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From the July 2016 Issue of Car and Driver.
The 2017 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport is probably not what you think it is.
It’s certainly not a ferocious factory racing machine, as the first blistered and vented Grand Sport was in 1963. And it’s not the wrapper in which a new version of the Chevy small-block V-8 is presented. That was true of the 1996 Grand Sport, the vehicle first to bear the LT4 engine that stoked the embers at the end of the C4’s life. One look at the new GS’s muscled glutes and you’ll know it’s something more than just a trim and paint job, but, despite the sincere wishes of some on our staff, it is not the long-awaited mid-engined Corvette.
Tadge Juechter, Corvette chief engineer and our right-seat companion for part of our first drive of the Grand Sport, puts the new car in a slightly different perspective. “This is big business for us,” he says. “The last Grand Sport [of the C6 generation] kept the Bowling Green plant running. It was our highest-volume model.”
Sports-car buyers are more fickle than most. Sales are hot when a new model arrives, as they certainly have been for the C7 Stingray, but then they typically go tumbling off a cliff after a few years. With its long history, the Corvette hasn’t necessarily suffered as much as newcomers in this cycle of boom-and-bust because enough Americans have grown up with the unwavering desire to someday buy a Corvette—not the newest sports car, but a Corvette specifically.
Still, adding a hot, updated version a couple of years into a product’s life is never a bad idea. For whatever the Grand Sport once was, it is now a full-fledged model within the Corvette lineup. And like the C6 version of the GS—as with a number of Porsche 911 variations and almost all Taco Bell menu items—the new car is an assemblage of known parts.
This particular concoction starts with the Stingray’s drivetrain, the naturally aspirated LT1 6.2-liter V-8, but fitted as standard here with the dual-mode exhaust system that’s optional on the base Stingray, plus the dry-sump arrangement of the Z51 version. It produces the same 460 horsepower at 6000 rpm and 465 pound-feet of torque at 4600 rpm. This level of output is what Rolls-Royce used to refer to, in typical winking understatement, as “adequate.”
It is only in a world where less than $100,000 can buy you a factory-warrantied 600- or 700-hp car that 460 sounds unimpressive. Have you ever tried to fully exploit 650 horsepower on the street for anything more than a fleeting moment? If so, are you currently reading this story from the comfort of the prison rec room?
As a full member of the Corvette brood, the Grand Sport is available with either the seven-speed manual or the eight-speed automatic transaxles. In the case of the manual, it carries the Z51’s shorter gearset for livelier acceleration. Opt for the automatic and Chevy specifies the Z51 automatic’s 2.73:1 final-drive ratio in place of the regular Vette’s 2.41:1 ratio.
The Grand Sport has the stance of a thick-bodied lizard and the feet of a gecko. Measuring 77.4 inches at its widest, the Grand Sport is only 3.5 inches wider than a standard Corvette, but it seems six inches . . . a foot . . . nay, a yard wider. The Grand Sport is, naturally, exactly as wide as the Z06, with which it shares its body panels and suspension setup. The sticky-footed car we drove wore track-ready Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires (P285/30ZR-19 up front and P335/25ZR-20 out back). They are part of the optional Z07 package that, as on the Z06, also comes with huge carbon-ceramic brake rotors (15.5 inches in diameter up front and 15.3 in the rear), plus the Stage 2 aero package that adds all varieties of aero doodads, fillips, and finger-noodlers.
As we approach the parked car, we notice the nearly featureless treads of the tires textured with hundreds of little white pebbles adhering to the flat surface. It looks as if the Grand Sport rides on enormous nonpareil candies. And truth be told, these tires and those candies are not the most dissimilar things in the world.
GREG PAJO, THE MANUFACTURER
The suspension system is tuned to fit nicely about halfway between the Stingray and the Z06 on the passive-aggressive continuum. But each Corvette that wears the magnetorheological dampers (which come standard on the Grand Sport) has a mighty broad bandwidth of character. If you plotted the Z51, Grand Sport, and Z06 on a Venn diagram, you would find the ride and handling attributes clustered in overlapping sections. Such is the world of highly customizable, mode-shifting, electronically controlled automobilia. There’s not a bull’s-eye for ride and handling compromise. There are instead five dartboards, one for each of the distinct modes.
It’s a far cry from 1962, when Zora Arkus-Duntov developed the original Grand Sport racer on some of the same roads through GM’s Milford, Michigan, proving grounds where we’re driving the new car today. In the silent home-movie-quality footage of one of Arkus-Duntov’s drives, the father of the Corvette and two-time Le Mans class winner wears a sport coat, loafers, and a cue-ball-white open-face helmet while walking quickly to the car, a freshly lit cigarette dangling at a 45-degree angle to his face.
GREG PAJO, THE MANUFACTURER
We look nowhere near as effortlessly cool, and rain hangs in the chilly spring air, but we’re determined to make the best of it. (The unpleasant weather is why we chose to photograph the GS indoors). The 2017 car shares only its 6.2-liter engine displacement with the ’63 Grand Sport race car. But the new production car is an extremely quick machine that’s also docile and tractable in a way that would have been inconceivable in 1962. The only similarity between the two cars’ behavior is that, when wet and cold, the Cup 2 tires can’t cope with the Vette’s power—at least, not when applied liberally—and the rear of the car fires sideways. On dry pavement, these monster tires will deliver 1.20 g’s of lateral grip, says Chevy. That’s a credible claim considering that we achieved 1.19 g’s in a Z06 shod with the same tires. The standard Michelin Pilot Super Sports are much more roadworthy and long-lived and will deliver more than 1.00 g, which, let us remind you, is an enormous amount of grip that you are unlikely to exhaust on the road. You can get the standard tires by opting out of the Z07 package, which also drops the carbon-ceramic brakes for smaller cast-iron ones, the rotors of which are sized between those of the Stingray Z51 and the Z06. You might choose to forgo the carbon ceramics for price, but don’t worry about them being loud when cold or lame when wet, like some other carmakers’ carbon ceramics (we’re looking at you, BMW). These are well behaved.
Either way, Grand Sport drivers should have more than enough tire, brake, and cooling capacity for serious track work. On Milford’s ride-and-handling loop, a section of gentle curves and alternately ragged or lumpy pavement, the Grand Sport could only be made unpleasant by calling up the stiffest track setting and only then after encountering a series of chatter bumps. You won’t do that. Left in touring or sport, the ride is admirably free of harshness and the car shrugs off nasty midcorner heaves and hillocks. As with other Corvettes, you can also personalize the settings for various systems to suit your fancy. The tuning of the dual-mode exhaust is coordinated with each mode—almost mute in eco mode and getting fairly nasty in sport and track. By modifying the threshold at which the exhaust’s butterfly valves open, Chevrolet has made the Grand Sport a little more aggressive than the standard Stingray, according to Charlie Rusher, a noise and vibration engineer on the Corvette. If you’re looking for someone to thank for the pitch-perfect rumble/rip of the Corvette’s exhaust, Rusher would be a good candidate.
GREG PAJO, THE MANUFACTURER
With greater aerodynamic drag than a Stingray, the Grand Sport will lose a couple of mph from the base car’s 181-mph top speed, says Juechter. The Grand Sport weighs an estimated 130 pounds more than the Stingray (for a total claimed weight of 3428 pounds). Still, Chevrolet figures an automatic Grand Sport with the Z07 package will get to 60 mph about a tenth quicker than a Stingray automatic because of the increased rear traction.
Otherwise, the Grand Sport feels like what it is: a Stingray with an enormous amount of grip. And it looks like what it is: a Z06 without the completely absurd power. At $66,445, the base price of the Grand Sport coupe is about $10,000 higher than an entry-level Stingray, roughly $5000 more than the cheapest Stingray Z51, and about $15,000 less than the least expensive Z06. The convertible Grand Sport starts at $70,445. This is the sweet spot, folks.
At those prices, with that look, expect that the Grand Sport will once again be big business for Chevrolet.
2017 Chevrolet Corvetter Grand Sport
front-engine, rear-wheel-drive, 2-passenger, 2-door targa or convertible
ESTIMATED BASE PRICE
pushrod 16-valve V-8, aluminum block and heads, direct fuel injection
376 in3, 6162 cm3
460 hp @ 6000 rpm
465 lb-ft @ 4600 rpm
7-speed manual, 8-speed automatic with manual shifting mode
Wheelbase: 106.7 in
Length: 177.9 in
Width: 77.4 in
Height: 48.6 in
Passenger volume: 52 ft3
Cargo volume (convertible/targa): 10/15 ft3
Curb weight: 3500-3600 lb
PERFORMANCE (C/D EST)
Zero to 60 mph: 3.7-4.0 sec
Zero to 100 mph: 8.4-8.9 sec
Standing ¼-mile: 11.9-12.3 sec
Top speed: 175 mph
FUEL ECONOMY (C/D EST)
EPA combined/city/hwy: 20/15-16/28 mpg
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Chevrolet Corvette C7 Grand Sport 466 PS (2016-›2019) Technical Specifications and performance figures
Specs Chevrolet Corvette C7 Grand Sport 466 PS
Other engine technical information
Torque motor reserve ˜ 15 %
Specific power ˜ 0.45 kW/cm²
Total bore area ˜ 669.8 cm²
Brake mean effective pressure ˜ 12.8 bars
Mean effective pressure ˜ 12 bars
Mean piston speed ˜ 18.4 m/s
Engine optimisation rating ˜ 74 %
Longitudinal Front Engine 8 cylindersin V6162 cm³16 valves direct injection
Power : 466 PS (343 kW / 460 bhp) at 6000 rpm (Max rev 6600 rpm)
Chevrolet Corvette C7 Grand Sport 466 PS -> https://zeperfs.com/en/fiche6529-chevrolet-corvette-c7-grand-sport.htm 126.96.36.199
Torque : 630 Nm (64.2 mkg / 465 lb-ft) at 4600 rpm (~ 413 PS)
Ratios : 76 PS/L (56 kW/L) - 102 Nm/L
Torque & power curves
Transmission : Rear Wheel Drive + limited slip differential
Gearbox: manual 7 gear
Tires : 285/30/19 Front - 335/25/20 Rear
Brakes Front : Ventilated drilled discs (394mm) 6 piston fixed calipers
Brakes Rear : Ventilated drilled discs (388mm) 4 piston fixed calipers
Dimensions : 177.7x 77.4x 48.6inches
Wheelbase : 106.7 inches - Track : Front 63.5 inches / Rear 62.5 inches
Weight claimed : 1588 kg / 3501 lb (DIN) 1663 kg (EU)
Weight (EU) : 1663 kg / 3666 lb(heaviest verified in running order)
Weight/Power ratio : 3.6 kg/PS = 8 lbs/hp = 206 kW/T
Torque/Weight ratio : 379 Nm/T
Fuel consumption economy: 12.3 L/100 (19.1mpg)- sport: 20 L/100 (11.8mpg)
CO² rejection : 282 g/kmG
Indicative base price : ~96 700 € (~ 101 100 € actuels)
Launching year 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 end of production
The Chevrolet Corvette C7 Grand Sport has a naturally aspirated eight cylinders in V longitudinal front engine providing a maximum torque of 630 Nm available from 4600 rpm and a maximum power outpup of 466 PS available at 6000 rpm transmitted to the 20 inch rear wheels by a manual 7 speed gearbox.
if a specification seems to be wrong, please tell us
Performance Chevrolet Corvette C7 Grand Sport 466 PS
89 results returned from 7 Sources : Auto Bild, Auto Motor & Sport, Car & Driver, Motor Trend, Motorsport, Road & Track, Sport Auto
Averages of referenced test measurements
Top Speed claimed:
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0 to 100 kph4.1 s. claimed
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40 to 140 minimum
60 to 100 in 4
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Kph as default unit
Fastest laps times on tracks
National Corvette Museum West
Virginia International Grand West 4.1mi
Navigate Chevrolet Corvette C7 Grand Sport 466 PS
The hills are alive with the sound of thundering Bald Eagles. Actually, there are no hills at Johnny Bohmer Proving Grounds, just trees and 3.2 miles of extremely level tarmac situated in Florida’s Space Coast next to the Atlantic Ocean. As for the Bald Eagles, that’s the sound of American V8 power, delivered today by a 2018 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport.
This isn’t the base model ‘Vette, but it does wield the entry-level engine. Under the long hood is a 6.2-liter LT1 V8 developing 460 horsepower (343 kilowatts), driving the rear wheels through a seven-speed manual transmission. The car is said to be completely stock, and as such, GM says it should top out at a drag-limited 175 mph. In fact, this plucky Corvette claws its way past that mark to reach 180 mph, but that’s not really the takeaway from this video.
By now, we’ve seen many cars tackle the 2.7-mile stretch of runway formerly used by the Space Shuttle, and most have clipped past the 200-mph barrier without much effort. The fact that this Corvette seems slow is a testament to both the wide-open space at the facility, and the insane golden age of performance we currently enjoy. This is a 460-hp two-seat sports car that hits 180 mph – in no reasonable way is this car slow. And yet, the video plays more like dash cam footage on YouTube from an empty highway in Arizona. At least this time we’re treated to a good, long look at the Space Shuttle on display at the side of the runway.
We’ll say this much about the run, however. When the video switches to the outside camera at the finish line, the noise of this sweet V8 at full roar is the stuff of petrolhead porn. Here’s hoping the forthcoming mid-engined Corvette sounds just as good.
Source: Johnny Bohmer Proving Grounds via YouTube
Speed sport c7 grand top
Much like the C6-based model before it, the C7 Grand Sport is essentially a Corvette Z06 on the outside, borrowing most of the aerodynamic kit seen on Chevy’s high-performance sports car. Upon closer inspection though, the Grand Sport stands out thanks to its specific front fender inserts and custom wheel design.
Much like the C6-based model before it, the C7 Grand Sport is essentially a Corvette Z06 on the outside
Those who don’t want their Grand Sport to be confused with the Z06 need to opt for the available Heritage package, which adds hash-mark fender graphics in one of six colors. Full-length stripes in the same colors are also offered. The hash-mark and the stripes can be paired with any exterior color from the Corvette palette, which includes four standard paints, two premium tintcoat hues, the new-for-2016 Admiral Blue Metallic, and new-for-2017 Watkins Glen Gray Metallic, Black Rose Metallic, and Sterling Blue Metallic.
The Grand Sport Collector Edition, set to be launched later in 2016, will feature an exclusive Watkins Glen Gray Metallic exterior with Tension Blue hash-mark graphics, satin black full-length stripes, and black wheels. This model is shown above and was used to launch the car at the Geneva Motor Show.
Chevrolet described the Tension Blue color as "a bold, modern take on the hue historically associated with the Grand Sport." Specifically, it is based on the blue color used on all five original Grand Sports, either as a full body paint or as stripes on white-finished cars.
The cabin can be had with either the GT or Competition sport seats
Just like the exterior, the interior of the Grand Sport is based on the Z06’s. Notable differences from the standard Corvette include more premium materials, extra carbon-fiber inserts, magnesium seat frame structures, and a flat-bottom steering wheel with the "Grand Sport" logo on the lower spoke. The cabin can be had with either the GT or Competition sport seats and in any of the color combinations available with the standard Corvette. Models selected with the Heritage package will also get brushed aluminum trim with hash-marks.
The Grand Sport Collector Edition will feature a Tension Blue full leather and suede interior and the original Grand Sport race car embossed in the headrests. The same shape is used on the instrument panel plaque with build sequence number from "0001" to "1000," though Chevy has no plans of limiting production numbers.
It may look like the Z06 inside and out, but the Grand Sport is a Corvette for purists, as the front hood hides the same LT1 found in the standard model. The unit cranks out 460 horsepower and 465 pound-feet of torque, which means the car is equipped with the optional performance exhaust system (the standard Corvette comes with 455 horses and 460 pound-feet).
The LT1 unit cranks out 460 horsepower and 465 pound-feet of torque
Transmission options include the same seven-speed manual with active rev match and eight-speed automatic with paddle shifters. The latter has been optimized for the Grand Sport.
Standard features include magnetic ride control, revised stabilizer bars, bespoke springs, an electronic limited-slip differential, Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires and Brembo brakes. The optional Z07 pack, also taken from the Corvette Z06, adds ceramic brakes and Pilot Sport 2 Cup rubber. The chassis and cooling systems of the Z06 have been specifically tuned for the Grand Sport
Chevrolet has yet to release performance data, but said the Grand Sport with the Z07 package is less than one second slower than the previous Corvette ZR1 on its Milford Proving Ground track, which is downright impressive since the ZR1 had 178 more horsepoewer. Considering the improved aerodynamics and the Z06-sourced gear, the Grand Sport should be about two tenths quicker than the standard Vette. Look for a 0-to-60 mph sprint of 3.5 seconds with the eight-speed automatic.
Pricing for the Corvette Grand Sport Coupe starts from $66,445, which accounts for a healthy $10,050 premium over the standard Stingray. The Convertible starts from $70,445, an identical $10,050 increase over the base model. Chevy had nothing to say about the Collector Edition model, but it’s safe to assume that it won’t be much more expensive than the Grand Sport.
The First 2017 Chevy Corvette Grand Sport Collector’s Edition has rolled off the line and was auctioned off at the Barrett-Jackson Auction in Palm Beach, Florida in April 2016, fetching $170,000. All proceeds were donated to the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute.
Porsche 911 R
Also unveiled at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show, the 911 R is a GT3 RS made for purists. Built using retuned GT3 underpinnings, the GT3’s body sans the massive rear wing, and stuffed with a GT3 RS engine paired to a manual transmission, the 911 R is essentially the three-pedal GT3 enthusiasts have been asking for years. The 3.8-liter flat-six pumps 500 horsepower and 339 pound-feet of torque to the wheels, enabling the German coupe to hit 60 mph from a standing start in 3.7 seconds. This figure puts the 911 R on par with the manual Grand Sport, but makes it slightly slower than the automatic-equipped Vette. The big difference between the two lies in the pricing and availability departments. While the Grand Sport is likely to cost less than $70,000 before options, the 911 R is the most expensive 911 to date at $184,900. What’s more, all 991 units of the 911 R have been sold out before the car’s official unveiling, whereas Chevrolet will build as many Grand Sports as it can sell. Granted, the 911 R is cool and all, but buying a Grand Sport is significantly easier and cheaper.
Find out more about the Porsche 911 R here.
Throughout its history, the Corvette gave birth to many exciting sports cars, including the L88, ZR1, and Z06. However, none created more stir than the Grand Sport, essentially the first factory-built race-spec Corvette and the spiritual successor to Chevy’s iconic C3-based motorsport weapons. In 2016, the nameplate returns on a bespoke Corvette than can be described as a road-going version of the C7.R race car. Much like the 911 R, it’s a purist driver’s race car for the road without the aerodynamic elements needed on the track. It’s by far the most track-focused Grand Sport since the 1963 original and a vehicle that will enable the C7 Corvette to expand its customer base even further.
- Corvette Z06 body over a naturally aspirated V-8
- Heritage package inspired by the original Grand Sport
- A true driver’s car
- Significantly more affordable than competition
- Not as exclusive as the 911 R
Updated 04/05/2016: The first 2017 Chevy Corvette Grand Sport will be auctioned off at the Barrett-Jackson Auction on April 8th to benefit the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute. Read the details in the pricing section below.
Updated 03/04/2016: We added a series of new images taken during the car’s official presentation at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show. Click the "Pictures" tab to check them out!
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