Pratt & Miller Engineering may be unfamiliar to many, but fans of sports car racing will recognize them as the builders of the flying yellow C6R Corvettes that racked up eight consecutive manufacturer and team championships in the American LeMans Series, winning 72 of 102 races along the way.
Well, now Pratt & Miller has taken their race-proven engineering prowess to the streets, with this car: the C6RS. And for those lucky enough to own one, it’s a one-way ticket to driving nirvana. Considering Pratt & Miller’s racing pedigree, it would be easy to label the C6RS a “race car for the street”.
No stripped-down club racer, Pratt & Miller set out to create a sophisticated supercar, using race-proven technology to deliver world class performance, but also everyday reliability. The C6RS project predates the awesome ZR1 by almost a year, so Pratt & Miller uses the Z06 platform as a base for this ultimate Corvette.
The most obvious change from stock is the body: lines follow familiar Corvette curves, but overall width is increased by one and a half inches and numerous aerodynamic enhancements are added, and oh yes, all body panels, save the doors and rear hatch, are carbon fiber.
The one and a half inch front underwing cleaves the approaching air, while the front fascia has integrated brake cooling and ram air induction. Functional louvers crest the front fenders, and wider side valances lead to gaping rear brake ducts. Out back, a rear diffuser funnels the air from below and an active wing up top raises and lowers at preset speeds.
The carbon fiber work continues under the hood, where a custom airbox feeds a naturally-aspirated 8.2 liter V8 developed for Pratt & Miller by Katech Performance. Replacing many of the stock LS7 components with higher strength parts allows this 500 cubic inch monster to deliver 600 horsepower and an equally impressive 600 pound-feet of ground-ripping torque.
It exhales through a throaty Corsa cat-back exhaust system and feeds a blueprinted six-speed manual transmission with a Center Force Dual Friction clutch and aluminum flywheel. Transferring torque to the pavement is a beefy set of Michelins, 345/30-19s in the rear and 295/30-18s up front. All ride on exclusive racing-style BBS center-nut forged alloys finished in black chrome.
While a lightning fast straight line 0 to 60 of 3.8 seconds and a 202 mile per hour top end are impressive, it’s when the pavement gets challenging that this car becomes truly remarkable. So, under the watchful eyes of our car’s enthusiastic and very generous owner, we pushed the C6RS to its lateral limits at West Virginia’s Summit Point Raceway.
Handling characteristics are familiar to other Corvettes we’ve tested, but here there’s a decidedly sharper edge to its civilized aggression, and a lot more speed to get your attention. That tremendous torque demands judicious use of the throttle, as the car catapults from one corner to the next.
Driving the C6RS at these speeds borders on sensory overload, but if things get too close to the ragged edge, there’s a beefy set of Brembo brakes linked to your left foot. Fourteen-inch cross-drilled aluminum rotors ride up front and 13-1/2 inchers in back with multi-piston calipers all around.
Turn-ins are quick and precise without being darty. Steering weight and feel are spot-on, and the chassis is tight and controlled with no harshness. For the C6RS, Pratt & Miller lowered the Z06’s normal ride height by one and a half inches and also installed Arvin Meritor’s Dynamic Height Control system.
Using a combination of air springs and composite leaf springs, DHC optimizes the car’s ride height to match speed and conditions and also has manual overrides for clearing high speed bumps or going full-low for parking.
That translates to a street ride that is slightly stiffer than a standard Corvette Z06, but certainly civilized enough for daily use or long journeys.
That leads to part two of the Pratt & Miller equation: comfort, having upfitted the Corvette interior with a full Dynamat sound deadening package and two-tone French-seamed leather everywhere.
Logos adorn the door sill plates, as well as the embroidered seats, dash and floor mats. It’s a nice upgrade over the stock Corvette interior, but lacks the over-the-top visual cues we expect in a supercar.
Each Pratt & Miller C6RS is made to order. Customers supply any C6 ‘Vette and upgrades are ordered a la carte to suit their tastes and budget.
But go all-out like our test car and the price soars quickly: The C6RS Sport Package, with most of the body and suspension upgrades, costs $105,000. The Katech engine option adds another $39,625, and now there’s a 750-horse supercharged engine available, too. Fully tricked out, our blue blur left the factory for around $200 grand.
That’s a lot for any car, but if you can handle it, the Pratt & Miller C6RS delivers on its ultimate Corvette promise, with supercar engineering, performance and comfort, but most importantly, the soul of a champion.
Engine: 8.2 Liter V8
Torque: 600 Lb Feet
0-60 MPH: 3.8 Seconds