• Oct 29th 2007 at 12:02AM
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Jay Leno's love for fast rides is abundantly documented, and he's not afraid to try different things with them, either. In a demonstration that high performance and greener fuels are not mutually exclusive, he worked with Pratt & Miller, which campaigns Corvette Racing's C6.R GT1-class cars, to create the beast you see here. This is the C6RS, and it takes the whole "live green go yellow" thing to the next level. Based on a Corvette Z06 and styled to pay homage to the C6.R racers, the C6RS is powered by a custom 500 CID aluminum V8 good for 600 horsepower. That, in itself, is nothing special. What is, however, is that said V8 runs on E85 instead of gasoline. Man, everyone would clamor for flex-fuel vehicles if they were consistently this badass. Follow the jump to read all about what went into it.

[Source: GM]


LAS VEGAS – "Tonight Show" host Jay Leno's predilection for performance cars is no secret, but many fellow enthusiasts may not know that he is keenly interested in alternative fuels. To prove that red-blooded power mixes easily with a touch of green, Leno partnered with Pratt & Miller – the engineering company that builds and campaigns C6.R Corvettes – to develop a modified Corvette Z06 that is capable of running on E85 ethanol. It was unveiled at the 2007 SEMA Show.

More than merely a conversion of the stock LS7 engine to E85 capability, Leno's alternative-fuel supercar is powered by a custom, 8.2L (500-cubic-inch) all-aluminum small-block V-8 that pumps out approximately 600 horsepower and 585 lb.-ft. of torque.

"The C6RS is the result of an idea we hatched to prove that high-performance cars and alternative fuel technology weren't diametrically opposed concepts," said Leno. "I love the idea of having 600 horsepower at my disposal, but using a homegrown alternative to gasoline."

The engine is built around a custom aluminum cylinder block that was CNC-milled from a single block of billet aluminum. And while the cylinder heads, intake system and dry-sump oiling system are stock LS7 components, the engine – which has larger bore and stroke dimensions than the 7.0L (427-cubic-inch) LS7 – uses a one-off reciprocating assembly, including a forged steel crankshaft, forged rods and forged pistons. Katech Engines, the company that builds engines for the Corvette C6.R racing program, developed the engine.

The fuel system and engine control computer were modified to accommodate E85, and spent gases exit through a Corsa exhaust system. Supporting the 600-horse engine's power is a blueprinted and strengthened T-56 six-speed transmission and a high-performance Centerforce dual-friction clutch.

C6.R inspiration
On the outside, Leno's bad and black C6RS emulates the styling of C6.R racecars, with wider front and rear fenders and a wider rear fascia with an integrated spoiler on top and a racing-style diffuser at the bottom (the diffuser incorporates an LED-lit backup lamp). A C6.R-style waterfall hood front fender louvers, rockers and lower grille opening further define this special Corvette – and all of the car's front-end panels are made of carbon-fiber, including custom brake air ducts routed through the front fenders. With all of its body modifications, Leno's C6RS is 1.6 inches wider than stock.

The C6.R's – and production Corvette's – aerodynamically styled bodywork is designed to slice efficiently through the wind, which helps enhance fuel mileage.

The race-ready look of the car is enhanced with a quartet of BBS wheels that feature racing-type locking center hubs. The forged aluminum 18-inch front wheels and 19-inch rear wheels ride on Michelin P295/30ZR18 and P345/30ZR19 tires, respectively.

Adding authenticity to the car's custom bodywork was the involvement of Pratt & Miller. The company took on the task of crafting Leno's Corvette into a street-going replica of the racecars, which included installing or fabricating a host of unique components, including:
* A custom DeWitt high-capacity radiator with dual cooling fans
* A carbon-fiber ram-air induction system
* Carbon-fiber inner fender panels that vent hot air from the engine compartment
* Brembo brakes with six-piston mono-block calipers in front and four-piston rear calipers
* Dyna-Mat used throughout the cabin and chassis to reduce interior noise

While the exterior and drivetrain were inspired by the racetrack, the C6RS's cabin exudes luxury, with premium touches and enhancements from Genuine Corvette Accessories that include a two-tone shift knob and boot; leather-covered console armrest, parking brake handle and boot; an interior trim kit, racing-style pedal covers and more.

With its 600 horses on tap and domestically produced E85 fuel in the tank, Jay Leno's alternative-fueled C6RS is an all-American supercar that proves high performance and environmental consciousness go together like the Corvette and checkered flags.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      Someone show me some E85 in LA....

      Its 105 octane , cars run cooler on it. Race gas at 1/2 the price. And we can tell the greenies its renewable. Sweet. Tree huggers go hug some corn.

      7 mpg ?...I'm going to be well dead before the rest of you have to worry about the environment.
        • 7 Years Ago
        E85 is 105 RON, it is only 100AKI (E70 is less)

        If they are adding 10% ethanol to our gas, why hasn't the AKI gone up? Where is 87,90,93 (at a minimum) for a triple tier fuel choice?
      • 7 Years Ago
      Nothing new for us Brazilians here. We have E100 ethanol and all race and turbo-ed cars uses that. USA needs new news :o)
        • 7 Years Ago
        Ah don't rub it in our faces =P. There is a way to create enough ethanol for all of us. It's made from cellulose instead the seeds. We could use all of the great plains to create enough ethanol for the US that would carry us into the hydrogen age.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I'm pretty sure Brazilian ethanol is also sugar-based, unlike our corn-based stuff, either way, there's not enough room on the planet to grow enough of either to power all of our cars
      • 7 Years Ago
      Pretty cool car, the wheels are pretty sick too.
      • 7 Years Ago
      what is the deal with the hideously poor job someone is doing clipping out the cars and placing them on this random building background.

      either they are legally blind or they think we all are.
        • 7 Years Ago
        HAHAHA. Thats the first thing I noticed. Terrible photoshopping. I dont even bother looking at the pics. They make me feel sick.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Leno: "I love the idea of having 600 horsepower at my disposal, but using a homegrown alternative to gasoline."

      That's like starting a forest fire because you like the smell of smoke. After all, it's homegrown and it's renewable!
        • 7 Years Ago
        The press release ends talking about 'environmental consciousness'. That seems strange to say about a modified vehicle that certainly gets worse (probably much worse) mileage than the stock version. Just because the fuel is renewable is no excuse to waste it.

        If it's tuned to run specifically on E-85 to maximize horsepower, then I doubt anyone would criticize. But it was presented as a 'green' machine.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I really dont see your logic...
        • 7 Years Ago
        Fair enough. I probably read too much into it.
        • 7 Years Ago
        well thats one way to look at it, but since it doesn't run on non renewable fuel, that makes it more enviornmentally conscious. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying its a Volt, but just that even if it gets slightly worse mileage the advantage is it isn't creating a big whole in the planet that can't be filled up again
      • 7 Years Ago
      E85 is retarded. It uses corn as a base material, which is harvested after months of planting with machines that use regular gasoline or diesel, tons of fertilizer, and all the work/fuel reuqired to harvest it. After that, it uses federally funded natural gas to convert it to E85. So basically your tax dollars are being used to create E85 by the government using them for natural gas. E85 is a retarded fuel pushed by a retarded company that is doesn't make sense economically or environmentally.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Miller, are you stupid? It TAKES more energy to produce E85 than E85 produces when you burn it! That's like using oil to create some other fuel that burns with less energy.
        • 7 Years Ago
        You're being retardedly simple minded. E85 to date is produced largely from corn, but corn isn't the only thing it can be made from. A huge amount of crops can be used to produce it. Why no one's done it so far I dunno, but perhaps once interest picks up someone will bother.
        • 7 Years Ago
        How much does one think it costs to float a tanker full of crude oil half way around the world. Let alone the cost of the tanker in the first place or just what it costs to find oil and get it Safely out of the ground. The farmers of America and the world finally getting what they deserve? They might be thinking so or why make the effort. One might only have to point where we get our oil / ethanol production cost information.

      • 7 Years Ago
      I'm sure any of us who have built a stroker motor wants to know more about the bore and stroke to get the 500ci. I have seen 454 small blocks but never have I seen a 500ci small block.
        • 7 Years Ago
        It might be 500cid but I would't trade the original engine in the Z06 for this one. This has all steel rotating mass compared to Z06's titanium rods, valves etc..
      • 7 Years Ago
      E85 is a waste of time, it is less powerful/effiecient than gasoline, costs more, and uses land that could be used for food growth. The reall green future lies in Bio diesel.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Who cares if its 7mpg? Ethanol is biorenewable fuel, so the fuel is carbon neutral.
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