After ripping around in the Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 supercar and enjoying every tire-shredding moment, we were worried that the Corvette Grand Sport Coupe, its lesser sibling, would be a letdown. We were very wrong. Chevrolet has made sure its Corvette Grand Sport deliberately lacks the supercharger and bad-boy displacement of its big brothers, but its masterfully-tuned 6.2-liter V8 is nothing to laugh at, boasting 430 horsepower and 424 pound-feet of torque.
- Power is more than abundant, and the soundtrack sent chills down our hardened spines (for best results, remove the silencing exhaust flapper fuse - it takes about three minutes).
- Thanks to a close-ratio six-speed manual transmission (a 6AT is optional) and a limited-slip differential, this two-door will blast to 60 mph in about four seconds flat. Top speed, about 190 mph, is fast enough to lift a loaded commercial jetliner off the ground.
- Our coupe, a 4LT model, arrived decked out in Arctic White paint with 60th Anniversary Design and 60th Anniversary Stripe packages. Some may consider the celebratory packages a bit gaudy, but it garnered more than a few compliments from passer-bys.
- The Corvette's cabin might be getting woefully dated, but our car's diamond-blue leather upholstery helped this C6's cabin look about as good as we've ever seen it.
- Taming a big American V8 isn't easy, but Chevrolet has done an excellent job. Upgraded with GM's Active Handling, unique body components and a higher, wider rear spoiler, our car also featured the Z52 Performance Package (bundled with a track-ready dry-sump oil system, differential cooler, sticky Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar tires and larger cross-drilled brakes).
- While the Grand Sport starts at $56,000, our as-tested price, including the must-have Magnetic Selective Ride Control (magnetorheological shocks) and some other options, was about $70,340.
- Despite being down a couple of hundred horsepower, we found the Grand Sport Coupe slightly more enjoyable than the ZR1 on public roads - its power is simply more useable. We could more easily put our foot to the floor coming out of the corners without worrying about kissing a guardrail or an immobile tree. The steering is razor-sharp, and the brakes and suspension were easily up to everything we could throw at them.
- For maximum pleasure, enjoy the 2013 Corvette Grand Sport Coupe sans roof panel and with all the windows down. We did, often.