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Perfect Balance: 2019 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Test Drive

You can’t really have a conversation about high performance cars without mentioning the Corvette. That’s because America’s Sports Car can truly compete with just about anything out there. Among enthusiasts, it’s not uncommon to have conversations where the Corvette is mentioned in comparison with the muscle cars like the Mustang, luxury sports cars like the Porsche 911, and even hypercars like the Ford GT.

Of course, many of us are highly anticipating the arrival of the new mid-engine 2020 Corvette which will offer a ridiculous amount of performance for the under $60,000. So before the C8 Corvette arrives, I decided to take a look at the C7 Corvette Grand Sport. It’s a model that sits right in the middle of the Corvette lineup, and offers many of the best elements of all the Corvette trims in one package.

2019 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Exterior

When I first saw the highly-anticipated C8 2020 Corvette I thought it looked really nice but honestly felt that the C7 Corvette is still one of the best-looking Vettes in the model’s history. It’s sleek and long stature make it stand out from the crowd, whereas the 2020 Corvette seems to blend in with its competitors.

When it comes to the Corvette GS, Chevy designers went above and beyond to make this trim-level as hardcore as possible and integrated elements that enhance its performance. In addition to track-focused aero elements, the Grand Sport features distinct front fender inserts, a Z06-style grille, and wider rear fenders to support a wider track. There is also a Z06-style rear spoiler. Buyers can add a $7,995 Z07 package which adds carbon-ceramic brakes and Michelin Pilot Sport 2 Cup tires. All that helps the Corvette GS achieve 1.05g in cornering capability – and 1.2g with the optional Z07 package.

Since this is a more hardcore version than the standard Corvette, the dimensions vary slightly. While the overall length and height are the same, the width of the Corvette GS is 3.5-inches wider than the standard Vette spanning a total of 77.4-inches – the same as the Corvette ZR1.

For those of you wondering, the color pictured here is the Shadow Gray which I really like but my personal favorite is the Elkhart Lake Blue. Oh and if you’re indecisive between the coupe and the convertible – don’t be. The Corvette coupe is really a targa top where you can take the roof off and store it in the trunk.

2019 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Interior

I’m very excited about the interior of the new C8 2020 Corvette. From the photos that I’ve seen and from what I’ve read, the interior is much better than the C7 in terms of materials and layout. In my opinion, the interior of the C7 is nice but it’s just kind of there and doesn’t feel more premium than other Chevy models. There’s the argument that you’re getting outstanding performance at an affordable price tag for a reason. Afterall the Corvette is sold in the same dealership where you find the Chevy Spark and Equniox.

If you want a higher-end interior on the Corvette GS you’re going to have to go for the $75,756 3LT model which adds a custom leather-wrapped interior, Nappa leather seating, microfiber suede trim and headliner, heated/cooled seats, and more. Each Corvette comes with an 8-inch touchscreen display that houses the Chevy infotainment system which includes Apple CarPlay/Android Auto.

Space-wise, Corvettes have a lot of room for your bags and groceries. Cargo capacity comes in between 10 to 15.3 ft³. An interesting note, the trunk is actually soft-close so you don’t have to slam it shut!

2019 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Performance

Which Corvette would you buy? Base Corvette Stingray, Corvette Grand Sport, Corvette Z06, or the Corvette ZR1?

For many, the obvious answer would be the ZR1. But let’s take the question above seriously, and consider which model is financially attainable. For me, it would be the Corvette Z06. Why? Well, because it’s almost as good as the ZR1 — but it’s $40,000 cheaper. Not to mention, with a zero-to-60 time of 2.95 seconds, it’s firmly in supercar territory. I would start with the Corvette Grand Sport, but by the time you add the Z07 package, you’re already well over the starting price of a Z06.

That said, the Corvette Grand Sport is an awesome stop between the base Corvette and the more extreme supercharged models. Living with the Corvette Z06 and ZR1 on a daily basis, might become cumbersome, because these cars were designed with the track in mind. The Corvette Grand Sport on the other hand S aims to offers you the best of both worlds. It’ll become a monster when you put it in Track Mode and remain very reserved in Touring Mode.

The naturally aspirated 6.2L V8 pumps out 460 horsepower and allows you to go from zero to 60 mph in just 3.6 seconds. At this point, some might think why pay an extra $10k over the price of the base Corvette just to go 0.1 secs faster. True – but beyond zero-to-60 times,  you’re getting the track-focused aerodynamics package, and with the optional Z07 package, you’re getting a totally different performance-driven Corvette, making it closer to the Corvette Z06 than the base 455-horsepower Corvette. Not to mention, the big Brembo brakes and grippy Michelin Pilot Super Sport Cup 2 tires make a strong case for the Grand Sport.

2019 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Overall

I’m very excited about the C8 2020 Corvette. To see the amazing success of the C7 Corvette taken to the next level while keeping its affordable price tag really shows Chevy’s commitment to the Corvette.

Powered by a 6.2-liter V8, the 2020 Corvette makes a total of 490-hp and 465 lb-ft of torque. Prices start at just $59,995 on the 1LT and for that, you get an 8-speed DCT transmission, Mulan leather seats, dual-zone climate control, a 10-speaker Bose system, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto and more. The 2LT will start at $67,295 and will add a wireless phone charger, heated/cooled seats, heated steering, navigation, and a range of driver-assist tech. The 3LT will start at $71,945 and will only add more of a luxury feel with extra leather and suede. Of course, to hit that 0-60 time of under 3 secs, you will have to add the Z51 Performance Package for an additional $5,000.

That means for just $65,000 you can get a sports car that goes from zero to 60 in under three seconds, and that’s why I will always love Corvettes. For now, I’ll just remember my awesome week with the $65,900 Corvette Grand Sport. If you’re in the market for a sports car, make sure you visit your local AutoNation Chevrolet dealership today and take the 2019 Corvette for a quick test drive!

*MSRP excludes tax, license, registration, destination charge and options. Dealer prices may vary.

**Based on EPA mileage ratings. Your mileage will vary depending specific vehicle trim, how you drive and maintain your vehicle, driving conditions, and other factors.

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