When comparing the 2009 Specter Werkes Corvette GTR to the stock ‘Vette, the first big difference you’ll notice is the hood, which is made up of large gills that push more air into the engine compartment to aid in cooling and also relieve underhood pressure. The cosmetic differences don’t stop there, though, as most every body part with the exception of the roof has been replaced with a handmade fiber glass component. And it looks good.
Adding to the looks also added to the body dimensions, as the revised front and rear fascias, and wide wheels, makes the car 4.4 inches wider than the regular Corvette and almost 8 inches longer. All of the cosmetic changes, including a rear diffuser, a custom intake manifold, and some suspension upgrades will add an extra $35,000 to the cost of the new Corvette, but the real fun comes when you get all of the engine mods, which will bring your total cost (vehicle plus mods) to about $120,000.
The first big change to the Corvette’s LS3 engine is the inclusion of a crankshaft that increases the stroke of the pistons. This increases the V8 engine’s overall displacement from the stock 6.2-liters to a massive 6.8. In street-legal trim, the car puts out 535 horsepower and 530 lb-ft of torque. If, however, you go for the non-street legal package (mainly intended for track racing), the engine gets a modified cam shaft and tuning setup that will boost the power to 615 horsepower and 578 lb-ft of torque, and it’ll go from 0-to-60 mph in 3.6 seconds. The emissions put out by this setup, however, will relegate it to track days only.
That big jump in power is accompanied by a big jump in braking ability, as the original rotors are replaced with 14-inchers with a six-piston caliper in the front and 12.6 rotors with a four-piston caliper in the back. For those who want the racing trim, there are also top of the line adjustable Penske shocks on the options list. These shocks would be incredibly uncomfortable for road driving, but on a smooth track with tight turns, they keep the Specter Werkes ‘Vette on an even keel.
For those of you Corvette fans keeping track at home, you’re probably pretty excited. The only problem with the 2009 Specter Werkes Corvette GTR isn’t a mechanical issue or a cosmetic issue; it’s that somebody else already made the perfect tuner Corvette: Chevrolet. The ZR1 Corvette boasts 683 horsepower and 604 lb-ft of torque, all of it street legal. That’s more power than the Specter Werkes model, and the ZR1 is about 15 pounds lighter.
The biggest deal breaker, though, is the price. The Specter Werkes Corvette GTR starts off at $84,510, which includes only the cosmetic stuff and a slight suspension adjustment. By the time you add in the engine mods, better brakes, and a more complete suspension upgrade, you’re starting to get to the $110,000 mark, and a few interior luxuries will bump that price even higher.
The ZR1, on the other hand, starts at a price of $106,620, and a well-equipped model will go for about $120,000. What it boils down to is that the Specter Werkes Corvette GTR adds a lot of fancy bodywork and a bit of engine modification for the price of a stock ZR1. Is it worth it? That depends on whether or not you want a unique, rare, hand-built tuner Corvette. But if you go by the numbers, the ZR1 is the smart choice.