lsxmag.com is always ready, willing and able to cover the latest and greatest in C6 Corvette builds. When we got the invite from Lingenfelter Performance Engineering to visit Specter Werkes for a ride and drive in their latest Corvette GTR joint venture, we were more than happy to make the trip.
At Specter Werkes, we were greeted by owner/designer Jeff Nowicki who is the mastermind behind the GTR project since its inception. Nowicki’s background is a mix of design work for General Motors combined with years of Grand-Am and SCCA Pro Racing experience. This mix of talents is definitely evident in what we call “downforce” design philosophy.
The first thing you notice on the car is the unique GTR wide-body panels, ultra wide tires and BASF Pearl Blue paint. The car started out as a Z06 Corvette but its factory lines are tastefully changed with the aggressive GTR bodywork installed. Nowicki designed all the panels from scratch including the GTR’s unique front fascia, carbon fiber front splitter, heat extractor hood, front fenders, doors, rocker panels, rear fenders, rear fascia and carbon fiber rear diffuser. The carbon fiber pieces were produced in-house in Specter Werkes production facility and finished in the deepest blue paint we’ve ever seen on a car. Tucked into the GTR’s wheel wells are custom made HRE CF40 carbon fiber wheels wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport 2 Zero tires measuring 285/30ZR19 in the front and 335/25ZR20 in the rear.
For suspension updates, Specter Werkes made minimal adjustments to the finely tuned factory Z06 set-up. Hotchkis stabilizer bars were added and when combined with the sticky Pilot Sports you have a well-balanced car that can hang with all the power. For brake upgrades, the GTR features a StopTech STR big-brake package, featuring six-piston front calipers and four-piston rear calipers. Slotted StopTech rotors are also included in the GTR brake package for consistent stops on the street or track.
The real monster that lurks under the hood of this GTR is an 800 horsepower Lingenfelter twin-turbo engine. The engine starts out as a GM built aluminum LS7 but is heavily reworked with heavy-duty parts at LPE’s Decatur, Indiana facility. For the rotating assembly, Lingenfelter specs a Callies 4340 forged steel crankshaft, Manley 4340 forged steel connecting rods and JE Forged aluminum pistons.
To keep up with the increased airflow from the turbos, Lingenfelter performs a CNC port and polish on the cylinder heads and the exhaust valves are updated to hi-temp inconel units. The valvetrain is also strengthened with Ferrea high performance dual valve springs, titanium retainers and valve locks.
With the engine updated for boost, Lingenfelter technicians then install two Garrett true ball bearing turbochargers at the front of the engine. With the turbos mounted they are then plumbed to the headers and intercooler. Lingenfelter engineers designed a complete turbo compressor / exhaust housing with integral waste gate that run to a high efficiency air-to-air charge cooler. To route the all important exhaust gasses to the turbo, Lingenfelter built 304 Stainless steel 4 into 1 custom exhaust manifolds and turbo outlets. A CORSA/Specter Werkes stainless steel exhaust system directs the exhaust to the atmosphere and delivers a light turbo note at low RPMs.
Nowicki took us out for a ride and drive in the GTR so we could experience the power and handling of this one-of-a-kind Corvette. At idle the car feels as docile as a stock Corvette, but when you get the car into boost the car pulls instantly with no turbo lag. A short blast up the interstate felt like the car was ready to take off into the wild blue yonder. I thought I knew a little something about turbo boost as my daily driver is a 4 cylinder turbo, but I really had no idea how a well a tuned twin-turbo V8 would pull on a open stretch of road. While tooling around side streets any slightly aggressive tip-in on the throttle would light the rear tires up with ease. The GTR is also the ultimate head turner especially when it comes up beside you at a full song.
For those looking to drive their own GTR, Specter Werkes and Lingenfelter Performance Engineering offers the GTR package on all C6 Corvette models including the base model and convertible. The package comes in a variety of powertrain, wheel and paint options and each one is built to order.