While there have been Corvette Grand Sports before, Chevrolet hasn’t done anything quite like this. The 2017 Grand Sport that debuted at the Geneva Motor Show takes nearly all of the functional bits of the Z06, save the supercharger, and makes a wickely hardcore driver’s Corvette.
Corvette fans will remember that all of the Z06’s aerodynamic changes were derived from the C7.R race car – and racing might be a pretty good way to validate anything that belongs on a performance car designed for track work. The Grand Sport also includes magnetic ride dampers, bespoke springs and anti-roll bars, massive Brembo brakes, and the brilliant electronically controlled limited slip diff – all as standard equipment. Optionally, the carbon ceramic brakes and fairweather-only, super sticky Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires are part of the Z07 package.
Transmission choices are the familiar 7-speed manual and 8-speed automatics, both of which have redeeming qualities to demand their specification in any Corvette. Purists looking for maximum engagement will lean towards the manual, but if you’re looking for the fastest acceleration or lap times, there’s no other choice than the obedient and exceptionally fast auto box.
The only major part of the Corvette left untouched is the engine, but that’s no matter. The 6.2-litre LT1 is a brilliant motor and is much closer to the C7.R GTE race car engine than the Z06’s supercharged LT4, making this Grand Sport the closest thing you can get to the Le Mans racer. If you think you really need the additional power of the Z06, well, the smart money will buy a Grand Sport, spend half the difference on driver coaching, and then outdrive all of the Z06s at local track days.
There’s also a convertible version available for open top fetishists, which should make for an interesting and capable back road hustler.
Deliveries start in Q3 of this year, so get your order in now, and while pricing is yet to be set, expect to find a starting price in the CAD $80,000 range. And you know this is going to make a great company car for Corvette Racing’s factory drivers.
Images courtesy of General Motors.