Chevrolet lets customers build engine

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Talk about picking your options.

General Motors announced yesterday a new program that will see Corvette owners literally build the engine for their new car.

Appropriately titled Chevrolet’s Corvette Engine Build Experience, customers who order a 2011 Corvette Z06 or ZR1 can choose an option to help assemble their cars’ LS7 or LS9 engines at General Motors’ Performance Build Center (PBC) in Wixom, Mich.

“Corvette owners are some of the most passionate – and most involved – enthusiasts in the industry,” said Jim Campbell, U.S. vice president of Chevrolet marketing. “The Corvette Engine Build Experience offers customers an unprecedented opportunity to participate, hands on, in creating the car.”

In addition to building their own engines, Corvette buyers can attend driving school in Arizona or Nevada, take delivery of their vehicles at the National Corvette Museum or watch their vehicles being built at the Corvette assembly plant in Bowling Green, Ky.

The experience is an option with a suggested retail price of $5,800.

When a customer selects the PBC option for a 2011 Corvette Z06 or ZR1 and the dealer submits the order to Chevrolet, a special concierge contacts the customer to verify participation and help coordinate arrangements.

GM says travel arrangements to Detroit are the customer’s responsibility but the Chevrolet concierge will help schedule the engine build; coordinate the customer’s activities at the Performance Build Center; assist with booking local lodging and meals, and arrange local transportation.

The build will be supervised by the centre’s technicians and topped off by a personalized nameplate.

Once completed, the engine will be sent to the Corvette assembly plant for installation in the customer’s car.

Like all engines assembled at the PBC, the customer builds are covered by Chevrolet’s five year / 100,000-mile transferable powertrain warranty.

“Simply put, no other sports car manufacturer can match the level of personal customer involvement that Corvette offers,” Campbell said. “The Corvette Engine Build Experience takes this personal involvement to an unprecedented level.”