and rocker-panel extensions. Apart from changing the look of the Corvette, this aero add-on should improve high-speed stability.
Furthermore, Callaway claims the ‘slot gap’ rear wing is also a kind of spoiler. The raised centerpiece takes the form of a wing, while the sides and end caps of the ‘winglet’ have a conventional spoiler design. So this should reduce rear lift without increasing drag.
How much does this limited edition Corvette Callaway C8 cost?
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Like the original, Corvette C8 buyers can order the Callaway B2K 35th Birthday Package at your local Chevrolet dealer. They can also pair the Birthday Pack with other Callaway C8 specialty parts, such as billet-aluminum pedals and anodized door frames. And the parts come with a 3 year/36,000 mile warranty.
But if you want one of these limited edition Corvette builds, you’re going to have to act fast and bring a fair amount of cash. Callaway only made 35 of this Birthday Pack, and they start at $34,960. That’s a little over half the price of the base 2022 Corvette.
However, not all 2022 Corvettes can get this limited edition package. Callaway requires potential donor cars to have the Z51 Performance Package as well as the Aero Delete Package (RPO ZF1) and Bright Silver five-spoke aluminum alloy wheels (RPO Q8P), MC&T say. And if your C8 has any of the following RPOs installed, Callaway won’t touch them:
But even if you don’t get one of these limited edition ‘Vettes, Callaway and Chevrolet look forward to continuing to collaborate.
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