Driving the Corvette gave me a weird sense of power – that I could accomplish anything with this car. I confirmed this feeling when stuck behind a train of 5 slower cars on a 2 lane road to Hearst Castle. Normally, I would pass each car one-by-one, but faced with only a short straightaway, I floored the throttle, and effortlessly passed all 5 cars in a single move with time and room to spare before the next turn. How awesome to have such power under my control.
Braking capabilities are phenomenal as well with 6-piston calipers up front clamping 14” discs, and 4-piston calipers clamping 13.4” discs out back. Slam on the brakes, and it feels like a drag chute was deployed enabling me to quickly and easily bring the GS down to safe speeds. The large calipers are painted in beautiful silver adorned with “Corvette” in red letters.
With super wide (275-fronts and 325-rears) 30-series Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar tires that stuck like Gorilla glue on wood, the Vette did not disappoint affording ear-to-ear grins when pushing the limits. It remained Kansas-flat through all of the twists and turns I put the car through instilling confidence on any smooth surface. However, the suspension feels over damped on choppy surfaces causing the tires to break contact and jump a bit mid turns. Though the sensation was a bit unnerving, the car never was out of control. Overall, anyone who drives the Grand Sport will feel like a better driver due to its handling capabilities. On-center feel is solid never seeming to stray either right or left.
Silver heritage stripes on the front fenders add classic style to the Corvette. From the side, the convertible top’s lines just don’t flow as smoothly as the hardtop disrupting the aerodynamic shape of the rest of the body. I prefer the cleaner lines of the hardtop. With the top down, however, the double-bubble convertible cover is a clean design adding a bit of design flair.
For $75k, you definitely get a lot of bang-for-your-buck with a flexible and powerful engine, race track handling, and race-spec brakes – super car stuff for a fraction of the price. A base 911 starts at $77k, and sure, it’s a bit more refined with a much nicer interior, but here you get similar performance AND a convertible (911 Cabriolet starts at $88k). The Vette excels in raw performance while providing its owner with an iconic image. For longer trips, be sure to travel lightly because with the top down, the trunk shrinks to hold two golf bags (maybe) and not much more. For our day trip to California’s central coast, the storage space was adequate.
Never have any of the cars I’ve driven attracted so much attention. Maybe it was the Jetstream Blue paint? The fact it was a convertible? Or simply the fact that it was a Corvette? Friends at church, my nieces and nephews, my BMW 5-series driving neighbor, people at work or college friends: they all flocked to check out the car. As mentioned earlier, I felt different driving this car not because of the image, but because I knew what it could do. That is an emotion that is missing with many cars today, and kudos to General Motors for creating a car that embraces that emotion.
The EPA mileage values are 15 mpg city and 25 mpg highway … that’s damn impressive for a 6.2 liter engine putting out 436-hp (with the performance exhaust). Driving down to Hearst Castle (using mostly cruise control), I managed 25.5 mpg. At the end of the day with 475 miles of driving, my average only dropped to 24.5 mpg (mostly highway). Prior to the road trip, around town driving mileage hovered closer to the EPA rating. Not bad at all. If you can tolerate the wind and road noise, limited storage, and ergonomic issues, the performance more than makes up for the deficiencies providing endless facial grins during spirited driving.
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