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.
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.