America’s budget track star has officially arrived. If the sensation surrounding the Z06 wasn’t enough for encourage potential buyers to get a considerable loan, a cheaper alternative to Chevrolet’s sportiest platform is available and, as we see here, quite capable of taking on a few high-dollar European track tools.
Wedged comfortably between the Stingray and the Z06, the Grand Sport is has all of the latter car’s fancy footwork, but without the supercharged motor. Instead, it uses the 6.2-liter V8 from the Stingray, which has been dry-sumped for high lateral loads—a maximum of 1.18 g. Fitted with a shorter gearset, it uses its 460 horsepower to sprint to sixty in 3.9 seconds.
The Grand Sport is so much more than a dragster, though. With the aid of carbon fiber, it tips the scales just a tick over 3,400 pounds. Not exactly featherweight, but with broad hips of a Z06, trick suspension, a limited-slip differential, a differential cooler, and massive Michelin Pilot Sport Cup SZ tires, its cornering belies its heft.
However, few would believe that those stats would be enough to record a lap anywhere near the daddy of streetable track cars: the 991 GT3 RS. Yet, with a broad powerband, strong traction, a surprisingly incisive front end, and strong brakes, it recorded a lap time at the abbreviated Hockenheim just two tenths behind the Porsche. It takes some serious commitment and courage to wrangle this car to such a time; the feisty ‘Vette spins the wheels wildly through Hockenheim’s Turn 1, but the sudden breakaway looks manageable in the right hands. What’s more—it rides the curbs beautifully, and looks to be throttle-adjustable even at high speeds. An involving, edgy, and, well, manly car; the Corvette Grand Sport offers the brave enthusiast an enviable amount of performance, a world-class soundtrack, and some underdog pride for a relative bargain.