Chevy unveils special edition Corvette ahead of Detroit Grand Prix

Kalea Hall
The Detroit News
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Detroit — Ahead of this weekend's Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix, Chevrolet debuted on Wednesday a special edition Corvette to recognize the performance of its mid-engine on the racetrack in the last year.

With the backdrop of the Renaissance Center behind them, the Corvette Racing team  revealed the 2022 Corvette Stingray IMSA GTLM Championship Edition on the Detroit Grand Prix Belle Isle track — a place the team is returning to this weekend after 13 years away. 

Chevrolet will only release 1,000 of these special edition Corvettes, which resemble the No. 3 and No. 4 Corvette C8.R race cars. The special editions start at $87,085 for the coupe and $94,085 for the convertible. They were designed to celebrate the mid-engine Corvette's C8.R's inaugural 2020 season, when Corvette Racing swept the IMSA's sports car championship series with six wins and seven pole positions. 

The pandemic changed up the racing schedule, pushing out the date for the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans race in France back to Aug 21, allowing Corvette Racing to make it to the Detroit Grand Prix this year.

(From left): A 2022 Corvette Stingray IMSA GTLM Championship Edition vehicle, the Corvette C8.R race car, another championship edition Stingray and the Corvette pace car, as parked at the Grand Prix finish line,  Wednesday afternoon, June 9, 2021.

"We are so excited to be back at home racing," said Laura Klauser, GM sports car program manager, during the Wednesday debut. "Home for the team and home for Chevrolet, which is why we knew this was the perfect time and place to introduce the 2022 Corvette Stingray IMSA GTLM Championship Edition ... Chevrolet created these to celebrate Corvette racing success, and the 2020 ISMA championship that we're so proud of that we achieved in the debut year of the C8.R. We're very excited about the results from the car so far."

Both of Corvette Racing's mid-engine Chevrolet Corvette C8.Rs will compete in the 100-minute race that airs live at 5 p.m. Saturday on NBCSN during the Detroit Grand Prix, which is back after having to take off 2020 because of the pandemic. 

"We're really proud to have them here," said Michael Montri, president of the Detroit Grand Prix. "This is the first time that the Chevrolet Corvette GTLM cars have been here in many years, and it's great to have them back. Our fans all love Corvettes. And they're all thrilled to have them on the track for the first time in awhile."

The 2022 Corvette Stingray IMSA GTLM Championship Edition, based on the 3LT trim with Z51 performance package, includes Corvette Racing-themed graphics packages. 

The exterior content, which varies by market, includes a high-wing spoiler in carbon flash, yellow brake calipers, black trident design wheels, exterior mirrors in carbon flash, black side rockers and splash guards. 

The interior comes with a yellow and gray cabin that continues the exterior racing theme. It has standard GT2 seats, yellow seat belts and a C8.R numbered plaque. Competition sports seats are also an option. 

(From left): Race car driver Jordan Taylor, left, stands next to a 2022 Corvette Stingray IMSA GTLM Championship Edition vehicle, as race car driver Tommy Milner stands next to the Corvette C8.R race car with another championship edition Stingray and the Corvette pace car parked at the Grand Prix finish line, Wednesday afternoon, June 9, 2021.

In addition to the championship edition, Chevrolet is adding some options to the 2022 Corvette Stingray. including three new colors: hypersonic gray, caffeine, and amplify orange tintcoat. 

The 2022 Stingray's LT2 6.2 liter V-8 engine will come with an upgraded dual injection fuel system, better engine calibration and enhanced active fuel management, Chevy said. 

Dealers will start taking orders July 1 with prices starting at $62,195. 

Production of the 2022 model year Corvette begins late in the third quarter at the Bowling Green Assembly Plant in Kentucky. 

GM introduced the mid-engine Corvette in 2019 and demand has "been through the roof," said Tony Johnson, director of Chevrolet car and crossover marketing.

"We can't meet the demand that's out there right now," he said. "We're continuing to look for ways to amp it up and meet it."

The plant has had to take multiple weeks of downtime this year because of supply chain issues, but it's now back up and running.

"Every day, the team is working hard to protect that supply," Johnson said. "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."

khall@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @bykaleahall

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