The mighty Corvette truly competes with the world’s greatest sports cars, no excuses required. With a 6.2-liter V-8 making 455 hp and 460 lb-ft of torque (an optional sport exhaust is good for 460 hp and 465 lb-ft), an eight-speed automatic is now available in addition to the standard seven-speed manual. The Corvette sheds its unrefined reputation and has an interior befitting its stature. The Grand Sport is a 10Best winner, combining the LT1 V-8 with the Z06’s bodywork and chassis hardware.
Atop those braking and cornering scores, add the glorious engine that unleashes 460 horses when you crop the throttle—it propels the GS to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds and through a quarter-mile in 12.3 seconds at 117 mph—and you have quite possibly the best performance value on the market. All of the car’s might is baked into the Grand Sport’s $66,445 base price. Headlining the options on our test example was the $4455 2LT package, which includes a lot of minor and pretty much unnecessary elements, such as a luggage net, front-view cameras, and heated and ventilated seats with memory. The $1795 Performance Data Recorder produces high-quality dash-cam footage of your pole lap at Watkins Glen—or keeps tabs on parking valets—and also includes navigation. Racing stripes ($995), Carbon Flash badging ($100), black wheels ($495), and the Heritage package, which adds fender and interior hash marks and floor mats for $795, add strictly visual horsepower, so choose your options wisely.
The only contemporary that comes close to matching the Grand Sport’s performance is the Mustang Shelby GT350R, which starts at $64,270 without a radio. Similarly optioned, the cars carry essentially the same price tag. Arguing the merits of one to the other’s fan base is a futile exercise, as blue ovals and bow ties won’t get along until a common enemy materializes.