Chevrolet has decided to bring back the Corvette Grand Sport for 2010 and thanks to a long list of track-ready features, it certainly lives up to the historic name.
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.
More on the Corvette Grand Sport after the jump:
CHEVROLET ANNOUNCES NEW 2010 CORVETTE GRAND SPORT
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Grand Sport. It’s one of the most storied monikers in Corvette’s illustrious racing heritage and it is returning the lineup. Chevrolet announced the new, 2010 Corvette Grand Sport at the 12th annunal C5/C6 Corvette Birthday Bash, held at the National Corvette Museum, in Bowling Green, Ky.
The new Grand Sport model combines the Corvette’s LS3-based powertrain with unique, wide-body styling and a racetrack-bred suspension for a distinctive, starting grid-ready performer. It is offered in both coupe and convertible body styles, with either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. The LS3 6.2L engine is rated at 430 horsepower (321 kW)* and 424 lb.-ft. of torque (575 Nm)* with the standard exhaust system. An optional two-mode exhaust system elevates the power ratings to 436 horses (325 kW) and 428 lb.-ft. (580 Nm).
The Grand Sport replaces the Corvette’s previous Z51 package and brings a greater degree of handling performance, with wider wheels and tires; revised shock, stabilizer bar and spring specifications and specific gearing. The equipment enables cornering capability of 1.0 g, as well as a 0.2-second improvement in 0-60 acceleration vs. standard LS3-powered models.
Grand Sport coupe models equipped with the manual transmission are uniquely outfitted for racetrack competition, too, with a dry-sump oiling system, differential cooler and a rear-mounted battery.
The complete list of content and special features for the Grand Sport includes
- Wider front and rear fenders – including specific front fenders with integrated Grand Sport badges
- Z06-style front splitter and tall rear spoiler
- Functional brake ducts and extra cooling
- Unique 18-inch front and 19-inch wheels; painted finish standard and chrome finish optional
- Large 275/35ZR18 tires in front and 325/30ZR19 tires in the rear
- Z06-size brakes, including 14-inch (355 mm) front rotors with six-piston calipers and 13.4-inch (340 mm) rear rotors with four-piston calipers
- Specific manual transmission gear ratios
- Specific rear axle ratio on automatic-equipped modles
With its special equipment, the Grand Sport offers a unique blend of performance and amenities. Its suspension package approaches that of the Z06, but includes a removable roof on coupes (Z06 has a fixed roof) and, of course, the availability of a convertible body style. Also, the paddle-shift six-speed automatic transmission is offered, while a manual transmission is the only choice with the Z06.
All of Corvette’s exterior colors are offered on the Grand Sport and an available Heritage package adds iconic front fender hash marks offered in four colors, as well as two-tone seats with Grand Sport embroidery. The Grand Sport can be ordered with 1LT, 2LT, 3LT and 4LT trim packages, too.
Grand Sport history Envisioned by legendary Corvette engineer Zora Arkus-Duntov as a factory-built, lightweight and race-ready production model that would trump domestic and foreign road-racing competitors, the original Corvette Grand Sport was a promising idea stymied by GM’s agreement to stay out of manufacturer-backed motorsports.
The planned 125 production models required for racing-class homologation were never built, but five prototypes based on the styling of the 1963 Corvette were hand-assembled under Duntov’s watchful eye. And while they looked like production models, the prototypes were purpose-built racecars that shared little with their assembly-line cousins. Duntov also oversaw the Grand Sport engine program that featured a special, 377-cubic-inch small-block V-8 and used side-draft carburetors.
Although never officially sanctioned by General Motors, the five Grand Sport prototypes saw extensive racing experience throughout the 1960s in the hands of “private” racers who had strong contacts within Duntov’s engineering circle. All five original cars are accounted for today and are among the most valuable in the collector market.
Chevrolet offered a limited-edition Grand Sport production model in 1996, commemorating the original racing cars and marking the end of the C4 era in Corvette production. All of the 1,000 examples were painted Admiral Blue and featured a white center stripe and red “hash mark” graphics on the left front fender, a graphic scheme that mimicked the look of some of the original racecars.