By on January 8, 2015

2015 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Z06

Buying a new Corvette Z06 soon? Would you like to build its engine? Chevrolet has a plan to make that happen, if you got the cash and the time.

Beginning in March, new Z06 owners will have the opportunity to participate in Chevrolet’s resumed Engine Build Experience. The $5,000 option — code PBC, for Bowling Green Assembly’s Performance Build Center, where the build will occur — allows owners to spend an entire day building the Z06’s supercharged 6.2-liter LT4 under supervision by a PBC engine assembly tech. A personalized plaque on the engine and photographs of the day complete the package.

That said, the engine won’t necessarily be placed in the owner’s Z06 right away. Corvette product manager Harlan Charles says the owner-built engines will take its place in line with the rest of the engines, flowing into “the scheduling process for vehicle assembly, which depends on a number of logistical variables.”

Those who don’t mind the wait and want to spend more time in Bowling Green, Ky. can also check-off option R8C, which allows owners to pick up their completed Z06 at the National Corvette Museum across the street from Bowling Green Assembly.

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56 Comments on “Owner-Built Engine Program For Corvette Z06 Returns...”


  • avatar
    Lie2me

    “Yes, Charlie built his own Corvette and next year we’re going to Spain and Charlie is going to fight a real bull”

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    And for another $5,000.00, Chevrolet will allow prospective owners to hand spot weld their vehicle’s chassis, in lieu of automated robotic welding, and to press the big green button on the carriage marriage station, too.

  • avatar
    John R

    “$5,000 option — code PBC, for Bowling Green Assembly’s Performance Build Center, where the build will occur — allows owners to spend an entire day building the Z06’s supercharged 6.2-liter LT4 under supervision by a PBC engine assembly tech.”

    Wait..What?? How about you tell me when to pick up my Z06 from the dealer and then I’ll take a trip to Fiji for a week instead.

    Whether it’s a Corvette a 911 or a 458 I will never understand the appeal of these sort of delivery programs. Especially the further down the food chain you get.

    That Z06 above looks is very sharp, BTW.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      With BMW and Porsche flying to Germany and then being able to tour Europe in your own car has it’s appeal. Flying to Bowling Green and then touring Kentucky in your Vette, not so much

      • 0 avatar
        S2k Chris

        My FIL picked up his X3 from the BMW performance center in SC, he had a blast. Got to hoon an M5, take an X3 on the offroad course, etc. And then take a cool road trip home.

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          What did BMW charge for this experience?

          • 0 avatar
            S2k Chris

            No idea. Brief google suggests it’s free but you must get yourself there (free night at a hotel, free meal, free day at the performance center).

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            We should keep this quiet then. Don’t want BMW to find out they can sucker someone 5 grand for the experience

          • 0 avatar
            energetik9

            I’ve done what BMW calls the “performance center delivery” in SC. The cool part is you get to tour the factory and you get to spend 1/2 day driving a BMW on the track focused primarily on safety and car control. Those buying an X car get to do a short off road course. It’s a fantastic experience. BMW even covers a night stay in the hotel, they will also do a personalized briefing on your car and help you set everything up. My guys spent about 30 minutes with me going over everything. Again,no cost.

            If you chose to take delivery of your BMW in Germany, they actually discount off invoice. BMW still covers the shipping cost to the U.S. In rough math, the discount BMW offers for european delivery is equivalent to the cost of two round trip airline tickets to fly over. You even get to chose what port you want to deliver for shipping. To make it even better, you can do European delivery and performance center delivery in SC if you choose.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            @Lie2Me

            No, it’s free. I’ll be doing it for my M235i. BMW even picks up the hotel room, breakfast, and lunch.

            And you can combine it with European Delivery. Saved $3K off the top of my car with ED. And interestingly, it is technically a $3K lower MSRP, not a discount, so I save on taxes annually in my state.

            In my case I have enough hotel points and FF miles to vacation on Mars if I want to, so travel for both trips costs me basically gas and food. Planning 3.5 weeks in Europe, and a 4 day weekend for South Carolina.

    • 0 avatar
      05lgt

      You go to Fiji, I’ll spend 5k learning to drive it in the rain in case I get caught out in the wrong car. Different dream maybe, but I like the car in this color even more than blue.

  • avatar
    S2k Chris

    You guys are nuts, this is cool as hell. I’d totally do Museum delivery and this build thing, sure it’s not really building the engine, but tell me it wouldn’t be a fun car geek thing to do. And if you’re shopping for an $80k Corvette, the $5k doesn’t mean much. Sheesh, what a bunch of dweebs.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      How much do you think they’re going to let you “build” and still be covered under warranty? If you’re really good they’ll even take your picture with a wrench in your hand while appearing to have an intense conversation with one of the engineers. He’ll even put on the Mickey Mouse ears if you tip him

      • 0 avatar
        S2k Chris

        Even if all they let you do is hold a screwdriver in one hand and your schwantz in the other, at least you get to stand there and watch which is cool in itself. I can think of a lot worse ways to spend $5k.

        • 0 avatar
          danio3834

          Watching a video of the process with the last generation motors, it would actually be a pretty cool trip. The owner basically gets a cool tour and is guided through assembing the motor himself. The assembly process is pretty much fool proof, so it’s sorta like playing adult Legos.

          • 0 avatar
            fvfvsix

            Yeah, from what I’ve seen – it’s a pretty cool experience. I dunno if it’s worth $5000 or not, but they actually do allow you to torque bolts, etc.. during the process.

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          “Even if all they let you do is hold a screwdriver in one hand and your schwantz in the other”

          Ooh, I see this year’s Christmas card photo already

        • 0 avatar
          JimC2

          “… hold a screwdriver in one hand and your schwantz in the other…”

          I learned a new word today! A word that spambot does not yet know.

      • 0 avatar

        How much will they let you “build”? Well, I wrote about the Corvette build your own engine option a while back for TTAC because GM let me build a LS9 at the Wixom PBC before they moved it to Kentucky. The person doing the build assembles the engine, puts in all the moving parts, including piston rings, wrist pins, bearings etc, and torques all the bolts. You can do as much of the assembly as you want. I did just about everything. As for warranties, one of the ironies is that GM has its most experienced engine builders working in that shop, folks who had assembled prototype engines at the Tech Center, but the assembly process is pretty much idiot-proofed. All the torques are computer controlled and if an assembly step is not completed the control software simply won’t let the next operation take place.

        It’s expensive but if you can afford it, it’s a great experience for a car guy. Even Mustang enthusiasts grin when I tell them about it.

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          I was just having some fun, it does sound interesting, but to charge $5K on top of the $80K you’re already paying for the car, well please

        • 0 avatar
          sgeffe

          I thought Ford had a program where you could watch your ‘Stang being built if you factory-order. Don’t know if they deliver from the factory.

          It’d be neat to have factory-delivery for most plants in the U.S.–I would have driven to Marysville to pick up my Accord (or watch it be built, at least–forgot I had the paint-protection film applied before I left the dealer ;-) ).

    • 0 avatar
      John R

      I’m sorry. This does not sound $5000 worth of cool.

      It’s just for a day. It looks like the person might have to pay their way to get down there. And in the day that person is down there I doubt that he or she will anything similar to what your father-in-law did when he recieved his X3.

      This is a much better deal for the money – http://www.bondurant.com/programs/racing-courses

    • 0 avatar
      energetik9

      I’m with you and in the end, it’s an option. I think it sound s cool.

      I did a factory tour when I bougt my last BMW. Granted it wasn’t exactly the same as the option described here. I remember coming away being very impressed at what I learned. I still remember being impressed with how involved the paint process was, how different parts came together at different times of the process, on and on.

      If you’re a car guy, I can’t see any reason why you wouldn’t consider it.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      @S2KChris

      Agreed – I’d totally do it!

  • avatar
    danio3834

    What? $5,000 option? They should may ME the 5 grand if I’m building it.

  • avatar
    Aquineas

    Life is about the memories you accumulate along the way; I can see this being worth it to some folks. I wouldn’t do the engine build, but I’d definitely opt for factory delivery. There is some beautiful countryside to drive through surrounding Bowling Green, with pretty much any direction you’re travelling in surrounded by rolling hills and lush countryside.

  • avatar
    Waterview

    As an aside, the gray model above looks pretty good. I saw one in Chicago last weekend in white and all the aero stuff made it look like a kit car from the 1970’s. It was serial number 000008, though, so that was kinda cool.

    • 0 avatar
      sgeffe

      ^ This.

      If Chevy would do something to that huge expanse of black on the a$$, it would make the car look 100% better!

      As it is, the C7’s looks have grown on me! For my “dream garage,” make mine a Z06 slushbox (sorry) in that pictured color! That shade of gray is somewhat common in autodom in 2015, but it makes everything from the most pedestrian Camry or Accord (Modern Steel Metallic FTW!) to a six-figure rocket look great! And it’s “stealthy” in a good way! ;-)

      (O/T a little–didn’t this site report that Z06 buyers get a Bondurant or some other performance-driving class included in the purchase price?)

  • avatar
    rpol35

    “The $5,000 option — code PBC, for Bowling Green Assembly’s Performance Build Center, where the build will occur — allows owners to spend an entire day building the Z06’s supercharged 6.2-liter LT4 under supervision by a PBC engine assembly tech.”

    Reminds me of the signs that you sometimes see in a repair shop that state:

    Labor: $25 per hour
    Labor if you ask questions: $35 per hour
    Labor if you ask stupid questions: $50 per hour
    Labor if you help: $75 per hour
    Labor if we have to undo what you did and do it right: $100 per hour

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    If the engine in your C7 blows up, will GM waive the $5,000 fee if you want to build the replacement engine yourself?

  • avatar
    Waterview

    Spam filter ate my original comment.

    As an aside, the gray version above looks great. I saw a white one last weekend though and all the aero / cooling ducts made it look like a kit car from the 1970’s due to the white/black contrast. One interesting note – the serial number was 000008. Also – this is a big car. Would love to see one next to a 911 for perspective.

  • avatar
    Waterview

    Is the spam filter on overdrive this morning? Previous comments all eaten.

  • avatar
    EAF

    $5K seems kind of steep but I do understand the appeal. If I had the cake I would opt to experience it. I want to be reassured Deadweight won’t be there to throw a wrench on the whole thing. Lol

  • avatar

    Understand that while $5,000 sounds steep, the company has to set aside one of the PBC assembly lines (the one in Wixom had three lines) for an entire day just to build one engine. All the PBC engines are individually built by one assembler, just like AMG and VW’s Bugatti engines are, who then puts their name on the engine with an adhesive plaque. I was told that an assembler at the PBC can typically build three engines a day. If you think about how much GM is paying for top shelf skilled trade labor from the UAW, the fact that they assign an assembler to guide you through the build, the fact that his or her productivity just dropped by 2/3rds, and other incidentals like a nice hotel, food and some swag, it’s not that outrageous compared to other “experience” type leisure activities. How much do you think a Major League Baseball fantasy camp costs? Hell, you could probably drop that much on an expensive hotel room and a top-shelf hooker.

  • avatar
    cRacK hEaD aLLeY

    I need the code for the trip to Korea to build a Sonic engine for $299.

  • avatar

    If I could afford a Z06, I’d fly to Bowling Green to “build” my engine in a heartbeat.

  • avatar

    I’d be worried about picking up my new Corvette from the Corvette museum, it might get eaten by a sinkhole.

  • avatar
    Luke42

    This is cool. I’d totally do it, if I ever wanted a Corvette for some reason.

    I’ve been following homebuilt aircraft and the EAA since my early 20s, and the build-your-own-aircraft-at-thu-factory options just look like a good idea. The airplane’s construction is overseen by experts, the owner gets about 20 years of maintenance experience in one trip, and the rules allow you to build/buy/fly an aircraft for personal use that was designed and built AFTER I was born.

    Everything except the Experimental-category legal hack applies to building a car thin way. I’d love to do it for an heirlooms quality vehicle of some sort. I’m not in to Corvettes in any way, but I’d totally do it for a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited with electric and/or diesel powertrain. I’d even consider paying Corvette money for that experience+vehicle it a few years, especially if my sons could help.


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