We can now pay to build our own Corvette engine
Do it yourself projects seem to be taking off in recent years. Like going to a restaurant to cook your own food or making your own pottery, we love to get charged more to do things ourselves. Yet, who can blame companies for allowing us to indulge our need to create. They don’t have to hire people and they can charge a lot. It’s the perfect business plan.
Chevrolet has caught on to this phenomenon as well. For buyers of the new Z06 and ZR1, GM will give you the option to build your own motor and even put your name on it to guarantee you won’t be able to resell it. For a small fee of $5,800, you can travel to Detroit, which is the first place we think of for a holiday, and construct your very own LS7 or LS9 V8.
Construction takes place at the Performance Build Center, where you can take the block through all the production stages. Those who love to build and work on motors should really enjoy this, but for the rest of us, we just want our Corvette built by the people who were trained to build it.
Hit the jump for the press release.
For enthusiasts who want to be personally involved in creating their Corvette, Chevrolet’s new Corvette Engine Build Experience allows them to literally build the engine for their new car.
In what is believed to be the world’s most hands-on super car program, customers who order a 2011 Corvette Z06 or ZR1 can choose an option to help assemble their cars’ LS7 or LS9 engines at General Motors’ Performance Build Center (PBC) in Wixom, Mich.
"Corvette owners are some of the most passionate – and most involved – enthusiasts in the industry," said Jim Campbell, U.S. vice president, Chevrolet marketing. "The Corvette Engine Build Experience offers customers an unprecedented opportunity to participate, hands on, in creating the car."
In addition to building their own engines, Corvette buyers can attend driving school in Arizona or Nevada, take delivery of their vehicles at the National Corvette Museum or watch their vehicles being built at the Corvette assembly plant in Bowling Green, Ky.
"In a way, this is a dream program for a Corvette customer. I would have jumped at the chance to build the 427 in my ’67 ’Vette, and that didn’t have half of what goes into one of these modern precision engines," said Tom Stephens, GM vice chairman, Global Product Operations. "Today’s LS7 and LS9 Corvette engines are pinnacle achievements in engineering, and to personally involve our customers in their final creation shows the depth of Chevrolet’s commitment to make lasting connections with the customer."
The Engine Build Experience is an option with a suggested retail price of $5,800. When a customer selects the PBC option for a 2011 Corvette Z06 or ZR1 and the dealer submits the order to Chevrolet, a special concierge contacts the customer to verify participation and help coordinate arrangements. While travel arrangements to and from Metro Detroit are the customer’s responsibility, the Chevrolet concierge helps schedule the engine build; coordinates the customer’s activities at the Performance Build Center; assists with booking local lodging and meals, and arranges local transportation.
At the PBC, the customer doesn’t merely view the engine’s assembly; he or she builds it under the supervision of and support from skilled technicians. When the engine is assembled, a personalized nameplate is added to the engine next to the builder’s name. It is then sent to the Corvette assembly plant for installation in the customer’s car.
The Corvette Engine Build Experience is possible because of the hand-assembly processes used at the 100,000-square-foot PBC. Technicians hand-build the Corvette Z06’s LS7 7.0L engine, the Corvette ZR1’s 6.2L supercharged LS9 engine and a variation of the Corvette Grand Sport’s LS3 6.2L engine. The PBC incorporates the best practices of low-volume niche manufacturers and the established quality and manufacturing standards at GM to ensure the highest-quality specialized engines.
Like all engines assembled at the PBC, Engine Build Experience engines are covered by Chevrolet’s five year / 100,000-mile transferable powertrain warranty.
The Engine Build experience is the latest program Chevrolet offers for Corvette owners. Other programs include:
Corvette plant tour, where customers can follow their vehicle down the Bowling Green assembly line
Corvette Museum delivery, where customers take delivery of their new Corvette at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green
Corvette ZR1 Driving School, which offers complimentary attendance at either Bob Bondurant’s Corvette Driving School in Arizona, or Ron Fellows’ Corvette Performance Driving School near Las Vegas.
"Simply put, no other sports car manufacturer can match the level of personal customer involvement that Corvette offers," Campbell said. "The Corvette Engine Build Experience takes this personal involvement to an unprecedented level."