What’s Under the Hood
At the core of the Callaway C16 Cabrio is the Corvette’s 6.0-liter LS2 V8. Callaway bolts on an Eaton-style supercharger which bumps horsepower up to 560 at 6,200 rpm and torque climbs to 529 lb.-ft. at 4,750 rpm. That’s good for a 0-60 mph time of 3.4 seconds and a top speed of 200 mph. Most people would be content with that, but for those nutcases who want more, Callaway offers a performance package that packs 616 horses and 582 lb.-ft. of torque. That boost will get you an extra six mph of top speed while clicking one tenth of a second off the run to 60 mph. Transmission choices include a six-speed manual or a slushbox with paddle shifters.
What it Looks Like
There’s no mistaking the Callaway C16 Cabrio for anything other than a Corvette-based supercar, though nearly all the body panels are unique and hand-crafted. The dimensions and body lines are very similar, but a few minutes of scrutiny shows fenders with less pronounced curves, the absence of the Corvette’s pronounced shoulder crease starting in the side door and blending into the rear quarter panel, and the deletion of a few Chevy vents. Callaway also cuts the taillight count to two from four, adds an aluminum insert to the front fascia, incorporates a raised hood to accommodate the supercharger, and bolts on 18-inch front and 19-inch rear wheels composed primarily of carbon fiber.
The 2007 Callaway C16 Cabrio’s interior features the requisite serial number on the dash, but is otherwise largely stock Corvette. Options allow for personalization, and include a short-throw shifter, sport seats with competition harnesses, a set of custom Schedoni luggage, and a Callaway Deutschleder interior package. Oh, and you can’t forget about the embroidered floor mats.
What We Think
Anyone with a bit of sense will walk away from the new Chevrolet Corvette with few complaints, and any that do exist are almost guaranteed to be minor. For the purposes of a sports car conversion, there may be no better model to start with, especially considering the Chevy’s relatively cheap price. Adding on another one or two hundred horsepower seems perfectly logical to us, especially when that power can be backed up by a performance suspension system from Eibach, a heavy-duty clutch and flywheel package, a monster brake package, and a special wheel and tire package. Just prepare to kiss that $129,000 starting price good bye.
Photos courtesy of Thom Blackett and Callaway Cars