Chevrolet's Corvette is already one of the best bargains in supercar-level performance available, from the base Coupe to the ZR1 mega-car. Now, it gets a bit of the true supercar touch, thanks to a new program Chevrolet announced today: the engine build experience.

Rather than just taking delivery at the factory or the dealer lot, Corvette buyers can now visit the factory to watch their exact car travel down the assembly line before taking delivery at the National Corvette Museum--and then testing it out on the track. Along the way, they can even help build their own engine.

The engine build experience, available to customers that order a 2011 Corvette Z06 or ZR1, adds a level of personal contact with the car even Lamborghini and Ferrari don't match. For those owners, the 505-horsepower LS7 and 638-horsepower LS9 engines that power the cars will now contain something even more special than raw motive force.

It's not a freebie, however: the engine build option will cost buyers $5,800. That money could be considered tuition, however, as they will build the engine under supervision of GM's skilled techs. Once finished, the engine gets a nameplate with the owner's name on the block next to the GM engine builder's name before being sent to the assembly plant and installed in the car.

The engine build experience also includes museum delivery and a driving school, though those features can also be had apart from the engine build. The Buyer's Tour lets corvette buyers tour the Bowling Green assembly plant where all Corvettes are built for just $400, while the museum delivery option runs $490.

Standard Corvettes don't get get the engine build option because the LS3 that goes under their hoods isn't already a hand-built unit, unlike the LS7 and LS9.


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