Earlier this year, an Audi owner asked me what I thought of the Corvette. He had just ordered an S5 to replace his aging A6, and his wife needed a new car in a few months. He wasn't sure if he should go with a new TT or take a chance with a Corvette. I told him the Corvette would be a great car if he could live with the lackluster seats and cheaper interior. A few months later, he had a brand-new black on black Vette in the garage for his wife. And he reported a better experience with the Chevy dealer than the Audi dealer where he had purchased several cars before. He hasn't had a complaint about the Corvette yet.
Last night I was really hoping that the Grand Sport would confirm my recommendation, and it certainly did. If you've never experienced the roar of a Corvette engine equipped with the two-mode exhaust in the upper RPM reaches, you haven't really lived. The exhaust note alone is enough to quicken any enthusiast's pulse. And there's a phenomenal amount of torque available-I used every gear from first up to the ultra-tall sixth while maintaining 30 mph around town, and the car was happy with whatever ratio I chose, even when chugging along well below 1000 rpm in sixth. In today's world of ultra-close ratios and engines that sometimes give up torque in pursuit of horsepower and crazy redline speeds, it's nice to know you can still find cars that pull hard in every available gear at speeds just above idle.
It's a shame that the Corvette's interior turns off so many potential buyers. The seats don't offer enough support and the switchgear looks really cheap, so it loses many visual comparisons with much more expensive cars. Those who can look past the interior won't have any real complaints with the car though. Cars that are faster, handle better, or offer more refinement cost so much more than a Corvette that you really start to wonder how much interior refinement is worth.
Phil Floraday, Senior Online Editor