"A comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there..."–Gina Milicia. On paper, IND purchasing a C8 Corvette project car makes very little–to absolutely zero–sense; after all we're a BMW M tuning company. Why invest the time and a not-so-insignificant amount of money on a piece of Americana? When you let the monotony of the day-to-day cloud your vision of the bigger picture, you lose some of that motivation that got you where you are. You get comfortable; less goes wrong and life is more predictable. You don't have to worry about really being challenged.
But that's not what we're about. When we say our guiding principle is to do the right thing every day, that includes continually looking to the future and challenging ourselves so we can offer the very best for our customers. When looking at the continually evolving range of vehicle offerings out there, we want to plan ahead and try to account for some of our customers that may branch off and venture into something a bit different. Maybe try something mid-engined with supercar styling that isn't from Maranello, Italy; and is relatively affordable. For some, it's too good an opportunity to pass up.
So the C8 Corvette is definitely more than something a bit different for us. Ok, that might also be a bit of an understatement. It's certainly outside our comfort zone, but when we took a step back and thought about it, we're still perfectly positioned to support the platform. Having the ability to not only source some of the best quality components in aftermarket industry, we also have access to one of the most creative engineers at Eventuri UK who would be the perfect partner in launching support for a new platform. So while diving head first into the C8 is a little more than nerve-racking, we're ultimately beyond excited to be helping to create new products in this relatively unknown space. Not only have we not allowed ourselves to lose that secret sauce that's motivated and partially defined us, but it's only getting spicier!
It didn't take long after the Corvette arrived that Eventuri flew in to begin the 3D scanning process. Immediately upon disassembly, we all saw a clear limiting factor: The space available in the C8 engine bay was heavily restricted by the trunk access panel. Luckily there was nothing stopping Eventuri from also creating a whole new trunk panel to allow the proper space for their patented venturi filter housings. Similar to the Porsche 991 system, the new C8 could take advantage of the dual venturi design.
As with any Eventuri intake system, the 3D modeling quickly led to the first prototype system that we were eager to test fit and we weren't disappointed. The filter housings were substantially larger than the factory kit and we knew once the system was finalized in carbon it would have some serious presence. The only problem being that it'd be hidden behind the trunk access panel. The creative minds at Eventuri, though, had a plan for that as well. The brand new access panel would be created from clear acrylic material, allowing owners to admire the incredible look of the carbon intake system.
Regardless of the car you drive, one of the most important purchases that many car enthusiasts make is their choice of wheels. For the uninitiated, one of the easiest differences to spot between models are the wheels; as they can have a big impact on the overall look of the vehicle.
We turned to a relatively new partnership we started with a brand that shook up the forged wheel industry with their mantra: FORGED FOR ALL. Titan 7 offers fully forged wheels with all the best features: Gear Cut Knurled Bead Seats, A Rigid Spoke Tracer, Optimized Weight Reduction through FEA Analysis, a Reinforced Inner Rim Flange, Big Brake Clearance Compatibility, and Application Specific wheels–all at an attractive price point. There was no better choice for our white C8 than Titan 7's 19/20" staggered T-D6e wheels in their Techna Bronze finish.
Considering Akrapovic was founded by a former motorcycle racer, the company's initial offerings of motorcycle exhausts made sense. But it didn't take long after their launch in 1990 for the company to venture into high-end automotive fitments. Considering Akrapovic is an official partner of BMW Motorsport, it's a brand we're very familiar with.
The C8's factory exhaust system is designed to be more compact and efficient, which already helps to reduce weight and improve performance, but Akrapovic's titanium exhaust from their slip-on line takes the C8's exhaust to the next level in more ways than one. Not only is it almost 50% lighter than the stock sport exhaust, but it provided a dyno-tested increase in power, retains the OEM valves for Z51 owners, and produces an incredible sound at all engine speeds. As an added bonus, the newly designed square tips matched our APR carbon diffuser perfectly.
According to sources, GM purchased a Ferrari 458 specifically to use as a benchmark for the development of the C8 Corvette. It's no wonder as the 458 Italia is generally regarded as one of the most beautiful and best performing sports cars ever made. While the C8 is missing the elegance of the Ferrari, the mid-engine proportions and low, wide stance lead to an aggressive, good looking car. How then, to go about improving on the exterior?
We wanted the right mix of added aggression without going full wannabe race car. A carbon front lip, side skirts, and rear diffuser from APR Performance fit the bill perfectly. These are the same items found on APR's own C8 build that they produced for SEMA.
AP RACING BY ESSEX:
While we're grateful that performance-oriented cars across many manufacturers now come with superior Brembo fixed calipers from the factory, we were after something a little more purpose-built, but that also worked with the factory Z51 rear parking brake. The Essex-designed AP Racing Pro5000R Radi-CAL Competition Brake Kit didn't just fit our needs, but offers the absolute best possible performance available and their jewel-finish calipers offer a slight contrast to the Titan 7 Techna Bronze finish so they stand out without being so loud that they take away from the wheels.
Finally we want to extend a heartfelt thank you to Paragon Performance for helping to guide us and quickly get acclimated to the C8 market. Not only do we look forward to a continued relationship, but we're also extremely excited to be running several of their parts on our C8; including Hyperco lowering springs designed to Paragon's specs, billet strut tower support bars, billet engine caps, and a Verus Engineering carbon ducktail rear spoiler that they sourced for us.
Aside from providing an aggressive stance and improved handling, the suite of Paragon products also put the finishing touches on the engine compartment and the rear spoiler likewise finished off the rear end. The Verus rear ducktail was the perfect rear spoiler as to provide a sleek improvement over stock without crossing into race car territory and blocking our view of the new Eventuri carbon intake system while the trunk is open!