Jay Leno shows why Pratt & Miller’s Corvette C6RS was ahead of its time

Racing engineers turned 2006 ZO6 into a 600-horsepower road-going race car

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Jay Leno bought the Corvette C6RS that was unveiled at the 2007 SEMA show

Back in the mid-2000s, Pratt & Miller, the engineering company behind the Corvette Racing team, took some of the knowledge gained from competing with the Chevrolet Corvette in the world’s premier endurance events, and built a road car. The result was the Corvette C6RS.

The car was unveiled by Jay Leno at the 2007 SEMA show, who was so impressed with it he bought one on the spot. Just seven were built, and Leno happens to own car Number 1. It’s featured in the latest episode of Jay Leno’s Garage.

The goal for Pratt & Miller was to build a road-going version of the C6.R race car. The modifications started with an engine swap, in this case an 8.2-liter V8 developed with Katech, the same company that develops the engines for Corvette Racing. The C6RS’s engine was unique, though, and designed to run on E85. It could spit out 600 horsepower and 600 pound-feet of torque.

Then came the Corvette’s carbon-fiber body work with fully functional aerodynamics. Leno looks to be a fan of the vented front fenders, but more significant was the front fascia with integrated brake ducts and ram-air intake.

The chassis was also overhauled. This included the addition of computer-controlled suspension that lowered the car by about 1.5 inches from stock and necessitated the need for a lift system. The wheels were a set of center-lock BBS, measuring 18×11 inches up front and 19×13.6 inches at the rear, and housed within these were massive Brembo brakes.

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Pratt & Miller didn’t forget that the C6RS was a road car and thus had the cabin outfitted with two-tone leather, which in Leno’s car is red and black. The car also had a custom sound system, but with that engine up front we’re sure owners would hardly use the thing.

Pratt & Miller was doing what Germany’s Manthey-Racing is doing today with the Porsche 911 GT2 RS and 911 GT3 RS, albeit more than a decade ago. And just like the Manthey-Racing specials, the C6RS wasn’t cheap. It cost $185,000, and that’s not including the cost of the donor Z06.

Unfortunately, the arrival of the 638-hp Corvette ZR1 shortly after, not to mention the global financial crisis, meant there were few takers for the C6RS (25 were meant to be built), despite how impressive it was, and still is.

This article was originally published by Motor Authority, an editorial partner of ClassicCars.com.

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