Grand Sport on Track
After chewing up the roads around San Juan Bautista (a beautiful area to visit in your Corvette, by the way) we spent a day playing with cars at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. At the track, I asked David Ray, Chief Instructor of Hooked on Driving, to take me around the track in the Grand Sport and give me his opinion. I already knew basically what that opinion would be, because David's personal car is a Corvette C6. But I really wanted to see how the automatic transmission performed under serious pressure.
Surprisingly, the interesting thing about the Grand Sport on the race track was not the transmission, but rather how dramatically the traction control and stability control changed the driving experience. Even in spirited driving on the public roads, I'd never felt a hint of the "electronic nanny" helping me out. With David driving on the track, it came on in the second corner.
What happened was that the car just uniformly and smoothly slowed down in the middle of the corner, and then delayed the onrush of power until we had the car completely straightened out and settled down. The experience was repeated as we took our first lap, and then David turned off the control as we passed the starting line. We took another lap purely under David's control and the Grand Sport drifted perfectly, as a sweet spot sports car should. It goes without saying that you and I should never turn off the traction control, but it was an enlightening experience to see just what the car can do to save you in a skid.
The Bottom Line
If I was choosing a 2010 Corvette for my own garage, it would be a Grand Sport. I like the Z06 and the ZR1 leaves me breathless. But for a car to drive every day, give me the handling and brakes of the Z06 tucked under a convertible body at base engine prices. I'd leave off the fender stripes but I'd include the heated seats as my only option. The jury's still out on whether I'd choose an automatic or a manual transmission, but it speaks volumes that this is no longer an easy decision.
2010 Corvette Grand Sport – Good and Not-So-Good Points
- 430 Horsepower is just fine
- Automatic or Manual transmission choices are good
- Coupe or convertible, take your pick
- Z06 suspension and brakes are excellent
- Pricing close to a base model Corvette
- "Hash Mark fender stripes are not for everyone. Luckily, they're optional.
2010 Corvette Grand Sport Technical Specifications
Body style: 2-door coupe or convertible
Seating capacity: 2
Trim levels: 1LT, 2LT, 3LT, 4LT
Base Price: $55,720 (coupe), $59,530 (convertible) Test vehicle/price as tested: $75,740.00
Engine: 6.2-liter (427 cu. in.) V8, 430/436 hp @ 5,900 RPM, 424/428 lb-ft @ 4,600 RPM
Premium fuel required? recommended but not required
Transmission: 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic with paddle shift
Driveline: Front engine, rear-drive
EPA fuel economy estimates:
15 MPG city / 25 MPG highway (automatic)
16 MPG city / 26 MPG highway (manual)
Cruising Range: 270 - 450 miles
Where built: Bowling Green, Kentucky
Standard safety equipment: Frontal and side-impact airbags - passenger-sensing, 1 year OnStar service, antilock brakes, traction control, active handling, daytime running lamps, tire pressure monitor
Standard features: Power windows, mirrors, locks, and front seats, dual-zone climate control, keyless entry, alloy wheels, cruise control, Bluetooth, AM/FM/CD sound system, HID headlights, leather
Options: Available turn-by-turn service from OnStar, heads-up display, GPS Navigation, heated memory seats, dynamic cruise control, 6-disc CD changer, satellite radio, Bose speakers, power telescoping steering wheel, auto-dimming mirror, universal garage door opener, luggage area shade (for hardtops), power convertible top, and the Grand Sport Heritage two-tone leather seats and logo headrest embroidery.
Warranty: 3 years/36,000 miles bumper-to-bumper, 5 years/100,000 miles drivetrain, 6 years/100,000 miles corrosion.
Roadside assistance: 5 years/100,000 miles