Callaway Visits Austin to Show Off its Awesome AeroWagen

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Callaway custom has more power than the new ZR1 and looks unlike any other Corvette. 

“There’s no such thing as a stupid question.” We’ve all heard that at least once in our lives. Maybe from a teacher. Perhaps in a boring meeting. It’s a nice thought. It’s also wrong. Let’s face it. There are stupid questions. Life would be a lot less frustrating without them.

There are also unnecessary questions. I saw one in my inbox a few weeks ago: “Like to Drive a 757-Horsepower Corvette Next Week?” I can’t say it was a stupid question to ask. The media agency rep who asked me that had never met me before. For all he knew, I could’ve been the lamest guy on the planet who prefers cars to be as exciting as plain oatmeal. It was just unnecessary. He had me at SC757.

That’s Callaway speak for the most powerful engine package the company produces for the C7 Corvette Z06. The base SC627 bundle for the Stingray and Grand Sport includes Callaway’s 2.3-liter GenThree Supercharger with TripleCooled intercooler system (one large primary and two smaller secondary intercoolers) as well as a high flow intake.

 

The engine didn’t just tempt me to open it up. It dared me.

 

Callaway claims its GenThree blower keeps inlet air temperature increases below 10 degrees Fahrenheit during dyno testing, whereas other superchargers let temps go up by 35 or more. Of course, Callaway didn’t forget to address heat soak, stating its system “provides more consistent lap-to-lap performance at the track and run-to-run performance at the dragstrip.”

That hardware combo helps the LT1 push out 627 horsepower and 610 lb-ft. Callaway’s SC757 setup for the Z06 uses the same hardware tuned to produce 757 and 777, respectively. Priced at $18,495, it also includes carbon fiber engine covers, a supercharger surround on the hood, Callaway door sill panels, interior and exterior badging, and an underhood build plaque with VIN number.

Driving a regular SC757 Corvette Z06 would’ve been special enough, but the $151,000 car Callaway brought to Austin to show off to media as its race team competed in the Pirelli World Challenge Series happened to be an AeroWagen. Instead of having it trucked in from the last competition in St. Petersburg, Florida, Callaway had someone drive it more than 1,100 miles to the Circuit of the Americas.

I met Pete Callaway, general manager of the brand and son of founder Reeves Callaway, after the races in south Austin. He explained that the AeroWagen’s unusual looks were partially inspired by an Aston Martin shooting brake concept a few years ago. (He didn’t mention the exact name, but it’s likely he was talking about the Jet 2+2 from Bertone.) Callaway and its chief designer Paul Deutschman wanted to create a Corvette that stood apart from all others. Increasing luggage space was more of a byproduct than a motivating factor. It’s safe to say they succeeded. America is not a wagon-crazy country in the first place. A Corvette with a shooting brake-style rear hatch is an even more exotic sight. The hard lines and angles that end in a mail slot rear window make the Z06 look odd, but I can’t say the AeroWagen is an ugly car. Deutschman was striving for unique and he got it. The Jet 2+2 had a similar look, but you’ll probably never see that one-off rolling down the highway. That’s not the case for Deutschman’s unusual creation.

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Derek Shiekhi contributes to J-K Forum , Jaguar Forums, and 5 Series, among other auto sites. He's also a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association.

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