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2017 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport

K.C. COLWELL

WHAT WE LIKE: The Grand Sport’s everyday usability and the glorious power of its LT1 V-8 continue to impress. Driving it back to back with far pricier choices in the high-performance sports-car realm reveals that the chassis in General Motors’ marquee sports car delivers better isolation while maintaining a lustworthy suppleness in its steering and handling. Cameras on the nose of the Vette give us an idea of when we’re about to connect with a curb during low-speed and parking maneuvers, but it requires that we actually use them, which is easier said than done, necessitating a tap or two on the center touchscreen. Nearly every logbook comment mentions drivers’ preferences for the base seats in this car, so you can safely conclude that we like them more than the optional Competition seats.

WHAT WE DON’T LIKE: Both the rearward and forward cameras display a hilariously low-resolution image in our 2017 model, the lack of crispness making it difficult to discern the edge of a hard object. Chevrolet claims to have upped the pixel count for ’18. Also, one astute reader pointed out that when we chided this car for not quite making the same grip as other Grand Sports, we were comparing a car with its tires inflated to 35 psi (this one) to others with tires set to 30 psi. So, we don’t like it when we (meaning this author) make boneheaded comparisons. It turns out this car’s rocker panel was repaired at a dealership before we took possession and the tire placard on the door jamb was replaced with an inaccurate one, resulting in our overfilling of the tires. All Grand Sports’ tires should indeed be inflated to 30 psi.

WHAT WENT WRONG: Nothing went wrong that was the Grand Sport’s fault. After two and a half months in the fleet, our blue Vette developed a moderate vibration at speed. We pulled the wheels and attempted to rebalance them, only to learn that all four wheels were bent. Michigan roads having taken their toll, we paid a wheel-repair specialist $480 to straighten three wheels. The left-rear wheel was cracked and a replacement 12-by-20-inch wheel ran $619 at the dealer; feeling lazy, we also spent $20 to have the dealer swap the 25-series, run-flat tire because not having to muscle tires that big off and on a wheel is worth every bit of a couple of sawbucks.

WHERE WE WENT: Aside from the Vette’s pilgrimage to its birthplace of Bowling Green, Kentucky, for the solar eclipse in August, it hasn’t left the state of Michigan. We’re not quite sure why; it’s well known that the 15-cubic-foot cargo hold offers plenty of practicality as far as sports cars go. Unfortunately for the Grand Sport, it likely will stay near home through most of the winter. We recently acquired a set of Michelin Pilot Alpin PA4s in the OE size ($1515 for four) to keep the car safely on the road in snow and ice. The one unfortunate aspect of this is that the PA4s are not run-flats. Taking a road trip without provisions for a flat tire is the kind of gamble few of us enjoy considering, so we don’t expect to be stretching the car’s legs much before spring.

Months in Fleet: 5 months Current Mileage: 10,883 miles
Average Fuel Economy: 19 mpg Fuel Tank Size: 18.5 gal Fuel Range: 350 miles
Service: $0 Normal Wear: $0 Repair: $0 Damage and Destruction: $1119

Specifications >

VEHICLE TYPE: front-engine, rear-wheel-drive, 2-passenger, 2-door targa

PRICE AS TESTED: $72,695 (base price: $66,445)

ENGINE TYPE: pushrod 16-valve V-8, aluminum block and heads, direct fuel injection

Displacement: 376 cu in, 6162 cc
Power: 460 hp @ 6000 rpm
Torque: 465 lb-ft @ 4600 rpm

TRANSMISSION: 7-speed manual

DIMENSIONS:
Wheelbase: 106.7 in
Length: 177.9 in
Width: 77.4 in Height: 48.6 in
Passenger volume: 52 cu ft
Cargo volume: 15 cu ft
Curb weight: 3483 lb

PERFORMANCE: NEW
Zero to 60 mph: 3.9 sec
Zero to 100 mph: 9.0 sec
Zero to 130 mph: 15.5 sec
Zero to 150 mph: 22.9 sec
Rolling start, 5–60 mph: 4.6 sec
Top gear, 30–50 mph: 12.6 sec
Top gear, 50–70 mph: 11.7 sec
Standing ¼-mile: 12.3 sec @ 116 mph
Top speed (drag limited, C/D est): 175 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 139 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 1.11 g

FUEL ECONOMY:
EPA combined/city/highway: 19/16/25 mpg
C/D observed: 19 mpg
Unscheduled oil additions: 0 qt



WARRANTY:
3 years/36,000 miles bumper to bumper;
5 years/60,000 miles powertrain;
3 years/36,000 miles corrosion protection;
5 years/60,000 miles roadside assistance;
2 years/24,000 miles scheduled maintenance (max of two visits)