In the late '90s, Corvette tuner, racer, and car designer Jeff Nowicki created the first series of unique Corvette GTR models through his business, Specter Werkes/Sports. These cars were based on the C5, and, in addition to the requisite performance upgrades, they were known for their signature wide-body styling. Only 29 numbered examples were built, including one each for Dale Earnhardt Sr. and Jr.
After the C5 went away, Specter continued catering to high-performance Corvette enthusiasts with a slew of "Matrix" engine packages and "Group 6" exterior components. But the itch to do another GTR never went away, leading Nowicki to revive the project-now in C6 form-earlier this year. Like the C5 version, the C6 GTR will wear wider bodywork, but with more-aggressive, racing-inspired details. (Not one for extraneous scoops and wings, Nowicki's C5 GTR body design was wider, but it was essentially an extension of the stock form, making it almost too subtle.)
At a recent preview, we got a look at the new model as its bodywork was being shaped in clay over what will become the first production C6 GTR. Nowicki's development process owes everything to his design background, which includes a stint at GM's design center and ongoing prototype work for the auto industry. Although the design was far from finalized, the basic elements of the new GTR were in place, and we liked what we saw.
The car's new exterior elements complement the core Corvette form, but give it drama and a decided sense of speed. The fenders are wider, too-about four inches at the rear and two inches up front. We were particularly taken with the redesigned front fascia, which juts confidently out into the wind, and the heat-extractor-type hood treatment. Nowicki says the production model will wear a new headlight treatment, unique taillamps, and even a bolder, LED-lit rear center stop lamp "borrowed" from the current Cadillac CTS.
Nowicki Tells Us The Other Elements Of The Gtr Will Include The Following:
* Unique GTR bodywork, including front fascia,carbon-fiber splitter, extractor hood, front fenders, doors, rocker panels, rear fenders, rear fascia, carbon-fiber rear diffuser,Cleartastic paint protection, paint, and assembly
* Michelin Pilot Sport 2 tires
* Forgeline or HRE wheels (19-inchers up frontand 20s in the rear)
* Carbon-fiber fuel-rail covers and a low-restriction, carbon-fiber airbox
* Hotchkis stabilizer-bar kit
* GTR-embroidered seats and serial-numbereddash plaque
* Stainless-steel performance exhaust system
* GTR badges
We're told the basic GTR package will carry a base price of $34,995-that is, of course, in addition to the cost of a C6 Vette. An assortment of engine upgrades will be available optionally. We plan to flog one as soon as possible.
Nowicki says production examples should be ready by the time you read this and that the GTR package will be available on all Corvette models, including coupes, convertibles, and even the new ZR1. Indeed, a ZR1-based GTR would make for a seriously exclusive Vette. Start saving your nickels and dimes now!
For more information, go to www.spectergtr.com or call (248) 583-9559.