The Corvette is Chevrolet's flagship sports car, and it's offered as a hardtop or a convertible. In addition to the base model, which makes more than 400 horsepower, Chevrolet also sells two high-performance variants of the sports car: the 505-hp Z06 and the ZR1, which is powered by a supercharged V-8 that kicks out a whopping 638 hp. For 2010, a Grand Sport version debuts. Competitors include the Ford Shelby GT500, Dodge Viper and Nissan GT-R.
(Skip to details on the: Grand Sport, Z06, ZR1)
New for 2010
Manual-transmission versions of the Corvette gain Launch Control, a system designed to let average drivers look like a pro when accelerating hard from a standstill, and side-impact airbags are now standard.
Low-slung and wide, the Corvette sports swoopy exterior styling and bulging front fenders. The Corvette's body panels are made of composite material, and the current model features exposed headlights as opposed to flip-up ones that have been used in past versions of the sports car. Coupes have a glass hatchback and a removable roof; the convertible has an available powered soft-top.
- Optional performance exhaust increases horsepower, changes exhaust sound
- Quad taillights
- Large side vent behind front wheels
- 18-inch front wheels; 19-inch rear wheels
- Torch Red paint color is new for 2010
The driver and passenger ride low to the ground in the Corvette and sit in bolstered bucket seats. The sizable center console separates the seats and houses the standard six-speed manual's shifter or optional six-speed automatic's gear selector. Coupes offer an impressive 22 cubic feet of cargo space, but there's just 7.5 cubic feet in the convertible when the top is down.
- Standard dual-zone air conditioning
- Standard leather upholstery
- Optional heated seats
- Optional navigation system
Under the Hood
The Corvette's all-aluminum 6.2-liter V-8 makes 430 hp (436 hp with the performance exhaust system) at 5,900 rpm and 424 pounds-feet of torque (428 pounds-feet with the optional exhaust system) at 4,600 rpm. Chevrolet recommends premium gas for this engine, but it's not required.
- 16/26 mpg city/highway with the manual
- 15/25 mpg with the automatic
- Rear-wheel drive
Safety equipment includes:
The new Grand Sport is distinguished by special exterior styling and a stiffer suspension. Last offered for the 1996 model year, the new Grand Sport will be available as a coupe or convertible. Grand Sport models are scheduled to hit dealerships in September.
The Grand Sport model uses the same 430-hp, 6.2-liter V-8 engine as the base Corvette, and it's likewise available with a six-speed manual or an optional six-speed automatic transmission. Like the regular Corvette, an optional exhaust system bumps engine output to 436 hp.
Manual-transmission Grand Sport coupes have a dry-sump oil system and a differential cooler, and the transmission itself features shorter gearing. Automatic models have a shorter final-drive ratio, and the changes lower both models' zero-to-60-mph times by 0.2 seconds, according to Chevrolet, which puts them around 4 seconds.
The Grand Sport's special five-spoke alloy wheels measure 18 inches in front and 19 inches in back, but the front wheels are 1 inch wider and the rear ones are 2 inches wider than base models. The shocks, springs and stabilizer bars have also been modified, and Chevrolet says it can pull 1 g when cornering.
Unlike the '96 Grand Sport, which was only offered in bright blue with a white racing stripe, 2010 Grand Sports will be offered in all of the colors available for the base Corvette. Hash marks on the front fenders are optional and available in four colors. The front and rear fenders are also larger, and the front fenders feature three vents behind the front wheels and a Grand Sport badge. (Back to top)
The Z06 ratchets up the Corvette's performance capabilities with the use of a more powerful V-8 engine, larger brakes and a firmer suspension. It also features unique styling cues designed to improve performance.
A 7.0-liter V-8 engine, which makes 505 hp at 6,300 rpm and 470 pounds-feet of torque at 4,800 rpm, is the heart of the Z06. It teams exclusively with a six-speed manual transmission, and Chevrolet says it can rip from zero to 60 mph in just 3.7 seconds.
The Z06 is outfitted with 18-inch wheels in front and 19-inch rims in back, and Chevrolet says the car can pull more than 1 g when cornering. The drilled front brakes measure 14 inches across, while the rear ones are slightly smaller, at 13.4 inches.
When a car's top speed is 198 mph, as the Z06's is, aerodynamics become even more important; the sports car has a splitter for extra downforce. The slit near the hood feeds cold air to the engine, and scoops in front of the rear wheels funnel air to cool the brakes. (Back to top)
Yep, this is the super-Corvette you might've been reading about for years. Weighing in at a scant 3,324 pounds, the ZR1 is based on the aluminum chassis of the Corvette Z06.
It adds a supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 capable of a 205-mph top speed, carbon ceramic brake rotors and standard magnetic ride control, plus a carbon-fiber roof, front fenders, rocker moldings and more. (Back to top)