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2017 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Bridges C7 Stingray and Z06

Everything from the Z06 except the supercharger.

GENEVA -- Chevrolet waited six model years into the C6 Corvette to introduce the Grand Sport, which became the model's bestseller. It's not waiting that long again to offer a Z06 without the supercharger, and so the new 2017 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport coupe and convertible launch in the fourth model year of the C7, with all three of the more powerful brother's aero options available. This time, you can add the Z07 package, ceramic brakes and Michelin Cup tires.

"It's a lot of people's go-to weapon on track days," says Corvette chief engineer Tadge Juechter. "It's best to describe as a sweet-spot for many consumers."

The range of options and equipment available on the Grand Sport, between the base Stingray and the Z06, fills in all the gaps, and allows more individualization for the car, Juechter says. It's the Porsche 911 marketing model.

The car's balance changes a bit, the chief engineer says, to 49-percent front/51 rear, because of the added equipment without the supercharger up front. The Grand Sport weighs about 55 pounds more than the base Stingray, Juechter says (actually, he said "25 kilos," befitting the car's European debut). The Grand Sport is 0.10-seconds quicker in its 0-60 mph times, for a 3.6-second run, thanks to stickier tires, though he adds that the car is comfortable enough to run as a daily driver.

"It's as fast around a racetrack as our last ZR-1," Juechter says.

The 2017 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport with standard Michelin Pilot Sport Tires offers cornering grip of 1.02 g, according to the manufacturer's measurements, but can do 1.2 g with the Michelin Cup tires, and Juechter hints that that number is conservative.

Like the Z06, the Grand Sport comes standard with a front splitter, wheel opening spats, a carbon-fiber hood with a large vent and a rear spoiler. The carbon-fiber aero package adds on a carbon-fiber front splitter, carbon-fiber rocker panels and a large rear spoiler and fixed wickerbill for better downforce. The third level, the Z07 package, adds larger winglets to the front splitter and an adjustable, see-through rear spoiler center section. The blue hash stripes, black stripes, and a "Tension Blue" leather and suede interior package all are options for the Grand Sport, as well.

Chevrolet has pulled out of the Western European market, except for the Corvette and Camaro, which are sold in Cadillac dealerships, here. It sold 776 Corvettes in Europe last year, and the Grand Sport should become the bestseller again here, if not in the U.S. After all, even for those with a Corvette budget, fuel efficiency counts, and the manual-gearbox Corvette Stingray is rated 17/29 mpg EPA to the Z06 manual's 15/22.

The 2017 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport goes on sale in North America this summer, and in Europe this fall. Chevy hasn't announced pricing, though the last Grand Sport package added about $6,000 to a base C6's price, so we figure the C7 Grand Sport will start at maybe $63,000, though with a wide variety of options and equipment to take it all the way up to the Z06 coupe's $80,395 (2016 model) base price.

 

That's in the U.S. of course. It will be significantly higher in Europe, where Chevrolet also introduced the Camaro convertible to the market.