If there was ever any doubt that the Chevrolet Corvette’s place in the public consciousness is that of a long-awaited reward for retirees, the joy ride that a white-haired, aviator-glasses-wearing Joe Biden took in his 1967 Corvette on Jay Leno’s Garage served as ironclad confirmation. But just because it’s often the province of Social Security recipients doesn’t mean that the Corvette isn’t the real deal. With a thundering 455-hp V-8 under the hood, so much grip that it feels as if it generates its own gravitational pull, and a ferocious countenance, the Corvette is a great sports car—a supercar, in some of its guises. Better yet, it’s far more affordable than many of the cars it competes with for performance. Noticeably Chevrolet-ish interior materials are our only quibble; no one who sits inside will confuse this for an Audi. Once you pin the accelerator or swing through a corner at speed, though, they’ll be too stunned to complain.
Killer-sweet powertrain, as grippy as a gecko, eye-catching design.
Decidedly un-luxe interior, heavy targa top, minimal in-cabin storage.
Don’t believe anyone who says you need to be filthy rich—or retired—to own a supercar.
Chevrolet added a new model to the Corvette lineup for 2017 with the introduction of the Grand Sport. It appropriates the flared fenders and extra-strength chassis elements from the track-ready Z06, but it has the same powertrain as the base Corvette. That manageable but still scary fast and hugely competent setup won the Grand Sport a spot on our 10Best Cars list for 2017 and a home in our long-term fleet. The rest of the lineup saw only minor aesthetic changes.
Trims and Options We’d Choose
The Grand Sport, which is new for 2017 and a mind-body melding of the base-model Stingray and the rip-roaring Z06, is our preferred model. It’s almost four inches wider than the standard Corvette, employs more aggressive gearing in the manual transmission for quicker acceleration, and includes a dry-sump lubrication system for improved engine reliability under track duress. Its body panels, suspension setup, and huge tires come from the ultra-performance 650-hp Z06, but the Grand Sport’s ride is actually quite day-to-day comfortable. The Grand Sport starts at $66,445, some $10,000 above the entry-level Stingray model, so we’d keep the rest of the options list light. Standard features include: