It’s been a good year for Chevrolet. Enjoying a winning season with its Corvette race car so far this year, the brand plans to celebrate with the launch of the special, limited-run Corvette Stingray IMSA GTLM Championship Edition.
The automaker unveiled the new model by driving it onto Detroit’s Belle Isle ahead of this year’s Grand Prix race there. The IMSA series is set to return to the Belle Isle track for the first time in 13 years.
Only 1,000 of the Corvette IMSA models will be produced, each designed to resemble Chevy’s No. 3 and No. 4 Corvette C8.R racers. They’ll start at $87,085 in coupe trim and $94,085 for the convertible.
“Racing has been part of the Corvette’s DNA from nearly the beginning,” said Laura Klauser, General Motors Sports Car Program manager. “Both the Corvette Stingray and C8.R have seen tremendous success capitalizing on the benefits of a mid-engine platform — and we’re just getting started.”
Plenty of orders; limited production
The “C8,” or eighth-generation Corvette, has proven to be one of the most popular versions of the sports car in its history. Unveiled two years ago, it marked the first time the ‘Vette shifted to a mid-engine layout — though it was a design the automaker had been tinkering with for more than a half-century.
GM has struggled to keep up with sales since even before the C8 was launched, production repeatedly delayed first by a strike, then the pandemic lockdown and, now, by ongoing chip shortages. Many customers have had to wait for more than a year to take delivery.
“We can’t meet the demand that’s out there right now,” Tony Johnson, director of Chevrolet car and crossover marketing, said during a presentation at the Belle Isle track. GM is struggling to find ways to get more semiconductor chips, he added, “We know there’s a ton of people out there who are just chomping at the bit to get a hold of the Corvette and we want to take care of them.”
A winning season
But Chevy is pushing to accelerate production of the sports car which is one of the few in Corvette history to bear the “Stingray” badge.
While production may be running slow, Chevy has proven it can keep things fast on the track with the introduction of the C8.R racer for IMSA’s 2020 season. Corvette Racing swept the sports car championship series with six wins and seven pole positions, earning it the Manufacturers, Drivers, and Team titles.
The IMSA edition Corvette used the most aggressive 3LT trim and Z51 performance package available for the street-legal Corvette. Features include a high-wing spoiler, yellow brake calipers, black side rockers and exterior mirrors in a Carbon Flash finish.
The interior picks up on the exterior’s racing theme with Strike Yellow and Sky Cool Gray colors, yellow seat belts, and a special edition numbered plaque. Grippy GT2 seats come standard, but Competition Sport seats are available, as well. The 2022 Corvette Stingray gets an upgraded fuel management system for the 2022 model year, though the LT2 6.2-liter V-8 retains its 490 horsepower rating — jumping to 495 hp with an optional performance exhaust system. The engine is paired with an 8-speed dual-clutch transmission, power routed to the rear wheels. Equipped with the Z51 performance package, the Stingray can launch from 0-60 in just 2.9 seconds.