Is this the Goldilocks Corvette we’ve been waiting for?
A new Chevrolet Corvette variant was revealed at the 2016 Geneva auto show: the 2017 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport. The new model will slot between the base Corvette Stingray Z51 and the track-focused Corvette Z06.
Combining attributes of the Stingray and Z06, the new Corvette Grand Sport could be the ultimate Goldilocks model. Using the Stingray Z51‘s naturally aspirated 460-hp 6.2-liter LT1 V-8, the Grand Sport gains a wider body, wider wheel and tire setup, and larger brakes inspired by the Z06 model.
“We didn’t hold back with the new Grand Sport,” said Tadge Juechter, Corvette chief engineer, in a release. “For the first time, buyers can equip the Grand Sport with a Z07 performance package.”
Performance upgrades include a dry-sump oiling system and active exhaust, electronic limited-slip differential, magnetic ride control suspension, and Grand Sport-specific stabilizer bars and springs. The Grand Sport’s transmission choices include the seven-speed manual with active rev match and eight-speed paddle-shift automatic transmission with revised calibration.
Exterior upgrades include Grand Sport-specific front fender inserts, a Z06-style grille and wider rear fenders and exclusive Grand Sport alloy wheels measuring 19×10 inches in the front and 20×12 inches in the rear wrapped in standard Michelin Pilot Super Sport summer tires (285/30ZR19 and 335/25ZR20 front and rear, respectively). Brembo supplies a set of six-piston calipers and 14-inch rotors up front and four-piston calipers and 13.4-inch rotors out back.
The Z06’s optional Z07 package is available on the new Corvette Grand Sport and includes carbon fiber aerodynamic bits including a front splitter and large rear wing as well as carbon ceramic-matrix brake rotors and Michelin Pilot Sport 2 Cup tires. With the Z07 aero pieces, the stock Grand Sport’s 1.05-g lateral average increases to 1.2 g.
In one of our long-term updates, we compared the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Z51 to the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06. We noted the difficulties in putting the power down on the street in the Z06 with its supercharged 650-hp LT4 engine. We also theorized that the Z06’s adjustable ride suspension and Stingray’s power delivery would make for a better driving experience.
The Corvette Grand Sport is available with the Stingray’s full palette of exterior and interior colors, while a Heritage package with hash-mark fender graphics is available. The graphics can be had in a choice of six colors that are also carried over to the brushed aluminum interior trim. Other cosmetic options include full-length stripes.
Grand Sport Collector Edition
Chevrolet will also offer a Corvette Grand Sport Collector Edition model featuring an exclusive Watkins Glen Gray Metallic paint with Tension Blue hash-mark graphics, satin black full-length stripes, and black wheels. Inside, the Collector Edition features a full leather- and suede-wrapped interior in Tension Blue. Special details include an embossed three-dimensional depiction of the original Corvette Grand Sport race car on the headrests. The race car is also present on the instrument panel build sequence plaque.
“The choices are almost endless,” said Harlan Charles, Corvette product marketing manager, in a release. “The packages take personalization to an unprecedented level, enabling customers to create their own Corvette Grand Sport statement like no other.”