2012 Chevrolet Corvette


Currently in its sixth generation as America’s sports automotive, the Chevrolet Corvette bristles with track-bred performance, unmistakable style, and everyday comforts. though it hasn’t been entirely modernized — leaf springs, anyone? — General Motors has whittled away at the car’s rough edges for well over [*fr1] a century, and also the result’s one amongst the simplest all-around performance cars for the cash.

The revival of the Grand Sport name for 2010 bridged the chasm between the $50,000 base automotive and also the increasingly expensive Z06, that currently starts at $75,255. In brief, the GS brings the Z06’s sharper suspension and brakes — in addition as its flared bodywork — all the way down to the bottom Vette. The convertible GS is that the most potent droptop Corvette. For 2011, what would possibly seem to be little news — the supply of a brand new optional suspension package — is essentially terribly vital.

Topless Rocket

Blessed with a stiff structure that differs very little from the coupe’s, our 3381-pound take a look at automotive was solely four pounds heavier than the last GS hardtop we have a tendency to tested. And with no roof to muffle the roar from the optional exhaust’s vacuum-actuated bypass valves, the GS convertible was a riot between stoplights on Detroit’s fabled Woodward Avenue throughout the Dream Cruise. Power comes from the quality Corvette’s six.2-liter LS3 V-8, that develops 436 hp and 428 lb-ft of torque with the trick exhaust (or 430 hp and 424 lb-ft without).

Straight-line acceleration is relentless and on par with that of alternative six.2-liter Corvettes we’ve tested: zero to sixty mph in four.2 seconds and also the quarter-mile in twelve.6 at a hundred and fifteen mph. The convertible has an estimated coupe-matching high speed of 185 mph.

Grip and Grins

The Grand Sport is visually distinguished from the quality Corvette by the Z06’s wider (by three.3 inches) bodywork, along side distinctive fender vents and wheels (18-inchers up front, 19s at the rear). The borrowed Z06 brakes are sensible for a stellar 150-foot stop from seventy to zero mph during this automotive, and that they provide solid pedal feel and sensible modulation.

The biggest news for 2011, however, is that the optional F55 Magnetic Selective Ride management package ($1695), that bundles two-mode magnetorheological shocks with large, second-generation Goodyear F1 Supercar run-flat tires. As equipped, this automotive fused to the skidpad for an improbable one.06 g, with a way more progressive breakaway than before when exceeding its limits. For comparison, 1.02 g is that the best we have a tendency to recorded for a 2010 Grand Sport coupe.

We still like the new Michelin Pilot Sport 2s that are optional on the Z06 for 2011 — they are even additional predictable — however the updated Goodyears massively improve overall drivability at the limit, permitting the GS to basically match the one.07 g posted by the Z06 and ZR1.

You Could Drive It frequently…

Although most of the Grand Sport’s lofty performance cannot be really realized anywhere however on a racetrack — an setting where the steering in Corvettes looks to return alive and every one the ability is utilised — the GS convertible is straightforward to drive and over capable for day-to-day running. The convertible lacks the coupe’s 22-cubic-foot hatch, however eleven cubes (7.5 with the highest down) stay within the trunk for groceries or bags.

With the suspension within the softer touring mode, the ride is fairly compliant, and road tremors through the steering column and cowl are minimal; the game setting is best left for the type of super-smooth stretches of asphalt that do not exist in Michigan. though all Vettes except the ZR1 avoid a gas-guzzler tax (ours was rated for sixteen mpg town and twenty six mpg highway), the floor-it-and-sit nature of the Woodward Dream Cruise reduced our overall average to fifteen mpg.

…but Would you would like To with This One?

Using this specific automotive as a daily driver brought its own set of problems, the primary of that we have a tendency to noticed as soon because the automotive pulled up to our workplace. The new-for-2011 Inferno Orange Metallic paint, combined with the bling from the chrome wheels and also the off-putting beige softtop, created it look as if an artless Pimp My Ride viewer — or even simply a pimp — had special-ordered the automotive, solely to allow it back to GM when he realized he did not have enough gold teeth to tug off driving it. The automotive looked a lot of cleaner with the highest down, and that is how we have a tendency to left it.

This Grand Sport’s low-rent interior was another sore spot, significantly the lumpy, unsupportive seats that felt as if they were padded with loaves of bread. Hitting 1.06 g {in a|during a|in an exceedingly|in a terribly} very quick, open-top automotive with no dedicated rollover protection and chintzy seats is additional terrifying than exhilarating. The seats are a disgrace in an exceedingly automotive of this caliber, and their continued use when years of criticism makes us surprise if GM is being blackmailed into keeping the provision contract alive.

Misguided choices

At its base worth of $59,550 — a $3810 premium over the coupe — the Corvette Grand Sport convertible hits all our necessities for a hot summer ride: speed, style, and open to the wind of the road. however stir within the top-level, $9700 4LT cluster — leather-wrapped interior, premium Bose sound system, satellite radio, head-up show, power telescoping steering wheel, heated and powered seats, Bluetooth, and power high — in addition because the $1995 F55 adjustable suspension, $1195 upgraded exhaust, $1995 chrome wheels, $1795 navigation, and $300 Inferno Orange paint, and you arrive at the terribly pricey as-tested $76,530 sticker.

For our cash, we’d prefer one amongst the lesser levels of LT trim and pay the distinction on a combine of aftermarket seats. or even we’d opt for the less-expensive — and additional comfortably exploitable — GS coupe and acquire our open-air kicks from its customary removable roof panel.

Performance information


Zero to sixty mph: four.2 sec

Standing ¼-mile: twelve.6 sec @ a hundred and fifteen mph

Top speed (governor limited): 185 mph


EPA city/highway driving: 16/26 mpg

Image via Wikipedia

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