Chevy had to do something until the C4 ZR-1 arrived.
Let’s face it: aside from the ZR-1, the C4 Corvette was not particularly fast. It wasn’t a bad Corvette by any means, but compared to its predecessors at the time, the C4 was kind of underwhelming. But there was another exception that wasn’t the ZR-1. It was the Callaway Corvette that arrived before the C4 ZR-1 did. Chevrolet knew it needed a better performing Corvette to keep the program interesting before the ZR-1 was ready in 1989. Enter Callaway.
In this latest episode of The Smoking Tire, Matt Farah drives a lightly modified 1988 twin-turbo Callaway Corvette featuring an improved camshaft and converted to run on E85. No doubt it’s stupid fast, but it does have a very unusual quirk: the transmission.
For example, even though peak power hits at 4200 rpm, it’s best to shift at 4800 rpm. Think of it more like a diesel engine in a truck. But still, this old Callaway C4 is rare. Only 125 examples were produced and this is number 12. So how much power does it have? How does this sound: it dyno’ed at 476 wheel horsepower and 607 lb-ft of torque. Not exactly a lightweight.