Live Corvette Engine Build Coming at SEMA

You’re probably aware of the fact that buyers of new Z06 or ZR1 Corvettes have the option of laying down an additional $5,800 for the opportunity to participate in the Corvette Engine Build Experience, where they get to help put together their own car’s LS7 or LS9 at the Wixom, Michigan Performance Build Center. For those who will never be in a position to order up a new C6 (or for those who are, but are wondering what the Build Experience is all about before checking that PBC box on the order form), GM’s team of skilled builders will be demonstrating the process by assembling an LS9 over the course of the 2010 SEMA show in GM’s booth. Onlookers will get to see the hand-assembly process and ask questions as the build comes together over four days.

We’ll be there, of course, and we will be trying to figure out how we can slip the completed LS9 into our camera bag when nobody’s looking on Friday.

Original Press Release:

DETROIT – Skilled engine builders from General Motors’ Performance Build Center (PBC) will slowly assemble the LS9 6.2L supercharged engine that powers the Corvette ZR1 on the floor of this year’s SEMA show in Las Vegas.

Booth  #23743 within the Chevrolet display will be the place for SEMA attendees to watch and ask questions as the engine comes together during SEMA’s Nov. 2-5 run.

The skilled engine builders will be demonstrating the Corvette Engine Build Experience, an industry-exclusive program open to Corvette buyers. The program allows customers who order a 2011 Corvette Z06 or ZR1 to pay an additional $5,800 to assemble their car’s LS7 or LS9 engines at the PBC.

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 Detroit are the customer’s responsibility, the Chevrolet concierge helps schedule the engine build; coordinates the customer’s activities at the Performance Build Center in Wixom, Michigan; assists with booking local lodging and meals, and arranges local transportation.

Recently, Todd Schnitt, host of a Tampa-based syndicated radio show, built the LS9 that powers the ZR1 for which he recently took delivery. He described his experience as “over the top.”

Skilled builders at the PBC individually hand-build each Corvette Z06 LS7 7.0L engine, Corvette ZR1 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. Engines built as part of the Corvette Engine Build Experience program are covered by GM’s five-year / 100,000 mile warranty.

The LS9 engine produces 638 SAE certified horsepower and propels the Corvette ZR1 from 0-60 mph in 3.4 seconds. It is built with titanium connecting rods, forged pistons, a dry sump oiling system and four-lobe 2.3L supercharger.

About the author

Paul Huizenga

After some close calls on the street in his late teens and early twenties, Paul Huizenga discovered organized drag racing and never looked back, becoming a SFI-Certified tech inspector and avid bracket racer. Formerly the editor of OverRev and Race Pages magazines, Huizenga set out on his own in 2009 to become a freelance writer and editor.
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