As Corvette chief engineer Tadge Juechter sees it, the new Grand Sport is “the purist’s Corvette.” You won’t hear us argue that point, but we think his description of the basic Stingray is even more apt for this model: “the essential Corvette.” It brings to mind greatest-hits albums that showcase a given artist’s best work in one tidy package—and that’s what this car is at its core, combining as it does the Stingray’s LT1 small-block V-8 with the Z06’s brash bodywork and ludicrously capable chassis hardware. (The Z06 is “the ultimate Corvette,” so think of that one as the comprehensive box set.)
In the Grand Sport, the 6.2-liter V-8 is equipped as standard with the Stingray’s available dry-sump lubrication system—the better to keep the engine’s internals slippery during high-g cornering and braking—and deep-throated dual-mode exhaust. It makes 460 horsepower and 465 lb-ft of torque, which, if you take a moment to examine the specifications panel accompanying this story, you’ll see is quite sufficient. The Grand Sport accelerates to 60 mph from rest in 3.8 seconds, 0.1 second quicker than our top time for a 460-horse Stingray with the same seven-speed manual transmission, and through the quarter-mile in a blistering 12.2 seconds.
We’ve previously published our first drive of the Grand Sport, and you can dive deep into its equipment and sundry changes there. Our test car had the $7995 Z07 package, which nabs the same carbon-ceramic brakes and gummy Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 ZP tires fitted to the Z06, as well as the aggressive $2995 Stage 2 aerodynamics package with all manner of angry-looking splitters, spoilers, and vanes to augment the mile-wide fenders. What you won’t find on the GS options list is the adjustable clear piece for the spoiler of the Z06’s Stage 3 aero kit, as it was determined to generate too much drag for the Grand Sport’s power level. Still, the Grand Sport dug into our skidpad for 1.18 g’s worth of grip and hauled itself to a stop from 70 mph in a retina-stretching 129 feet.
In addition to our test track, we also had the chance to experience all that grip—oh, the glorious grip—and stopping power at Atlanta Motorsports Park, a tight, technical, and undulating 1.8-mile road course draped over the northern Georgia hills. There, the Grand Sport’s eye-popping performance numbers became tangible, as we lapped to the soundtrack of a thunderous bass riff blatting from the quad tailpipes. The car is easy to drive fast, as its deep affection for traction allows you to steadily progress to the limit without fear of breaking loose, and the chassis and P285/30ZR-19 front and P335/25ZR-20 rear Cup 2 rubber clearly communicate exactly how much grip remains at both ends. In addition, all Grand Sports are equipped with the electronically controlled limited-slip differential that’s optional on Stingrays. Complete review on www.caranddriver.com, by Manufacturer
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