A purist’s C7 that bridges gap between the standard Corvette and Z06

Concerned about Ford’s racing program and what it was doing with the Shelby Cobra, Chevrolet’s Zora Duntov launched the Grand Sport program in 1962. The plan was to build lightweight, race car around the second-generation Corvette and use it for international grand touring events. The project was kept secret from GM executives, who thought that Chevy shouldn’t go racing, and was stopped as soon as rumors about Duntov’s brainchild started to spread. Fortunately, Zora managed to complete five cars, giving the world some of the most coveted and valuable Corvettes ever built. More than five decades have passed since then and the Grand Sport nameplate returns on the seventh-generation Corvette.

Rumored ever since the current Vette was unveiled in 2013, the C7 Grand Sport broke cover at the 2016 Geneva Auto Show. Pretty much a Z06 with a naturally aspirated engine under the hood, the new Grand Sport is aimed at purists that know power isn’t everything. Is it a coincidence that the C7 Grand Sport was revealed at the same event that brought us the Porsche 911 R? Most likely, but this is probably the beginning of a beautiful rivalry that should spawn many battles on the road and at the track.

The C7 Grand Sport is actually the fourth generation to wear the iconic badge. After Duntov’s program was cancelled, the nameplate returned in 1996 as final edition of the C4. The third model arrive in 2010 as an LS3-equipped, C6 Z06 with a steel frame instead of aluminum. Is this new version of the C7 worthy of Grand Sport name? Keep reading to find out.

Updated 04/29/2016: Chevrolet dropped prices for the 2017 Corvette Grand Sport which will be put on sale later this summer. Check the "Prices" section for more details.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport.

  • 2017 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport
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    seven-speed manual
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  • 0-60 time:
    3.5 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    195 mph (Est.)
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2017 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport
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2017 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport
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2017 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport
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Much like the C6-based model before it, the C7 Grand Sport is essentially a Corvette Z06 on the outside, borrowing most of the aerodynamic kit seen on Chevy’s high-performance sports car. Upon closer inspection though, the Grand Sport stands out thanks to its specific front fender inserts and custom wheel design.

Much like the C6-based model before it, the C7 Grand Sport is essentially a Corvette Z06 on the outside

Those who don’t want their Grand Sport to be confused with the Z06 need to opt for the available Heritage package, which adds hash-mark fender graphics in one of six colors. Full-length stripes in the same colors are also offered. The hash-mark and the stripes can be paired with any exterior color from the Corvette palette, which includes four standard paints, two premium tintcoat hues, the new-for-2016 Admiral Blue Metallic, and new-for-2017 Watkins Glen Gray Metallic, Black Rose Metallic, and Sterling Blue Metallic.

The Grand Sport Collector Edition, set to be launched later in 2016, will feature an exclusive Watkins Glen Gray Metallic exterior with Tension Blue hash-mark graphics, satin black full-length stripes, and black wheels. This model is shown above and was used to launch the car at the Geneva Motor Show.

Chevrolet described the Tension Blue color as "a bold, modern take on the hue historically associated with the Grand Sport." Specifically, it is based on the blue color used on all five original Grand Sports, either as a full body paint or as stripes on white-finished cars.


2017 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport High Resolution Interior
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The cabin can be had with either the GT or Competition sport seats

Just like the exterior, the interior of the Grand Sport is based on the Z06’s. Notable differences from the standard Corvette include more premium materials, extra carbon-fiber inserts, magnesium seat frame structures, and a flat-bottom steering wheel with the "Grand Sport" logo on the lower spoke. The cabin can be had with either the GT or Competition sport seats and in any of the color combinations available with the standard Corvette. Models selected with the Heritage package will also get brushed aluminum trim with hash-marks.

The Grand Sport Collector Edition will feature a Tension Blue full leather and suede interior and the original Grand Sport race car embossed in the headrests. The same shape is used on the instrument panel plaque with build sequence number from "0001" to "1000," though Chevy has no plans of limiting production numbers.


2017 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport
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It may look like the Z06 inside and out, but the Grand Sport is a Corvette for purists, as the front hood hides the same LT1 found in the standard model. The unit cranks out 460 horsepower and 465 pound-feet of torque, which means the car is equipped with the optional performance exhaust system (the standard Corvette comes with 455 horses and 460 pound-feet).

The LT1 unit cranks out 460 horsepower and 465 pound-feet of torque

Transmission options include the same seven-speed manual with active rev match and eight-speed automatic with paddle shifters. The latter has been optimized for the Grand Sport.

Standard features include magnetic ride control, revised stabilizer bars, bespoke springs, an electronic limited-slip differential, Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires and Brembo brakes. The optional Z07 pack, also taken from the Corvette Z06, adds ceramic brakes and Pilot Sport 2 Cup rubber. The chassis and cooling systems of the Z06 have been specifically tuned for the Grand Sport

Chevrolet has yet to release performance data, but said the Grand Sport with the Z07 package is less than one second slower than the previous Corvette ZR1 on its Milford Proving Ground track, which is downright impressive since the ZR1 had 178 more horsepoewer. Considering the improved aerodynamics and the Z06-sourced gear, the Grand Sport should be about two tenths quicker than the standard Vette. Look for a 0-to-60 mph sprint of 3.5 seconds with the eight-speed automatic.


Pricing for the Corvette Grand Sport Coupe starts from $66,445, which accounts for a healthy $10,050 premium over the standard Stingray. The Convertible starts from $70,445, an identical $10,050 increase over the base model. Chevy had nothing to say about the Collector Edition model, but it’s safe to assume that it won’t be much more expensive than the Grand Sport.

The First 2017 Chevy Corvette Grand Sport Collector’s Edition has rolled off the line and was auctioned off at the Barrett-Jackson Auction in Palm Beach, Florida in April 2016, fetching $170,000. All proceeds were donated to the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute.

Model Price
2017 Corvette Grand Sport Coupe $66,445
2017 Corvette Grand Sport Convertible $70,445


Porsche 911 R

2017 Porsche 911 R High Resolution Exterior
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Also unveiled at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show, the 911 R is a GT3 RS made for purists. Built using retuned GT3 underpinnings, the GT3’s body sans the massive rear wing, and stuffed with a GT3 RS engine paired to a manual transmission, the 911 R is essentially the three-pedal GT3 enthusiasts have been asking for years. The 3.8-liter flat-six pumps 500 horsepower and 339 pound-feet of torque to the wheels, enabling the German coupe to hit 60 mph from a standing start in 3.7 seconds. This figure puts the 911 R on par with the manual Grand Sport, but makes it slightly slower than the automatic-equipped Vette. The big difference between the two lies in the pricing and availability departments. While the Grand Sport is likely to cost less than $70,000 before options, the 911 R is the most expensive 911 to date at $184,900. What’s more, all 991 units of the 911 R have been sold out before the car’s official unveiling, whereas Chevrolet will build as many Grand Sports as it can sell. Granted, the 911 R is cool and all, but buying a Grand Sport is significantly easier and cheaper.

Find out more about the Porsche 911 R here.


2017 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Throughout its history, the Corvette gave birth to many exciting sports cars, including the L88, ZR1, and Z06. However, none created more stir than the Grand Sport, essentially the first factory-built race-spec Corvette and the spiritual successor to Chevy’s iconic C3-based motorsport weapons. In 2016, the nameplate returns on a bespoke Corvette than can be described as a road-going version of the C7.R race car. Much like the 911 R, it’s a purist driver’s race car for the road without the aerodynamic elements needed on the track. It’s by far the most track-focused Grand Sport since the 1963 original and a vehicle that will enable the C7 Corvette to expand its customer base even further.

  • Leave it
    • Not as exclusive as the 911 R

Update History

Updated 04/05/2016: The first 2017 Chevy Corvette Grand Sport will be auctioned off at the Barrett-Jackson Auction on April 8th to benefit the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute. Read the details in the pricing section below.

Updated 03/04/2016: We added a series of new images taken during the car’s official presentation at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show. Click the "Pictures" tab to check them out!

Ciprian Florea
Ciprian Florea
Senior Editor and Supercar Expert - ciprian@topspeed.com
Ciprian's passion for everything with four wheels (and more) started back when he was just a little boy, and the Lamborghini Countach was still the coolest car poster you could hang on your wall. Ciprian's career as a journalist began long before earning a Bachelor's degree, but it was only after graduating that his love for cars became a profession.  Read full bio
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Press Release

With Corvette Racing in its DNA, the all-new 2017 Corvette Grand Sport is a pure expression of the car’s motorsports-bred pedigree. It was introduced today at the Geneva International Motor Show.

2017 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport
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Like the 2015 Le Mans-winning Corvette C7.R GTE Pro race car, the new Grand Sport combines a lightweight architecture, a track-honed aerodynamics package, Michelin tires and a naturally aspirated engine.

The 2017 Corvette Grand Sport offers an estimated 1.05g in cornering capability – and up to 1.2g with the available Z07 package.

Heritage-inspired design cues and exclusive features acknowledge the historic Grand Sport legacy, established in 1963 to take on the world’s best sports cars. Only five were built before a corporate decision suspending direct motorsports involvement ended the project.

“Racing has been part of Corvette’s essence for more than 50 years and that track experience has helped us build better, more capable cars,” said Mark Reuss, executive vice president of Global Product Development and Global Purchasing and Supply Chain. “The global acclaim for the seventh-generation Corvette validates that direct link and the 2017 Grand Sport takes its track-bred technology to a new, exciting threshold.”

The Corvette Grand Sport coupe and convertible go on sale this summer in the U.S. and in the fall in Europe.

No holding back

2017 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport
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Engineers adapted the chassis tuning, upgraded cooling systems, and performance technologies of the Corvette Z06 to give the new Grand Sport capability commensurate with its racing-derived history.

“We didn’t hold back with the new Grand Sport,” said Tadge Juechter, Corvette chief engineer. “For the first time, buyers can equip the Grand Sport with a Z07 performance package – which adds carbon-ceramic brakes, Michelin Sport Cup 2 summer tires, and carbon-fiber aero package that delivers true downforce.”

The result is a potent track car. In fact, the Grand Sport with the Z07 package is less than one second off the track record for the previous-generation Corvette ZR1 on the road course at GM’s Milford Proving Ground.

Content highlights for Grand Sport include:

Michelin Pilot Super Sport summer tires: 285/30ZR19 (front) and 335/25ZR20 (rear)
Specific Grand Sport wheel design: 19x10 inches (front) and 20x12 inches (rear)
Brembo brake system with (355 mm) 14-inch rotors and six-piston calipers in front and (340 mm) 13.4 inch rotors and four-piston calipers in the rear
Standard magnetic ride control, specific stabilizer bars and unique springs
Standard electronic limited-slip differential
LT1 V8 engine rated at (343 kW) 460 hp, with dry-sump oiling system and active exhaust
Seven-speed manual transmission with active rev match and available eight-speed paddle-shift automatic with specific performance calibration
Available Z07 package adds carbon ceramic-matrix brakes and Michelin Pilot Sport 2 Cup tires.

In addition to track-focused aero elements, the Grand Sport also features specific front fender inserts, a Z06-style grille and wider rear fenders – a distinctive design package that gives the car a track-ready attitude.

Grand Sport models are offered with the Stingray’s full exterior and interior color palette. An available Heritage package includes hash-mark fender graphics in six colors, with the hash-mark detail carried onto the interior’s brushed aluminum trim. Full-length stripes are also offered.

“The choices are almost endless,” said Harlan Charles, Corvette product marketing manager. “The packages take personalization to an unprecedented level, enabling customers to create their own Corvette Grand Sport statement like no other.”

Grand Sport Collector Edition

2017 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport
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The Grand Sport Collector Edition features an exclusive Watkins Glen Gray Metallic exterior with Tension Blue hash-mark graphics, satin black full-length stripes, black wheels and a unique Tension Blue full leather and suede-wrapped interior.

The Tension Blue color is a bold, modern take on the hue historically associated with the Grand Sport. Inside, a three-dimensional representation of an original Grand Sport race car is embossed in the headrests and that shape is also used on an instrument panel plaque that carries a unique build sequence number.

The Collector Edition will be offered later in the model year in the U.S. and Europe.

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Press release

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