The Grand Sport identify has at all times been particular on the earth of Corvette. Initially bought to the general public for racing homologation functions within the 1960s, the Grand Sport finally grew to become a trim stage that provided extra efficiency in numerous methods throughout the generations.
Now in its seventh era, the Corvette has tailored the Grand Sport identify to behave as a type of center floor. Utilizing the driveline of the usual Corvette Stingray, however borrowing the beefier physique and chassis of the Z06, it presents track-car dealing with with out a loopy quantity of energy that, let’s be trustworthy, is all however ineffective in most road settings. The Grand Sport was, and nonetheless is, one of the best of each worlds.
Magnificence is within the eye of the beholder
The Grand Sport is a proper looker. It has the Z06’s broad physique, and the essential form of the seventh-generation Corvette is sharp basically. The inside largely does away with the entire “each Corvette’s cabin is trash” meme. It isn’t as wild because the Z06 or ZR1, however it nonetheless stands out. Once more, one of the best of each worlds.
However my tester is totally different. Mine wears over $7,000 in aesthetic upgrades, and most of them are… not good. That black vinyl stripe from hood to spoiler? $995. All that love-it-or-hate-it carbon fiber on the dashboard and steering wheel? $1,595. The carbon fiber exterior trim that is assured to scrape on any driveway with a slope? $three,995. Earlier than it, your $65,495 base value balloons to a disturbing $94,300, which is that this Grand Sport’s as-tested value.
The one extraneous bits I might maintain are the coloured hashes on the fender, which throw again to earlier Grand Sports activities, and the package deal is not too costly at $795. But it surely’s not something a cut price hunter cannot get reduce at a neighborhood aftermarket store for half the value.
It is mighty aggressive from each angle.
The Grand Sport depends on the usual Corvette motor: Basic Motors’ 6.2-liter LT1 V8 placing out 460 horsepower and 465 pound-feet of torque. It is a screamer along side the usual lively exhaust, which I depart in Observe mode (its loudest) as a result of there are few issues extra satisfying than the crisp bark of a cold-starting V8 within the morning, or the howl that accompanies a surprisingly fast run as much as its 6,500-rpm redline.
Chevrolet’s seven-speed guide transmission is a peach. The clutch is slightly heavy, however the chew level arrives with loads of feeling and the shifter itself is satisfying whether or not I am shifting lazily or with some vigor. I respect the Grand Sport’s rev-matching downshifts, although the system defaults to off with each push of the beginning button — not good for me, however in all probability good for the extra fleet of foot. A few of us at Roadshow disagree with using the automatic-transmission mannequin’s shift paddles for this operate, however it would not actually trouble me.
All Grand Sports activities include Chevrolet’s wonderful magnetorheological suspension as customary tools, however my tester packs one thing particular: The $7,995 Z07 package deal, which provides Brembo carbon-ceramic brakes, Michelin Pilot Sport Cup summer season tires and the non-compulsory Z07 suspension from the Z06. Whereas it is undoubtedly higher to have for twisting roads and the monitor, it is a hair away from being too stiff for regular road use. Each time I drive over a pronounced bump or growth joint, the automotive bucks like a mechanical bull with a strong rear axle, even in its softest setting.
When the going will get twisty, the Grand Sport is prepared for all its go-fast bits to do their collective job. The suspension eliminates physique roll and the steering reacts shortly to modifications in route. Regardless of the monster 335/25ZR20 rear tires, getting to 3rd base with the throttle early within the nook will produce some enjoyable, controllable oversteer.
Just like the common Corvette, the Grand Sport has a number of adjustable modes. I want to go away it in the usual Tour mode, which I feel delivers one of the best throttle response for many conditions versus the sharper Sport and Observe modes. Eco mode engages cylinder deactivation for improved economic system, however I see freeway mileage round 30 mpg even with out it — spectacular, given its 25-mpg EPA freeway score.
Spectacular tech, if slightly aged
Chevrolet has executed a commendable job as a tech-forward home automaker, and even the Corvette is not resistant to its bevy of gadgetry, which features a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, embedded navigation and internet-based information, sports activities and even procuring apps on its MyLink infotainment system. The infotainment setup is responsive sufficient, however the look is out-of-date. Chevrolet’s graphics may use a refresh.
Along with the display screen on the dashboard, the gauge cluster additionally accommodates a configurable show. I like the truth that it modifications its look primarily based on car mode, however I prefer it much more as a result of you possibly can set the gauges to their raciest look with out having to drive the automotive all over the place in Observe mode.
Should you’re on the lookout for lively security methods, there aren’t too many accessible. My Grand Sport tester is (to some, maybe) delightfully devoid of newfangled security doodads, sporting a regular cruise management system and that is it. Whereas not everybody might want them, it could be good if some methods had been not less than non-compulsory.
The backup digital camera is on the low-resolution aspect, however it works. Two of my favourite tech bits come as a part of the $9,745 3LT trim stage. The colour head-up show lets me see the whole lot from a tachometer to no matter’s on the radio, and a trio of entrance cameras ensures I do not scrape the low lip on something.
The infotainment display screen may also decrease to disclose a secret cubby.
How I might spec it
My tester has $27,000 in choices — or about $17,000 if you happen to rely 3LT as a trim and never a package deal — however I discover each numbers totally ludicrous given the Grand Sport’s cut price play, so we’ll begin again on the base $65,495 Grand Sport coupe.
From there, I will add $four,455 to maneuver as much as the 2LT trim, which has all of the issues I would like from the 3LT package deal — the HUD, curb cameras, ventilated seats and auto-dimming mirrors — with out all of the pointless leather-wrapped-interior frippery. I will take the free Arctic White paint job, however I will nonetheless throw down the $795 for the fender hashes.
Michigan’s roads are rubbish, so I will skip over the Z07 package deal. I’ll, nonetheless, shell out $690 for a efficiency consumption that may add as much as 15 horsepower. I will additionally tack on $1,995 for the game seats, if solely as a result of they give the impression of being cool and really feel lots supportive. That leaves me with a much more reasonably priced $73,430 Grand Sport — $74,525, when you issue within the $1,095 vacation spot cost. Significantly better than $94,300, that is for positive.
Right down to brass tacks
It is laborious to discover a sports activities coupe that’s this a lot enjoyable at this value level. The BMW M4 begins a grand or so above the Grand Sport, however I do not suppose it is that good. The most affordable V8-powered Jaguar F-Kind begins at $100,000. The Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 begins round $56,000 — even in its most pedestrian kind, it is nonetheless slightly extra hardcore than the ‘Vette, however its flat-plane-crank V8 has a superior sound and an totally ridiculous eight,250-rpm redline.
The Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport occupies the precise center of the Corvette spectrum, taking the great bits of the Z06 and mating them to the also-good bits of the bottom Corvette. The Grand Sport will nonetheless allow you to train some g-force good occasions with out actually overdoing it.
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