The 2017 Corvette Grand Sport is continuing to impress owners and automotive journalists alike since it began production this summer. Now, as automotive awards season is here, we are seeing the Grand Sport continue the tradition of C7 models gathering up trophies first started by the Stingray in 2014 and then the Z06 in 2015.
Car and Driver is the latest to recognize the Grand Sport and the magazine has named the sports car to its 2017 10Best Cars list, the third time in four years that a C7 model was selected to the prestigious list of the best automobiles for sale in America (under $80,000).
Apparently, the staff at Car and Driver was divided over the decision to add the Grand Sport to the 10Best Cars List or go with Ford’s Mustang Shelby GT350. Ultimately, both cars had the votes to land them on the list.
The common reasoning from the editors on whether the Grand Sport should not be on the list isn’t because its lacking performance akin to its big brother, the supercharged 650-horsepower Corvette Z06. None of the editors claim the Grand Sport needed more power. It was the opposite, that the Grand Sport was too much performance for casual road driving, a statement that many Grand Sport owners will probably laugh at given the fact that its precisely why many opt for the Grand Sport model over the Stingray or spending an additional $15,000 for the Z06.
Those in support of the Grand Sport talked about Chevy’s 460-horsepower naturally aspirated small-block V8 that powers the Grand Sport:
No one wrote a single paean to the Z06’s absent supercharger because no one missed it. It’s telling that no staffer suggested that the Grand Sport could use more horsepower. With a seven-speed manual, 60 mph is only 3.9 seconds away and the quarter comes up in 12.3 seconds at 117 mph. A pull through the first two gears is all that’s necessary to understand how and why Chevrolet has built more than 10 million small-blocks. Effortless power is as persuasive today as it was in 1955.
An while the same LT1 V8 is found in the C7 Stingray (which made back to back appearances on the 10Best List in 2014 and 2015), the case for the Grand Sport is made with the performance flowdown parts from the Z06:
While some seats may be optional on the Grand Sport, the serious hardware—magnetorheological dampers, an electronically controlled differential, and the Z06’s larger brakes—comes standard. For the rare occasions when Michelin Pilot Super Sports aren’t enough, the track-ready Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires and carbon-ceramic brakes of the Z07 package will knock your cochlea into the creek. Even without the Z07 package, stops from 70 mph take 136 feet, and grip on the skidpad is an unbelievable 1.13 g’s. These are supercar numbers that move into the hypercar realm when the Vette is equipped with the Z07’s exotic rubber and brakes. In the real world, it’s nigh on impossible to regularly tap the Grand Sport’s potential.
The best case for adding the Grand Sport to Car and Drivers 10Best List comes from Senior Editior Jared Gall:
“The only reason not to put it on the list is that it is too fast and too capable to exploit on public roads. To leave it off the list would be to punish Chevrolet for making it too good.”
The Corvette Grand Sport was one of three Chevrolet’s to be selected for the 2017 10Best cars list. Also included was the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt which was just named the Motor Trend Car of the Year as well as 2017 Chevrolet Camaro SS 1LE.
You can read the entire take on the 2017 Corvette Grand Sport vs the 2017 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 at Car and Driver
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