You know APR Performance for the company’s high-end carbon-fiber aero components, like their track-proven adjustable wings, air ducts, and brake-cooling systems. And now you know them for building what’s one of the boldest Corvette Stingrays you’ve seen yet that’s every bit as capable as the woven-fiber parts the Southern California aero firm churns out.
At least that’s what APR’s marketing and sponsorships guy, K.C. Chou, hopes you know. And all of that’s mostly because of the C7’s ProCharger that nets the LT1 engine just north of 600 hp. On 91 octane. Accompanying engine modifications are minimal, yet all very purposeful. Like the ProCharger airbox and intercooler tucked inside of the front bumper that wards of detonation, and the MagnaFlow Competition Series exhaust system that delivers the byproduct of all of this madness past a quartet of polished-up tailpipes.
According to Chou, that APR and MagnaFlow partnered up here was no accident. Chou’s vision required an exhaust system that resulted in the sort of performance that any 600hp small-block would expect all while providing the right tone, and the veteran exhaust system manufacturer was in the midst of considering potential display partners for its 2014 SEMA booth. Stars aligned and, by November, the carbon-clad Stingray had made its way to the city of sin, where both companies would reveal their latest C7-specific goods under the guise of APR’s Stingray.
Reveals like the phonebook’s worth of carbon-fiber components APR appointed its Corvette with and, soon after, made available to the public. The three-piece front splitter with its integrated side canards that directs air toward all the right places for more downforce is obvious; the carefully designed under-tray that accompanies the two-piece rear diffuser that helps streamline airflow from underneath the chassis isn’t so much. But together, this and the rest of the package helps transform the firm’s signature-red C7 into something even Z06 drivers ought to be wary of.
Chou reminds us to take a look at the fleet of project cars that have come from him and the APR crew dating back to 1999 and the same sort of red paint that drapes the C7 is obvious. According to Chou, it’s the bright color scheme that, in part, landed APR’s first SEMA build on the cover of a magazine; two more builds and two more covers followed, and the color’s since stuck around.
One-dimensional this Corvette is not, though. According to Chou, yes, it had to belt out a whole lot of power, but it also had to be comfortable enough to still want to circle the drive-thru in. It also had to look good while doing it. Which is why 19- and 20-inch Volk Racing G25 rims and low-profile Toyo Proxes replace what GM’s engineers thought best. Rims forged in Japan might not be the first you’d think pair amicably with a sports car with the sort of American heritage the Corvette has embedded so deeply into its sheetmetal, but you’d be wrong, and one look at the multi-cultural mashup proves it.
Chou and the team at APR also thought it’d be a good idea to make its C7 stop and turn just as good as it accelerates. For that they turned to KW Suspension for the company’s Variant 3 coilover system that let’s whomever has the mind to make damping adjustments to suit whether or not the destination is that drive-thru or the racetrack. Larger rotors and calipers also mean everybody will be a whole lot safer no matter if APR’s Stingray winds up bringing back a bag of cheeseburgers or a handful of timeslips.
Chou assures us that the company’s C7 is all very simple, yes, but every bit as purposeful. For every mod that appears as though it may’ve been added on for aesthetic appeasement, there’s a story behind it of how it makes this Stingray do everything that it does better. The aero, for example: Here, the fat’s cut down and downforce is stepped up. The chassis: Handling, grip, and safety are all the better for it. And the engine: Well, it makes 600 hp. And who ever had a problem with 600 hp?
Words by Aaron Bonk