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Fifty-six years after the first Corvette rolled off the assembly line, General Motors can now boast it has produced 1.5 million of America’s sports car. Chevrolet Product Marketing Director Karen Rafferty made the announcement at the June meeting of the Greater Atlanta Automotive Media Association.
The 1,500,000th ‘Vette, produced at the company’s Bowling Green Assembly plant is a 2010 Grand Sport Convertible, painted white with a red interior and a black top. This color combo is almost identical to the first, 500,000th and 1 millionth Corvettes which were built in 1953, ’77 and ’92.
The Grand sport replaces the Z51 model and offers performance closer in line to the Z06, thanks to a revised suspension, wider tires, bigger brakes, shorter gear ratios and a few other toys as well.
Suspension upgrades include new spring, shock and stabilizer bar specifications, helping the Grand Sport to achieve 1.0 g under cornering. Also helping out in that department are some 18-inch front and and 19-inch rear wheels with 275/35/18 front and massive 325/30/19 rear tires.
Inside those wheels is a big surprise as well, with a serious brake kit that includes six-piston front calipers with 14-inch rotors and four-piston rear calipers with 13.4-inch rotors.
Power comes in the form of an LS3 V8 with 430hp and 424 ft-lbs of torque. An optional exhaust system will up those numbers slightly to 436 and 428. The Grand Sport will be offered as a six-speed manual or automatic and thanks to new gear ratios for the manual and a new rear axle ratio for the automatic, Chevy says the Grand Sport will shave 0.2 seconds off the 60 mph sprint of a standard LS3 Vette.
Automatic models will come with paddle shifters, but for those who want to take their car out on the track, the manual is the only option… thanks to a few added goodies. Six-speed stick-shift models will get a dry-sump oiling system, a differential cooler and a rear-mounted battery for better weight distribution.
As for the exterior, the Grand Sport is distinguishable by wider front and rear fenders, as well as a large rear spoiler and Z06-style front splitter. And for those who want that extra-special look, a Heritage Package will be available in one of four colors with “hash-marks” on the front fenders, two -tone seats and Grand Sport embroidery.
The 2010 Grand Sport will be available as both a Coupe and Convertible and priced at $55,720 and $59,530 respectively.
GALLERY: 2010 Corvette Grand Sport
Official release after the jump: