Lightweight Racing DNA.
Back in the 1960s, Zora Arkus-Duntov snuck motorsport-spec bits into customer Corvettes to improve their track performance during the company’s self-imposed racing ban. He also helped to introduce five Corvette Grand Sport models that were set to race but cut due to that same in-house racing ban. Those models later inspired the Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport package and the same formula for lightweight performance still lives on today.
The 2017 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport made its debut at the 2016 Geneva International Motor Show and showcased its motorsport-derived DNA. The purist’s Corvette doesn’t have a supercharged V-8 like the Z06 model, rather a naturally-aspirated LT1 V-8 featuring the Z51 performance package’s dry-sump lubrication system. Much of the new Corvette Grand Sport takes inspiration from the 2015 Le Mans-winning Corvette C7.R GTE Pro racer, and that means it’s quite the track star.
“Racing has been part of Corvette’s essence for more than 50 years and that track experience has helped us build better, more capable cars,” said Mark Reuss, executive vice president of Global Product Development and Global Purchasing and Supply Chain. “The global acclaim for the seventh-generation Corvette validates that direct link and the 2017 Grand Sport takes its track-bred technology to a new, exciting threshold.”
Although the LT1 V-8 engine might have “just” 460 horsepower compared to its potent, supercharged sibling, its lightweight design makes it a superb performer that purists will drool over. The 2017 Corvette Grand Sport with the Z07 package is only a mere one second slower than the previous-generation Corvette ZR-1’s track record on the company’s Milford Proving Ground.
Part of that performance can be credited to the chassis. Magnetic ride control comes standard as does a Brembo brake system with six-piston calipers and 14-inch rotors up front and a four-piston, 13.4-inch setup at the rear. Model-specific 10.0 x 19 front and 12.0 x 20 rear wheels are shod in sticky 285/30 ZR19 and 335.25 ZR20 Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires. These work to help the Grand Sport achieve a 1.05 G of lateral acceleration that can even get boosted up to 1.2 G with the optional Z07 package.
Special front fender inserts, wider rear fenders, and a Z06-style front grille gives the 2017 Corvette Grand Sport a more intimidating, track-focused look.
The optional Z07 package adds even more snarl and performance to the Grand Sport. Carbon ceramic matrix brakes, Michelin Pilot Sport 2 Cup tires, and other carbon fiber aerodynamics all come by checking the “Z07 package” box on the ordering sheet, along with a big smile.
In addition to the standard run of 207 Corvette Grand Sport models, Chevrolet will also offer a Grand Sport Collector’s Edition later in the model year. The special edition model features a full Watkins Glen Gray Metallic paint with Tension Blue hash-mark graphics that pay homage to the original Grand Sport cars. Satin Black stripes run the length of the vehicle while black wheels also provide contrast. Inside, Tension Blue leather is featured throughout with suede highlights. Both seats have an embossed Grand Sport race car as well as the instrument panel with build number.
The standard 2017 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport will be offered in the Stingray’s range of interior and exterior colors. An optional Heritage pack with fender graphics in six different colors and interior hash-mark graphics are also available along with full-car stripes.
The 2017 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport will be available with either a seven-speed manual or eight-speed automatic gearbox, both mated to an electronic limited-slip differential. The new model will be available in the United States and Europe later this summer.
2017 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Specifications
Displacement: 6.2 liters
Number of Cylinders: V-8
Aspiration: Naturally aspirated
Maximum Horsepower: 460
Maximum Torque: 465 lb-ft.
Type: Seven-speed manual or eight-speed automatic
Differential: Standard electronic limited-slip rear differential
Wheels, Tires, and Brakes:
Wheels: Model-specific Grand Sport design
Front Wheels: 10.0 x 19
Rear Wheels: 12.0 x 20
Tires: Michelin Pilot Super Sport (std.) or Michelin Pilot Super Sport Cup 2 (Z07)
Front Tires: 285/30 ZR19
Rear Tires: 335/25 ZR20
Brakes: Brembo (std.) or Carbon ceramic matrix
Front Brakes: Six-piston calipers; 14.0-inch rotors
Rear Brakes: Four-piston calipers; 13.4-inch rotors
2017 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Gallery