It’s been about two years since Chevrolet launched the seventh-generation Corvette and Callaway announced a GT3 racing program for the sports car. At last, the brand’s German-based motorsport division has finally introduced its track-only Vette. Dubbed the Callaway Corvette C7 GT3-R, the new race car made its official debut at the Hockenheimring track in Germany as a successor to the Corvette C6-based Callaway Z06.R GT3.

Set to hit the track in official racing events in 2016, the GT3.R was built to meet all FIA rules and regulations, meaning it is eligible for the GTLM class of the United SportsCar Championship, the Blancpain Endurance Series, as well as the 24 Hours of Le Mans race.

"We wanted to set another milestone in our company’s history with our new design, developing and constructing a future-proof vehicle that will be produced from 2016 and used for many years to come," said Ernst Wöhr and Giovanni Ciccone, managing partners of Callaway Competition. "As a small, privately owned team, we knew from the outset that approaching a project of this magnitude would be very daring. Therefore, first and foremost, we have to thank our employees and partners who have made it possible to finally set the C7 GT3-R on its wheels,"

The first C7 GT3-R to be campaigned by Callaway Competition’s in-house race team will be sponsored by Whelen Engineering of Connecticut.

Continue reading to learn more about the Callaway Corvette C7 GT3-R.

  • 2016 Callaway Corvette C7 GT3-R
  • Year:
    2016
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    V8
  • Transmission:
    6-speed sequential
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    600
  • Displacement:
    6.2 L
  • 0-60 time:
    3.5 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    200 mph (Est.)
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Exterior

2016 Callaway Corvette C7 GT3-R Exterior
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2016 Callaway Corvette C7 GT3-R Exterior
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2016 Callaway Corvette C7 GT3-R Exterior
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Per GT3-R rules, the car retains some of the features of the stock Corvette C7, but it only takes a peek to realize that the GT3.R was built with track performance in mind. Much like Chevy’s very own racer, the C7.R, the GT3-R employs an aggressive aerodynamic kit consisting of heavily modified bumpers, fenders, side sills, and a massive wing atop the trunk lid. However, Callaway’s version is significantly different than the C7.R at close inspection. While the latter retains the road car’s bumper configuration, the GT3-R features an entirely different grille that extends farther to the ground. The headlamps bear a closer resemblance to the road car.

The actual race car will have most of its skin covered with racing decals

The engine hood sports two massive intakes on each side, while the front fenders, which are wider than the C7.R’s, have louvers above and behind the wheels for improved cooling. The beefier side sills with large exhaust outlets and the massive intakes behind the door further set the Callaway apart from Chevy’s factory race car.

Around back, the Germans changed everything but the stock taillights. A larger spoiler replaced the standard piece, while the wing is significantly bigger than the one seen on the C7.R. The carbon-fiber diffuser and the vented rear fenders round off Callaway’s aero package. Though the prototype was showcased in all its carbon-fiber glory, the actual race car will have most of its skin covered with racing decals.

Interior

2016 Callaway Corvette C7 GT3-R Interior
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Callaway Competition had nothing to say about the car’s interior, but the photos reveal an FIA-spec cockpit stripped of all the convenience features you’d find in a stock Corvette. Sure, the dashboard and the center console are still there to remind us the GT3-R is based on the C7, but other than that, it’s a full-fledged racing cabin.

The standard dashboard has been replaced by a carbon-fiber unit, the center stack now comprises race-spec knobs and switches, while the steering wheel has more buttons than an Xbox controller. Naturally, the car is equipped with a full roll cage and a six-point harness to keep the driver safe in the event of a crash.

Drivetrain

2016 Callaway Corvette C7 GT3-R Exterior
- image 649290

While the GTE-class C7.R has to use an updated version of the C6.R’s 5.5-liter V-8, Callaway’s Vette has a 6.2-liter V-8 under its hood. The mill is based on the standard Corvette’s LT1 small-block, but has been tweaked to deliver 600 horsepower. All that oomph travels to the rear wheels through a six-speed, X-Trac sequential gearbox operated with paddle shifters placed behind the steering wheel. Not much else is known about the drivetrain, but the GT3-R should be incredibly fast on the track. Probably the quickest race-spec C7 developed as of yet.

Drivetrain Specifications

Type V-8
Displacement 6.2 liters
Output 600 HP
Transmission X-Trac 6-speed sequential gearbox with paddle-shift technology

Competition

Chevrolet Corvette C7.R

2014 Chevrolet Corvette C7.R High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 538160

Though it’s not yet clear whether the Callaway C7 GT3-R will race in the U.S., at some point these two cars will meet on the track. Built by Pratt & Miller, the C7.R has completed its second racing season 2015 and has already scored important wins in the GTLM class, including the 24 Hours of Daytona, 12 Hours of Sebring, and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Corvette Racing finished third in its class in the 2015 United SportsCar Championship, behind Porsche North America and BMW Team RLL.

Read more about the Corvette C7.R here.

Audi R8 LMS Ultra

2015 Audi R8 LMS High Resolution Exterior
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Fresh for the 2016 season, having received an array of updates and the road car’s redesigned styling cues in 2015, the R8 LMS Ultra is the car to beat in the Blancpain Endurance Series. Sporting a more aggressive appearance with sharper body lines and an updated 5.2-liter V-10 that generates 585 horsepower, the R8 LMS Ultra has everything it takes to win yet another championship.

Find out more in our review here.

McLaren 650S GT3

2015 McLaren 650S GT3 High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 557786

Unleashed on the track in 2015, the McLaren’s 650S GT3 is preparing for its second competitive season. Developed as a successor to the highly acclaimed McLaren 12C GT3, the 650S GT3 sports the manufacturer’s newly developed racing parts, which include a revised suspension system, a wider track, and new-generation tires. Motivation is provided by McLaren’s award-winning, twin-turbo, 3.8-liter V-8 engine, which is rated at 493 horsepower. The power is guided to the wheels through a six-speed sequential transmission and kept in balance by an array of race-bred underpinnings and a high-performance braking system.

Read more about the McLaren 650S GT3 here.

Conclusion

2016 Callaway Corvette C7 GT3-R Exterior
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With its predecessor, the Z06.R GT3 (also known as Callaway Project C15), having won a number of races and the teams’ championship at the end of the 2007 FIA GT3 European Championship, the C7 GT3-R has a big pair of shoes to fill. Granted, it won’t be easy with so many automakers competing in this class nowadays, the Callaway is likely to put on a good show, especially with that big 6.2-liter V-8 powerplant under its hood. And with that aggressive body kit to enhance its aerodynamics, the GT3-R is definitely a race car we should keep our eyes on in 2016. Fingers crossed this beast shows up at Le Mans.

  • Leave it
    • * Tough competition in both GT3 and GTLM classes
    • * Not yet available as a customer car

Press Release

This weekend’s ADAC GT Masters Season Finale was the backdrop for the unveiling of Callaway Competition’s new Callaway Corvette C7 GT3-R. Following a brief presentation to media and invited guests, the successor of the C6-based Callaway Z06.R GT3 was displayed to the public for the first time on October 3, 2015 at the Hockenheimring in Germany.

2016 Callaway Corvette C7 GT3-R Exterior
- image 649284

Constructors of GT race cars since 1990 and based in Leingarten Germany, Callaway Competition possesses a wealth of experience, technical know-how and a broad network of specialized professional partners. These elements were crucial to conduct such a large undertaking.
After nearly two years of comprehensive planning, intensive development and expert fabrication of vehicle components, Callaway Competition completed the first C7 GT3-R just a few weeks ago. Its striking design comes as a result of the collaboration between Canadian designer Paul Deutschman and team owners Giovanni Ciccone and Ernst Wöhr. Mike Gramke, Uwe Hoffmann, Florian Möhring and Andre Zanke were also heavily involved in the vehicle’s development. Rüdiger Geckler coordinated the delivery of all components and the detailed assembly work was taken on by Herbert Schürg. All of these people played a key role and are acknowledged for their hard work and dedication.
The result is a GT3 racer built to meet all FIA rules and regulations. Powering the Callaway Corvette C7 GT3-R is a Chevrolet-based 6.2L V8 engine producing 600 horsepower, mated to an X-Trac 6-speed sequential gearbox with paddle-shift technology. Having put the C7 GT3-R through its paces, the development team is proud to report that it surpasses its predicted performance.

2016 Callaway Corvette C7 GT3-R Exterior
- image 649285

The new Callaway Corvette C7 GT3-R’s will take to the track starting in 2016, competing with the world’s fastest GT cars in a variety of racing series worldwide. The first C7 GT3- R to be campaigned by Callaway Competition’s in-house race team is sponsored by Whelen Engineering of Chester, Connecticut, manufacturers of premium quality warning and signaling devices.

"We wanted to set another milestone in our company’s history with our new design, developing and constructing a future-proof vehicle that will be produced from 2016 and used for many years to come. As a small, privately owned team, we knew from the outset that approaching a project of this magnitude would be very daring. Therefore, first and foremost, we have to thank our employees and partners who have made it possible to finally set the C7 GT3-R on its wheels. Everyone has given more than 100% and we truly can’t thank them enough. We can be proud of our performance to date and are confident we will be rewarded with good results in the many races ahead," said Ernst Wöhr and Giovanni Ciccone, managing partners of Callaway Competition.

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