As a GM veteran of 38 years, from 1970 until 2008, John Heinricy is a name that every true GM performance enthusiast recognizes, along with the likes of Al Oppenheiser, Tadge Juechter, and even Bob Lutz. Heinricy was instrumental in the developments of both the C4 and C5 Corvettes, holds several professional driving championships, eleven SCCA national titles, and even three FIA world speed records to his name. He was also the man who drove the Cadillac CTS-V around the ‘Ring in under eight minutes. To put it simply, Heinricy can drive. And recently, he’s been driving a Corvette 427 Convertible.
The 427 is essentially a Z06 with a rag top. A 505-horsepower LS7 motor? Check. Magnetic ride control? Check. A retractable roof to hear the thunderous upshift? Checkmate. There’s really nothing like a 7.0L naturally breathing V8 wailing away at just under 7,000 RPM. We can vouch for such an experience (more on that soon). It’s a great send-off to the C6, while the world awaits the launch of the C7, which Heinricy hints in the video below that it will be tasked to take on the venomous 2013 SRT Viper, and other supercars.
As for the C7, Heinricy expects the all-new Corvette to feature enhanced weight distribution, and to take advantage of engine technologies like cylinder deactivation and direct injection to improve efficiency. All of these elements, combined with an optimized driving experience, seem to be a near reality. But we’ll still have to wait next year to drive one. In the meantime, have a look at the video by Motor Trend below. As a bonus, the first production 1996 Corvette Grand Sport makes a cameo.