To create a GTR-which can be built on standard, Grand Sport, Z06, or ZR1 models-every panel except the roof and deck is replaced. The new bodywork, which takes weeks to carefully fit and adjust, gives the car a profile that is unmistakably racing inspired but still instantly recognizable as a Corvette. Highlights include a pronounced front fascia; a heat-extractor hood; pronounced body-side lines that accent the wider fenders; a road-racing-type rear diffuser; a large, LED-lit center brake lamp; revised taillamp lenses; and a Corsa stainless-steel exhaust with Specter-designed outlets. The GTR is 4.5 inches wider than a base Corvette and 1 inch wider than a Z06.
There's quite a bit of matte-finish carbon-fiber found on the car, too, including the great-looking headlamp bezels, side-mirror covers, and front splitter. The total package comprises a myriad of subtle and overt details, but they work harmoniously to give the car its distinctive appearance. (Note that some of the pieces, including the hood, headlamp bezels, and taillamps, are available as separate bolt-on parts. Go to www.spectergtr.com for details.)
Chassis upgrades complement the styling. As part of the standard GTR package, Lingenfelter's car received a Hotchkis stabilizer bar kit to flatten esses and improve cornering reflexes. As an option, the stock brakes were swapped for a StopTech STR big-brake setup, with six-piston front calipers and four-piston rear calipers mounted to rotors that look large enough to haul the Millennium Falcon down from hyperspace velocities. Bolted to those manhole-size rotors is a set of HRE carbon-fiber-trimmed wheels wrapped with Michelin's sticky-yet-compliant Pilot Sport 2 Zero Pressure tires. The rubber measures 285/30ZR19 in the front and 335/25ZR20 in the rear-the same as the production ZR1.
The GTR package also includes interior enhancements, and Lingenfelter's features Spinneybeck hand-tipped leather accents in a unique silvery-tan color, with gray-fleck and red stitching. It has the look of ostrich hide, lend-ing a luxurious detail that ratchets up the premium feel of the car. There's also a serialized plaque mounted on the center console.
Premium interior elements, however, are definitely secondary to this car's mission. It's a high-profile demonstrator of take-no-prisoners performance that transcends being merely fast to reset the threshold for that subjective term means.
The Millennium Falcon doesn't stand a chance.
Who is Ken Lingenfelter?
Ken Lingenfelter is a lifelong car nut who recently acquired Lingenfelter Performance Engineering (LPE). He's a distant relative of LPE's late founder, John Lingenfelter, but the familial connection had nothing to do with Ken's acquisition of the company. He just happened to have the same name.
By all accounts, some fresh blood was needed at the Decatur, Indiana-based company. Encouraged by John Lingenfelter's brother Charlie, Ken stepped in, bringing with him a spirit of renewal and a sharper focus on the company's direction. Since then, the company has vigorously engaged C5 and C6 enthusiasts with new engine and upgrade packages, including parts for the ZR1 (see them at www.lingenfelter.com). It has also had success with the new crop of Camaro enthusiasts, and if you've seen those classic-looking Trans Ams-strategically dubbed "LTAs"-built out of new Camaros, LPE did them, too.
Along with his new duties at the helm of LPE, Ken Lingenfelter oversees a number of other business interests, as well as an absolutely mouthwatering collection of about 150 Corvettes, classic muscle cars, and European exotics. About 40 percent (70 cars, give or take) of the collection is Corvettes, ranging from '53 models to a new ZR1. He's an avid collector, and you've probably seen glimpses of him bidding for cars on the televised Barrett-Jackson auctions.
Ken Lingenfelter has big plans for LPE, and the company's recent activities have merely laid the groundwork. It's safe to say we'll all be hearing a lot more from him in the future.