Chevrolet has just pulled the covers off its highly anticipated C7.R, the racing version of its new C7 Corvette Stingray . The news falls with the unveiling of the new Corvette Z06 , the car the C7.R shares many design and performance attributes with. The two beasts were co-developed to take full advantage of the engineering expertise and technology both versions of the Vette use to succeed.
The C7.R features the same fuel-saving/power-making direct injection technology as the production C7 Z06, though used on a 5.5-liter V-8 instead of the supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 - all mounted to a highly-ridged aluminum frame. Vents, scoops, extractors, wings, and underbody panels all act together in reducing drag and creating down force.
The lessons learned on the race tract with the outgoing C6.R were key in assisting designers and engineers in developing the current C7 and more so the C7 Z06. For more info on the new production model 2015 Corvette Z06, check out TopSpeed’s full coverage .
Click past the jump for more info on the C7.R and official Press Release
Chevrolet learned a lot with the C6.R and it’s not messing with success. The forward-tilted radiator, hood heat extractor, and huge side gills work together to both keep the engine cool and provide copious amounts of downforce. New to the C7 and C7.R are the beltline-mounted, rear quarter panel air inlets feeding air onto the rear-mounted transmission and differential. Out back, a huge wing and lower diffuser help route air in the most beneficial ways by creating downforce on the rear tires.
Designing both the production Z06 and dedicated racer C7.R together has it major engineering benefits. "We worked concurrently with the race team developing the aerodynamic packages for the Z06 and the C7.R," said Tadge Juechter, Corvette chief engineer. "We even used the same modeling software to test both cars, enabling us to share data and wind-tunnel test results. As a result, the aerodynamics of the production Z06 produce the most downforce of any production car GM has ever tested, and we are closing in on the aero performance of a dedicated race car."
Both the C7 Z06 and C7.R ride on the same aluminum frame manufactured in-house at the Bowling Green, KY plant. Advancements in laser welding, Flowdrill-machined fasteners, and a proprietary aluminum spot-welding process make the frame 40 percent stronger than the frame on the outgoing C6.R. The result is said to be a better handling car that reacts more predictably over ever-changing and rough surfaces. “This is important as our drivers don’t always stay on the smooth pavement, and are constantly driving over curbing at corner apexes,” says Mark Kent, the director of Racing for Chevrolet.
Limited by displacement regulations, the new C7.R is powered by the same 5.5-liter V-8 that powered the outgoing C6.R. However the engine now features GM’s direct injection fuel system, giving the C7.R three-percent better fuel economy than the outgoing car. Good fuel economy might not be the first thing conjured up regarding a race car, but refueling stops take time away from racing. Extra power will likely be a huge benefit of the direct injection, though Chevy has yet to release those numbers. Like the Z06, the C7.R sill has the rear-mounted transmission for better weight distribution.
The Race Season Begins
The C7.R will have little time to meet the press and public before it hits the track in its first race. January 25 will see the C7.R take on the Rolex 24 at the Daytona International Speedway. It will be racing against the likes from Porsche , Ferrari , BMW , and Aston Martin as it competes to expand its healthy race career. The Corvette race team has 90 global victories and 10 manufacturer championships under its belt since beginning in 1999.
Gallery Chevrolet Corvette C7R
Chevrolet was the most successful name in professional motorsports in the United States this year, capturing 14 manufacturer, driver and team championships in NASCAR, IndyCar, ALMS, GRAND-AM and the Pirelli World Challenge series.
Chevrolet will kick off the 2014 season with the debut of the all-new Corvette C7.R at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The new Corvette race car, wearing an updated “Jake” mascot, will make its competition debut at the Rolex 24 At Daytona, Jan. 25-26, 2014.
“We had an amazing year in 2013, winning more championships in professional motorsport than any other manufacturer,” said Jim Campbell, General Motors’ U.S. vice president, Performance Vehicles and Motorsports. “Our success was the direct result of considerable preparation, strategy, teamwork and great drive from our teams, drivers, and partners in open wheel, stock car, and sports car racing. We are looking forward to continuing that momentum for 2014.”
Three Championships in NASCAR
For an unprecedented 11th consecutive year, Chevrolet won the NASCAR Sprint Cup Manufacturers’ Championship – for a record 37th time overall. Jimmie Johnson’s ninth-place finish in the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway earned him the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Drivers Championship. It was the sixth time in a record-setting eight-year span that Johnson, the driver of the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS fielded by Hendrick Motorsports, claimed the crown and the 29th Drivers’ Championship for Chevrolet. In addition, Austin Dillon secured the Drivers’ Championship in the NASCAR Nationwide Series.
One Championship in IndyCar
After returning to the series in 2012, Chevrolet won the IndyCar Manufacturers Championship for the second year in a row. Chevrolet led the series with 10 victories out of 19 races, including the prestigious Indianapolis 500.
Two Championships in GRAND-AM
For the second consecutive year, Chevrolet secured the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series Daytona Prototype, or DP, Engine Manufacturers’ Championship. Drivers Max Angelelli and Jordan Taylor shared the Drivers’ Championship.
Three Championships in World Challenge
Competing with the Camaro, Chevrolet secured the GTS Manufacturers’ Championship in World Challenge racing. Lawson Aschenbach won the GTS Drivers’ Championship, while Blackdog Racing secured the GTS Team Championship.
Five Championships in ALMS
In the American Le Mans Series, Chevrolet claimed its 10th Manufacturers’ Championship, while Antonio Garcia and Jan Magnussen secured the Drivers’ Championship. Chevrolet also clinched the ALMS GT Team championship for Corvette Racing – its 10th in the ALMS and most in the series’ history. Chevrolet won the ALMS’ Green Challenge GT Championship, which goes to the manufacturer that records the fastest races while being the most efficient in petroleum use and emissions. The No. 3 Chevrolet Corvette C6.R won the Michelin Green X Challenge – an award that goes to the leading GT and prototype teams using the same criteria.
Chevrolet Racing will kick off the 2014 season in January with the all-new Corvette C7.R.
The C7.R will make its public debut alongside the new 2015 Corvette Z06 at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The two cars were co-developed, representing the closest connection between the racing and road-going Corvettes in modern times.
The C7.R will make its competition debut at the Rolex 24 At Daytona, in Daytona Beach, Fla., on Jan. 25, 2014. When the C7.R takes to the track, it will sport an all-new Jake logo, which has become the unofficial mascot of Corvette Racing.