We drive Callaway’s nod to its first tuned Corvette

Brandan Gillogly

Corvette fans have had a lot to celebrate in the last few years. The C8 debuted to much fanfare, the Z06 launched to rave reviews, and now the E-Ray has been unveiled, using hybrid tech to take the model to another level of performance. But don’t think that you’ve got to spring for a six-figure Corvette to enjoy a mid-engine marvel with a little extra jazz. We recently drove a Callaway Corvette B2K 35th Anniversary Edition to see and hear what this limited-run car is all about.

Callaway 35th anniversary B2K Corvette Stingray
Brandan Gillogly

The Callaway Corvette B2K 35th Anniversary Edition was created to honor the relationship between Callaway and America’s sports car, a story that stretches all the way back to the 1987 Callaway Twin Turbo Corvette. This special edition C8, whose B2K alphanumeric recalls the RPO code of that original twin-turbo upgrade, is based on the Stingray coupe or convertible. Once ordered, it will be built at the Corvette’s Bowling Green, Kentucky, assembly plant and, if the buyer so chooses, can be delivered through the National Corvette Museum.

Brandan Gillogly

The Carbon Fiber Aerodynamic Group that comes on the B2K package matches a front splitter, rocker panel extensions, rear spoiler, and rear diffuser to give the Stingray a distinct look. That sizable piece of carbon fiber out back works in conjunction with Callaway’s Double D exhaust that replaces the quad-tipped factory setup with mirrored exhaust tips that are relocated in the center, more like a Z06.

Callaway 35th anniversary B2K Corvette Stingray
Brandan Gillogly

Another striking difference with the Callaway C8 is the set of nine-spoke forged aluminum wheels, which together remove more than 26 pounds of unsprung mass from the car. Opening the doors reveals a Callaway Interior Group that is exclusive to the Anniversary Edition and includes engraved, anodized sill plates and a serialized interior plaque along with embroidered floor mats and a set of billet aluminum pedals.

We got behind the wheel of a B2K 35th Anniversary Edition for a quick drive around some damp Southern California mountain roads and a brief blast up a highway. We can’t say how the lighter wheels affect the driving characteristics or the steering feel of a Stingray; such an evaluation would require a back-to-back test and some truly spirited driving. We can, however, report that the exhaust is an improvement.

That’s a subjective evaluation, of course, but we’re not alone in feeling that the Stingray’s exhaust is a bit tame for such a striking and capable car. Callaway’s system allows the LT2 V-8 to be more expressive, and the stainless-steel pipes give the Corvette a sound that’s a bit more exotic. The tune’s not overly aggressive, although it does seem to taunt the driver into giving the LT2 V-8 ever more throttle.

The bad news is that the B2K 35th Anniversary Package sold out almost immediately. The good news is that most of the parts that make this package shine, including the wheels and carbon-fiber aero bits, are currently available. The exhaust is the major piece missing from Callaway’s catalog, but it should be available soon. If you’ve managed to see, or hear, one of the limited B2K 35th Anniversary Editions on the street, just know that it’s not too late to get some of that Callaway performance on any Stingray, even the one you already own.

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    I have never really warmed to the looks of the C8. Specifically, I think almost every wheel design I’ve seen looks bad on it (especially GM’s own designs; ugh). The body of the C8 is just very unkind to wheels IMO. Keep in mind: I don’t know design-speak so I cannot articulate why I think this is the case. But I will say that the looks of the Z06 are definitely an improvement in my eyes. Having said all that, this Callaway B2K 35th version is easily the best looking C8 yet. And finally, FINALLY, some wheels that look good on it too. The blacked-out roof vs white body, the additional skirts/splitters, the revised rear, I’m really digging all of it. My 2-cents.

    I think the design of the side scoops really detract the looks of the C8 in my eyes. This car’s paint scheme seems to make them a bit more subtle.

    I remember reading about the original Callaway in auto magazines when it first arrived and thinking what a completely insane car that was at the time. Successive Callaway adaptions were no less impressive. I look forward to reading about how this takes the current Corvette to 11 or 12 tenths.

    The wheels don’t do it for me at all but I like the central exhaust. Not really that krazy about the overall design! Dr. John

    Nothing to see here folks, lets see wheels, exhaust system, ground effects addons and don’t forget the Callaway badge but at what cost? Reeves has really gone downhill so sad

    While not a modern corvette fan, this color combo and wheels really shine through all of the angles and scoops. It’s more sultry in this color. Nice.

    As my figure-8 level driving skills don’t warrant me getting anywhere near one of these cars so I’m curious about the driving experience hinted at by the headline yet only got some commentary on the exhaust tone.

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