When its was last redesigned in 2014, Chevrolet’s sports car adopted the Stingray nameplate. Ever since the mid-fifties, Corvettes have long been legendary for their masterful performance, while drawing admiring glances—if not covetous stares—from envious observers. The Corvette is quite simply America’s iconic sports car: a muscular, barely tamed gazelle of the road that can be driven either assertively or modestly, delivering a range of delights either way.
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2017 Chevrolet Corvette Overview
What's New for 2017
Chevrolet has big news for the 2017 model year: the return of the Grand Sport model, in both coupe and convertible form. The original Grand Sport, released in 1963, was meant to dominate racing. Second- and third-generation versions followed in 1996 and 2010. Although power output from the 6.2-liter V8 differs only slightly from the regular Stingray model, the Grand Sport gets a passel of performance extras to warrant the additional $10,000.
Choosing Your Chevrolet Corvette
In the rear-drive Stingray coupe or soft-top convertible, a 6.2-liter V8 whips up 455 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque. An optional performance exhaust raises each figure by 5. Either a seven-speed manual transmission with active rev matching or an eight-speed automatic with paddle shifters may be installed. Acceleration to 60 mph can be accomplished in as little as 4 seconds (3.8 seconds with the Z51 Performance Package).
Fuel economy for 2017 is estimated at 16 mpg city/25 mpg highway (19 combined) with the manual shift, or 15/26 mpg (19 combined) with the automatic. With the supercharged engine in the ultra-performance Z06 edition, estimates sink to 15/22 mpg (18 combined) with the manual, or a decidedly non-frugal 13 mpg city/23 mpg highway (16 combined) with the automatic.
Four trim levels are offered in both coupe and convertible form:
Z06 Note: For Corvette enthusiasts with deep pockets and track ambitions, Chevrolet also produces a supercharged, 650-horsepower Corvette Z06.
When stepping up to 2LT or 3LT trim, all of the additional features relate to comfort and convenience, not performance. So, unless you crave the undiluted performance components of a Z51, the basic 1LT delivers just about the same thrills as either upgrade trim level. Picking a convertible over a coupe adds $4,000 to the retail price. The immense option list means it’s possible to add many thousands of dollars to the total cost of a Corvette.
2017 Chevrolet Corvette Review
With a history stretching back decades, the Chevrolet Corvette remains a vital part of the American automotive legend. For 2017, that legacy carries on with models that range from simply very fast to blistering and prices that go from pricey to eye-wateringly expensive.
And yet, the 2017 Corvette is also smoother, more comfortable, and better appointed than ever before. Performance and poise, handsome good looks, and a brand cache unlike almost any other American car guarantee the seventh-generation Corvette will remain a popular choice among enthusiasts and connoisseurs alike.
Pricing and Equipment
The 2017 Corvette comes in three different models. The Stingray returns to the lineup as the not-very-basic base model. At the top of the range is the supercharged Z06. And new for 2017 is the Corvette Grand Sport, blending the Stingray's 6.2-liter V8 engine with suspension and aerodynamic hardware from the Z06. Consider it the Goldilocks Corvette.
The Stingray and Grand Sport share a 6.2-liter V8 with 460 horsepower and 465 pound-feet of torque. The Z06, meanwhile, gets supercharged, 6.2-liter V8 with 650 hp and 650 lb-ft of torque. All three versions of the Corvette are available as a hardtop coupe with a removable roof panel or as a soft-top convertible. Seven-speed manual transmissions come standard, while eight-speed automatics are optional extras.
At the entry level, 2017 Corvette buyers will get the following features:
- Dual-zone automatic climate control
- Infotainment system with an 8.0-inch color touchscreen
- Satellite radio
- Rearview camera
- Keyless ignition
- Leather-wrapped three-spoke steering wheel
Stepping up to the Grand Sport will cost about $66,445 (starting MSRP), an upgrade that comes with a lot of additional features. The Z06, meanwhile, starts at $81,440, although prices can exceed $100,000 without much effort. All three models are available in one of three trim levels – the LT1, LT2, and LT3 in the Stingray and Grand Sport, and 1LZ, 2LZ, and 3LZ in the Z06. The Stingray is also available with a higher-performance Z51 trim that splits the difference between the base car and the Grand Sport.
Beyond the trim levels, there are plenty of different wheels, interior upholsteries and finishes, exterior decals, and tech. Simply put, if you can dream up a Corvette, Chevrolet can probably accommodate you.
- Performance from even the base Corvette Stingray is simply thunderous. The 6.2-liter V8 is never short on power, while the supercharged Z06 provides speeds better suited to a race track.
- Speaking of the track, the Grand Sport and Z06 are beautifully suited to circuit driving, with aggressive magnetic suspensions and serious stopping power from their Brembo-branded brakes.
- Drivers who don't live on a race track will be pleased to know that all three versions of the 2017 Corvette handle themselves quite well around town and on the freeways. The transmissions aren't overly aggressive and the rides are almost comfortable.
- As you may expect, the Corvette tends to guzzle gas. Shocking, we know.
- The seating for two is fairly roomy, and there's a decent amount of cargo room.
- The interior boasts a better design than what was offered in previous years, and the amenities that come with higher trim levels will surround both driver and passenger with luxury.
- The digital instrument cluster and the available Competition seats give even the base Corvette Stingray a race-car-like feel from behind the wheel.
- Technically, every Corvette is a convertible, thanks to the removable roof piece. It's a little tricky to take out singlehandedly, but it stows neatly in the liftback trunk.
- Though improved, cabins on base models are still pretty basic.
- The infotainment system is a little lacking.
The Most Pleasant Surprise
For its level of performance, the base Corvette Stingray is almost a bargain. You can walk into a Chevy showroom, and for not a lot of cash, leave with a car that will please on the street, track, or drag strip.
The Least Pleasant Surprise
Everything on the 2017 Corvette is efficient and fast, except for the infotainment system. We didn't like the fact that it was confusing to operate and slow to perform.
The Bottom Line
While there are no shortage of performance cars competing for customers, the Corvette remains an enduring classic thanks to the way it balances everyday driving and performance. That legendary mix should allow the Corvette to continue to stand out among its peers in 2017.
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