The latest version of the Grand Sport finished behind the Lotus Evora 400 and the winner, the Acura NSX.
The test, by the way, was held at the National Corvette Museum Motorsports Park.
Here’s the way Road and Track described the GS:
“Not since 1984 has an automobile with the crossed-flags badge so thoroughly defied convention and stereotype. It’s a momentum car, offering trouble-free access to every corner of its massive performance envelope. It’s a driver’s car, with an honest-to-God clutch pedal and a naturally aspirated engine that loves to rev. Neither as fast as the Z06 nor as tossable as the Z51, the Grand Sport combines the best aspects of both with serious style and desirability. Drivers who value track-day prowess and pace need look no further up our podium than this Corvette.”
The magazine noted that the Grand Sport set the second-fastest lap time by combining Lotus-style approachability and feedback with V8 torque and seriously overspecified running gear. “This car,” Corvette’s Mero remarks, “makes regular people feel like heroes.” It certainly does the trick on NCM’s vicious Turn 5, the track’s most challenging turn. The Grand Sport achieved 97.1 mph and 1.07 g in that turn on my first fast lap behind the wheel, numbers that nothing else could match.
Here’s more on the way Road and Track judged the cars:
Entrants must be new or significantly revised for 2017, and they must be traditionally shaped cars that push the limits of high performance on both road and track. That means no high-power crossovers, no hot hatches, and no rally replicas. The test spans four days, two of which are dedicated to the fast back roads of Kentucky and Tennessee and two of which are spent on track at NCM Motorsports Park. Although we invite every car that fits the criteria, some manufacturers are unable to meet our scheduling requirements and others are unwilling to expose their products to the harsh light of open competition. This year, we had nine contenders answer the bell. We chose the winner through two rounds of balloting among our 10 editors. Although we record lap times at NCM and take a few other performance measurements, this is neither a fastest-lap contest nor a battle for spec-sheet supremacy. Our goal is to find the car that best stirs the emotions, captivates the driver, and boldly faces the future. We measure with the stopwatch, and we evaluate with the mind, but in the end, we will choose with the heart.
While we’re disappointed the Corvette didn’t win, we were encouraged by one comment about the Acura:
To drive it for 10 laps on track is to permanently shed any worries that the next generation of supercars will be overpowered takes on a Prius; to experience it on a fast road is to be reassured that tomorrow’s technology will be accessible and enjoyable.
With the knowledge that Acura can build such a car today, we have extreme confidence that Tadge Juechter and his crew at Corvette are up to reaching a similar goal in the years to come.
Road and Track
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