The Corvette Grand Sport has graced racetracks since the 1960s. From this point in time, Chevy has only brought out their GS line occasionally during the past 50+ years.
The notable GS ‘Vettes include the 1963 ultra light race car from Corvette’s father Zora Arkus-Duntov, of which five were only completed, the 1996 C4 version limited to 1,000 cars, and the 2010 C6 which gained vast popularity and accounted for over half of ‘Vette sales in 2013 during its last year of production.
As Chief Engineer Tadge Juechter puts it, their new Corvette Grand Sport is “the purist car.”
Among the entire line which remains true to its essence, the 2017 C7 model combines the “ultimate” Z06 Corvette and “essential” Stingray Corvette in one.
The brash bodywork, chassis hardware, and ludicrous eye-popping performance of the C6 is replicated in the C7 Corvette Grand Sport.
It’s got fat and wide fenders with wheels and tires to match. It also comes with cooling systems, look-alike grille, and a track-worthy suspension which offers the Corvette Z06 handling level.
Z06-fitment P285/30ZR and rubber 335/25 Michelin Pilot Super Sport is worn on the C7’s 19” front and 20” rear wheels.
The supercharged 650-hp Z06 may be the halo Corvette of today’s times, but the ‘17 model can perform on track and be your very own supercar. It does without the added 190 horsepower, but keeps the critical suspension, brakes, and tires intact.
It also misses the clear insert wickerbill rear spoiler because the extra downforce only tends to slow the car down.
Chevy’s 2017 GS drives pretty much a regular Stingray which exhibits a quiet, comfortable and supple ride and the convenience of a functional interior.
C7’s got the magnetorheological dampers that are adjustable and the LT1 small-block engine.
The 6.2-liter V-8 is a standard to the Stingray’s z51 dry-sump oiling system. It makes 460 horsepower and 465 lb-ft of torque.
The LT1 V8 is rated at 460 hp, and 460 lb-ft of torque whereas lubrication means the engine is equipped to handle high-g cornering and braking.
Chevrolet claims that their newest Corvette Grand Sport can pull a lateral grip of 1.0 g on its Michelin tires.
The optional Z07 package brings this figure up to a remarkable 1.20 g.
It’s noteworthy that all Corvette Grand Sports are built with an electronically controlled limited-slip differential which is optional on Chevy Stingrays.
The Perfect Balance
Chevy sure knows and hears its customers.
When asked for an inexpensive sports car that contended with the best in Europe, they delivered the base Stingray.
When asked for a big engine with the automatic transmission plus a convertible top, they brought the street-terror Z06.
Now they present a genuine mix and give the best of both worlds in the 2017 Corvette Grand Sport that sits perfectly in between.
The C7 GS’s Brembo brakes nearly 14.5-inch rotors, and rears are bigger than the Stingray’s but smaller compared to what the Z06 comes with.
How about the cost? The Corvette Grand Sport is a track weapon for the budget-savvy.
For only $10,000 more than the Stingray, you get a whole lot with the massive features of the Z06.
Moreover, the C7 is priced $14,000 less, leaving you with plenty of savings compared to buying the Z06. You can use the savings to make customizations or other parts you may need to purchase in the future.
Hop on the 2017 Grand Sport Ride
So what’s it like to drive the C7? Instantly fun and delightfully comfortable.
The Grand Sport feels quite purposeful as you are empowered with control over a powerful yet friendly ‘Vette with everything it has to offer:
It’s fairly easy to drive fast, with excellent traction that allows you to steadily progress fearless of breaking loose.
This comes with the Z51’s dry sumped normally aspirated V8.
You also get the assurance with the Z06’s chassis and Michelin cup 2 rubber which is clearly indicative of how much grip remains on both ends.
The carbon-ceramic brakes offer tons of feel and bite and without the drawbacks such as noise.
Corvette Grand Sport Race Mode
Turn the PTM dial to the right, press twice then select Sport or Race mode, and you’re off.
Experience the eye-popping performance of the wide track, taut suspension and huge tires that keep your ‘Vette firmly planted as you rocket through corners and emerge poised from any turn.
Touring and Cruising Around
The car moves over the road and smothers the ground’s imperfections to give you a smooth ride.
Spin the drive mode selector into Touring and the Corvette Grand Sport makes for the perfect ride for long trips.
There’s the 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot feature to keep you connected, along with heated and ventilated seats for your utmost comfort.
The cockpit is tailored for both track time and cruising across the miles. It’s decked with an 8” touchscreen infotainment system compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone.
This is also where the performance data recorder is incorporated which can make a better driver out of you by measuring g-forces, 0-to-60-mph and overall lap times and among other functionalities.
The choice lies between a seven-speed manual transmission that’s quite smooth or the eight-speed automatic which can do lightning-fast launches in 3.6 seconds.
The Z07 kit is inclusive of Michelin PS Cup 2 tires, Brembo carbon-ceramic brakes, and aerodynamics comprised of some serious carbon-fiber pieces.
The ‘17 Corvette Grand Sport can be acquired in coupe or convertible body styles with optional fender hash stripes and full-length body stripes in almost every color.
There are ten exterior offerings and seven interior choices, five available finishes on the front and rear wheels, painted brake calipers, aluminum trim or carbon-fiber trim, suede and leather in the cabin, blacked-out badging, and even colored seatbelts to fulfill your every whim.
- Burly good classic looks with all of the grip.
- A genuine mix of the fiendishly fast Z06 and the friendly Stingray base.
- Skip the add-ons, and it’s a bargain track Corvette Grand Sport for the price.
- Two body styles available in bespoke choices.
- Two gearbox options
It’s easy to send the price dangerously near the great heights.
If you want a track weapon on a budget that’s suitable for daily drives, then the Corvette Grand Sport 2017 is for you.