The Corvette is Still Red Hot
It's really my dad's fault that I love Corvettes so much. Before I was born, he had a 1966 'Vette in Milano Maroon, and he gave it up for family life. (Milano Maroon, by the way, is a great name for a color. Good job, Chevrolet.)
The Corvette has been through numerous body styles, and still has that panache. It's loud, it's proud, and it stands on the incredible legacy of this venerable classic. I took a test drive in the ZR1 this past spring at the Heels and Wheels event in California, and it is unbelievably fast, clocking 0-60 in 2.85 seconds. Its sister, the Grand Sport, is still impressive at 3.8 seconds. As tempting as it was, however, I didn't race either of them or tear up the suburban streets. (Wasted opportunity? Well... it's best to not ruin the tires for the next driver, of course.)
ZR1 OR GRAND SPORT?
If you're trying to choose the right Corvette for you, you'll want to consider a number of factors: horsepower, perhaps. Price, potentially. Features and amenities, yes. The Grand Sport has a 62.L V8 generating 460 hp... the ZR1 has the same size engine but it's tweaked to offer up a blistering 755 hp. It's going to cost you, though: the ZR1 starts at $120,900 and the Grand Sport almost half that at $65,900.
The Grand Sport I drove for a week had more than $20K in upgrades, including a color head-up display, leather inserts, premium audio, and quite-useful curb view cameras that pop on when you activate the turn signal. When you're not used to driving a vehicle that channels Cyrano de Bergerac in the front, you might need all of the camera angles you can get.
Long nose notwithstanding, this American classic is a pleasure to drive. It may not be perfect, but it's thrilling all the same. And I'm looking forward to driving the next version.
ZR1 TOUCH POINTS
Reconfigurable Instrument Cluster - eight-inch display with customizable themes; information includes G force, tire temperature, and more
Color head-up display - offers three views, projecting data low on the windshield, out of your line of sight
Carbon fiber ground effects, including a carbon fiber splitter (caution: this is easy to scrape), rockers, and rear wing spoiler
GT bucket seats - built on strong, lightweight magnesium frames, very comfortable and supportive
Rear vision camera
TRIMS: 1ZR and 3ZR. If you like to use the paddle shifters, you’ll want the eight-speed paddle shift automatic transmission, offered in both models. The Sebring Orange Design Package is only available on the 3ZR.
GRAND SPORT TOUCH POINTS
Standard cruise control
Adjustable drive modes
4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
MyLink infotainment system includes internet-based news, sports and shopping apps
TRIMS: 1LT, 2LT, and 3LT. Each includes standard 7-speed manual transmission, performance exhaust, and Grand Sport Pearl nickel-painted aluminum wheels
Long Beach Metallic Tintcoat
Elkhart Lake Metallic
Watkins Glen Metallic
Corvette Racing Tintcoat
Ceramic Matrix Metallic
FEATURES WE LOVE
Performance data and video recorder
Black Badge Package
Four-mode exhaust system including Track, Sport, Tour and Stealth sound profiles. Like it loud? Choose Track mode. Prefer a quiet, elegant entrance? Stealth mode is for you.
ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT
The infotainment screen in the Grand Sport was, I'm sorry to say, a hot mess. It felt as though the designer was trying to squeeze all of the data into one screen and it didn't really fit, but it had to. That said, when you're having so much fun driving, it's a forgivable offense.
IF THIS VEHICLE WERE A SONG, IT WOULD BE
At the risk of being completely cliche, I think it kind of has to be "Little Red Corvette". RIP, Prince.
Baby, you're much too fast.