The 2017 Callaway Corvette AeroWagen turns a lot of heads. It catches the attention of other drivers rolling down the road, at stop lights, gas stations and in parking lots. Feedback I receive throughout my time with the car is mixed, with some seeing the wagon treatment ruining a perfectly good Corvette, while others find it attractive and different.
As for me, Callaway's shooting brake look doesn't float my boat in the beginning. The Chevrolet Corvette right off the showroom floor wears the right proportions and a distinctive style that is difficult to improve on, but over the course of 21 hours with the AeroWagen, it grows on me.
From the side and rear three-quarters view, the AeroWagen doesn't look like a frumpy, hobbled together mess. The profile remains striking with the tasteful carbon fiber rear spoiler finishing things off.
Speaking of carbon fiber, the hatch itself is also made from it, weighing about 1 pound less than the factory unit. Callaway's hatch is designed to fit just as well as the stock part, too, thanks to CAD data directly from General Motors. Original mounting points, hinges and seals are utilized in the AeroWagen transformation process that also adds some practicality with an additional 6 cubic feet of cargo space to the stock Corvette's already generous 15.
In my test car, there are some rattles and creaks coming from the back over bumps. To be fair, the car is Callaway's very first AeroWagen with nearly 16,000 miles on the odometer, almost all from not-so-gentle marketing activities and media loans. If unwanted noises would be as prevalent in a consumer-owned car is unknown, but I'm going to say probably not.
As for surefire downsides, rear visibility is scrunched, giving drivers a great view of the car grilles behind, and the $14,990 price tag for the AeroWagen package isn't exactly cheap.
Installation of the kits, which includes a new halo bar in addition to the carbon fiber hatch and spoiler, takes two weeks at Callaway's facilities in Connecticut or California. If you can't make it to either of those locations, the conversion can also be done at one of the 24 Callaway dealers throughout the US and Canada.
The AeroWagen package is available on all Corvette coupes in the lineup including the base Stingray, Grand Sport and Z06. Being a Callaway, the AeroWagen is of course available with additional power. On my Z06-based tester with the SC757 package, output jumps from 650 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque to 757 ponies and 777 pound-feet thanks to a new supercharger, intercooler, intake, throttle body and ECU tuning.
With the eight-speed automatic transmission, it does 60 mph in 2.7 seconds and covers the quarter-mile in 10.5 seconds at 131 mph. Callaway claims a top speed of 212 mph. The supercar performance figures seem realistic with how much thrust there is off the line and how quickly it rockets up to expressway speeds and beyond. Triple-digit speeds arrive in an alarming hurry.
For regular commuting, the drivetrain can be docile with light throttle inputs. The gearbox performs smooth shifts, while the exhaust note is mellow enough to not draw too much attention. Suspension and steering is untouched meaning the variable systems are comfortable for daily driving, and can be firmed up for spirited runs on the street or around a race track.
Fuel economy according to Callaway doesn't change from the stock 13 mpg city and 23 mpg highway rating with the automatic gearbox, which isn't horrendous considering how much power is coming from the 6.2-liter V8.
Mild styling revisions complete the SC757 changes with hood cutout providing room for the larger supercharger and badges on the outside. For the interior, a Callaway center console plaque, floor mats and door sills are among the light alternations.
For those who are weary of power modifications, Callaway includes a three-year or 36,000-mile powertrain warranty, which should give anyone throwing down $18,495 for the SC757 treatment peace of mind. The Chevrolet warranty on the rest of the car remains intact.
If given the choice between turning my Corvette coupe into an AeroWagen or adding more power, I personally would go with the performance upgrade every time over cosmetics. However, I also won't blame someone for spending the money for the AeroWagen. Chevy Corvettes are common out there, and having one that standouts from the crowd may just be worth $14,990 to someone.