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Boost-Only 1,118-RWHP and Still-Going 2014 Chevrolet Corvette C7

Pants On Fire: The quest for more power in a boosted C7

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“After this, I am done.” If you hear Brian Babernitch utter these words, don’t believe him. The man is a liar. He swore he’d keep his 2014 Corvette Stingray stock. Then, that he claimed an ECS supercharger kit would be enough. He said the same after a methanol kit. And again with exhaust and wheels. Yet again with headers, cam and stroker kit. Then he put a bigger blower on. And then he increased the boost. The Stingray has made 1,118 rwhp on Florida Speed & Power’s Mustang dyno and he’s already got an order in for driveline upgrades, billet intake, 103mm throttle body, an even bigger blower, widebody kit, and other goodies. There’s just no stopping Brian Babernitch.

Rewinding a second, Brian purchased his Stingray from the appropriately named Stingray Chevrolet in Plant City, Florida. The Ruskin (Florida) native loved the look of the C7 when he first laid eyes on it in early 2013, and took delivery of it in mid-September. Brian has had some notable rides in recent years, including a 2006 Lamborghini Gallardo and a 2011 Porsche Panamera 4S, the latter of which he still owns. But it was the “ludicrous amount of power” that could be had with the C7’s new Gen V LT1 that brought him back to American muscle. Shortly after purchasing the C7, he became well aware of the numerous new parts available to upgrade it. The East Coast Supercharging blower kit was the first modification in early 2014, and it radically changed the Stingray. Brian returned to Florida Speed to install and tune a methanol injection kit, and it was all downhill from there.

2014 Chevrolet Corvette Passenger Side 2/21
2014 Chevrolet Corvette Rear View 3/21

In current trim, the LT1 block has been machined by Late Model Engines in Houston, and fitted with a Callies Magnum crankshaft, Wiseco gas-ported pistons and Callies Ultra H-beam connecting rods. The Gen V specs 416 cubic inches with a 4.070-inch bore and 4.00-inch stroke. Despite high levels of boost, direct-injection still allows for 10.5:1 compression. The cam is a hydraulic roller with 225/237 degrees of duration at 0.050, 0.648/0.658-inch lift and 118+4 LSA—healthy but not necessarily what you’d expect for so much power. LME CNC-ported the heads as well, and upgraded the valves with Manley’s Severe Duty versions. The rocker arms are fitted with Brian Tooley Racing trunnion upgrades. At present, the intake manifold and throttle body are stock, and the exhaust meets its final destination with efficiency thanks to American Racing 2-inch headers, 3-inch off-road cross-over pipe and a Corsa Xtreme 3-inch catback.

The high-lift cam, CNC-ported heads and big headers make good use of the Paxton Novi 2200R blower from the intercooled ECS kit. It cranks out 22 psi using a 2.95-inch upper pulley and 8.3-inch lower pulley. Prior to a pulley upgrade it was making 850 rwhp with the smaller 1500 blower in the base kit. The forged rotating assembly was a must for this much boost, as were fuel system upgrades. Florida Speed used the Z06 fuel pump and a custom, low-pressure auxiliary fuel system to feed it. A dual-nozzle methanol kit provides additional cooling, but also supplemental fuel that is ignited with NGK TR7IX plugs. The ECM was tuned with the stock MAF and 3-bar MAP sensor. To date it is the highest powered boost-only C7.

2014 Chevrolet Corvette Engine Bay 4/21
2014 Chevrolet Corvette Engine Bay 5/21

Since the Stingray makes 1,016 lb-ft of torque, it was necessary to make a few more upgrades to keep carnage to a minimum. A Mantic 9000 Series triple-disc clutch and billet steel flywheel backs up the stock TR-6070 seven-speed transmission. Brian grabs gears with an MGW shifter. The driveshaft is stock, but the axles have been upgraded to the Driveshaft Shop’s Level 5. Pfadt coilovers were installed to keep a handle on things, so the C7 doesn’t get away from him. The sway bars and brakes are stock Z51. Forgeline GA1R in 19x9 and 20x11 were sourced from Weapon X Motorsports to mount the sticky 265/35/19 and 315/30/20 Toyo R888s. However, with this much power, they don’t stand a chance. That is at least partial motivation for the widebody upgrade with larger meats.

2014 Chevrolet Corvette Front Side View 6/21

For the time being, the Stingray has a few subtle appearance touches inside and out. ACS side skirts and a Weapon X spoiler, wrapped in Xpel Opticoat, complement the Crystal Red Metallic paint. The steering wheel was sourced from Caravaggio for a D-shaped piece befitting a car of this caliber. And the A-pillar is adorned with PLX wideband O2, OBD-II multi-purpose and boost gauges.

2014 Chevrolet Corvette Interior 7/21
2014 Corvette Shifter 8/21

Back when the C7 still had the Novi 1500 blower it went 10.4 at 135 mph with a track-limited 2.0 short-time. However, besides street time, Brian is much more focused on the 1/2-mile. Seeing as though the car currently spins the tires in Fourth gear, it is easy to see why it needs a longer piece of tarmac to stretch its legs. The goal is to break the boost-only record by going 180-190 mph. That’s cooking.

With said goals and a ProCharger F-1X on the way, I certainly don’t believe Brian when he says: “After this, I am done!” The new setup should make over 1,300 rwhp to the tires and I have a feeling that doesn’t even begin to describe where this Stingray is going. “I gave them a blank slate with the car when we decided to start modding it and always trusted them to do whatever they wanted to make this car the baddest C7 on the planet, and they have exceeded my expectations.”

214 Chevrolet Corvette Front View 9/21
2014 Chevrolet Corvette Rear Side View 10/21

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