The Bottom Line
Meet the all-new 2010 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport, which replaces the Z51 suspension package as the way to get a great-handling Corvette without the need to take out a second mortgage. Priced at $55,720, the Grand Sport combines the wide-track suspension, stickier tires and (for manual cars) dry-sump oiling system from the pricier Corvette Z06 with the base model's 430 hp LS3 engine, the goal being to provide a heart-pounding drive without a heart-stopping sticker price. Does the Corvette Grand Sport succeed? Read on.
- Fast and loud
- Handles like a proper sports car
- Incredible bang-for-the-buck
- Best Corvette this side of the ZR1
- Cheapish interior
- Expensive options
- Grand Sport replaces Z51 as better-handling base-model Corvettes
- Body styles: 2-door coupe, 2-door convertible
- Price range (including options): $55,720 - $73,010
- Powertrain: 6.2 liter V8, 430-436 hp, 424-428 lb-ft, 6-speed manual/6-speed automatic, rear-wheel-drive
- EPA MPG estimates: 16 MPG city/26 MPG highway (manual), 15/25 (automatic)
- Best rivals: Chevrolet Camaro SS, Nissan GT-R, Porsche 911
- The vehicle for this test drive was provided by Chevrolet.
Guide Review - 2010 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport
I've always been a Corvette fan. Actually, that's a lie -- I used to make fun of Corvettes with reckless abandon, until I tested the 2008 'Vette with the then-new 430 hp LS3 engine. It was so good that I decided to start lying and saying that I've always been a Corvette fan. But my major complaint -- besides the cheap interior, the pricey options, and the way it screams "MID-LIFE CRISIS!" -- was that the LS3's steering and suspension weren't sharp enough, not even if you opted for the stiffer Z51 suspension. The LS3 was -- is -- hella fast, but to get real sports-car handling, you had to pony up an extra 25 grand for the Z06 (or an extra $60k for the ZR1).
Now we have the all-new Corvette Grand Sport, priced $5840 more than the base Corvette, and the problem has been solved. This is exactly the Corvette I've been waiting for. The 430 hp engine may be the smallest horse in the Vette's stable, but it's still tons o' fast and makes fantastic noises -- and with the Grand Sport package, the 'Vette offers up the same physics-defying grip and proper-sports-car-sharpness as the Z06 and the ZR1. I love the electronic stability control system's Competitive Mode, which lets you get a little sideways without actually risking your neck. And unlike the Z-Vettes, you can get the Grand Sport with an automatic transmission -- although you're missing half the fun if you do.
Of course, there are still the usual Corvette bugaboos: Expensive options that nuke the value equation, an interior that feels like it was designed in the former Soviet Union, and the image that comes with owning a Corvette. (My suggestion: Load up on gold chains and cheap cologne and be the image, baby! Be it!) But it's still an amazing car, brimming with character, value, and a higher fun factor than exotics costing three times as much. Would I buy one? In a heartbeat. -- Aaron Gold