Reeves Callaway had a vision to produce high-performance versions of popular vehicles. Famously, Callaway built the C4 Corvette Sledgehammer, which until 1999 held the road speed record of 254 MPH. This blistering speed was replaced by several versions of the more docile but practical Callaway Corvette.
In 2007, Callaway launched the 3rd version of the 16th project, the Callaway C16 Corvette Speedster. During the opening, the masterpiece was ascribed to the mind of Paul Deutschman, a renowned designer for Callaway. Their partnerships include great vehicles like the Alfa Romeo Calaway Twin-Turbo GTV-6, which was built in 1983.
The Callaway Corvette C16 Speedster could easily surpass the standard Corvette, making it the perfect competitor to several classic Italian cars. Callaway’s C16 takes on the likes of the Murcielago from Lamborghini, the F430, and the 599GTB from Ferrari. Initially, the Speedster variant was not shown until 2007, while the other models, the Cabrio and Coupe, were first showcased in 2006.
With some crazy changes like removing the windshield and supplying a few different body panels, the Corvette C16 Speedster stands out as a unique version of an already special car. It’ll be interesting to see what the latest mid-engine Corvette will look like with a Callaway twist, but for today, we’ll be exploring the C16 instead.
The Corvette Callaway C16 Speedster: Facts And Figures
The C16 Speedster Callaway is not for the faint of heart. This well-tuned LS3 can produce 700 horsepower and 660 lb-ft of torque. The 6.2L turbocharged V8 is mounted longitudinally at the front. It featured a Callaway track and included a cast aluminum block with OHV and two valves per cylinder.
With all the added power the C16 boasts, 0-60 times is lowered to 3.2 seconds. Furthermore, in the all-important quarter-mile run, the C16 Speedster did it in 11 seconds and at 128 MPH. The extra torque and horsepower come thanks to the Eaton supercharger plus air and liquid intercoolers.
The standard Corvette C6 has the same configuration, but the C16 Speedster can reach a top speed of 210 MPH. This top speed makes it 30 MPH faster than the regular Corvette. Furthermore, the Corvette C16 Speedster is RWD and uses a six-speed manual transmission.
It’s not all about speed; sometimes, it’s about stopping the power. The Corvette C16 performs very well at a stop, as its disc brakes are made of ceramic and carbon fiber. In addition, the front calipers are connected by six pistons, and the rear features four.
Corvette Callaway C16 Speedster: The Most Beautiful Vehicle Designed By Callaway
Renowned engineer Paul Deutschman designed the Callaway C16, just as he partnered with Callaway to produce the first Speedster in 1990. Every body panel was redesigned with the most prominent exceptions of the roof panel, rear hatch and mirrors. Each of the C16’s interiors is custom-designed, including color, and features luxurious leather upholstery.
In 2007, when Reeves Callaway launched the vehicle, he called it “the most beautiful Callaway Car to date.” The press repeated as much praise as anyone could get their hands on a revamped Corvette, even praising advanced technology like satellite navigation and rearview cameras.
Perhaps most notably, the Callaway Corvette C16 Speedster has no roof or windshield. In exchange, the owner is given a special helmet which is stored in a specially designed compartment behind the driver and passenger. Both add to the futuristic aesthetic and provide functional safety for the driver.
The addition of carbon fiber is one of the main factors for the surprising price. Like many Callaway custom vehicles, carbon fiber finds a home in the C16. Mainly the material is located on the roof, rims, and disc brakes, along with ceramics.
Corvette Callaway C16 Speedster: The Rareest C6 Corvette
Callaway priced the C16 Corvette Speedster to account for the specially designed body panels, engine upgrades, suspension and carbon fiber materials. They sold for between $179,000 and $305,000 in 2007. Although the C16 doesn’t attract such changes today, they still command around $150,000 at auction.
The Callaway Corvette C16 Speedster is based on the C6 Corvette. While the new C6 Corvette starts at $50,000, it can’t compete with the likes of the 911 GT3, which was the C16 Speedster’s main target. The 911 GT3 can surpass the standard Corvette, but struggles against the C16, even at a much more modest starting price.
Callaway produced a minimal number of C16 Corvette Speedsters. Only 15 were built, to be exact. It is joined by two other variants, including the Cabrio and Coupe styles. Still, arguably, the Speedster is the only one worth looking into, even if it’s out of everyone’s price range!
In 2012, Callaway celebrated 25 years as a Corvette partner. The Twenty-Fifth Anniversary Callaway Corvettes were produced in a single production to mark the occasion. While the C20 will reunite the Callaway and Corvette, the C16 will remain even more iconic.