The 2010 Corvette Grand Sport – Can You Deal With It?
So, there we were on a Thursday night and each of us had already put in 8 – 9 hours at the office. I had invited a friend to deal with the task of testing a car – not just any car – but a crystal red, 6-speed, 2010 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport coupe. As we stood around the car, sipping our Monster, taking stock of what options the car had, the question of what to do first came up. Like any half-hatched driving adventure plan, the decision was made to make the decision while driving – so we set off.
With the Passport 8500×50 installed, our route was simple and our plan even simpler. Get on the freeway and head south towards Houston – away from the scattered showers that earlier in the evening made the 436 hp Grand Sport an absolute hoot to slide around turns on some back roads.
This drive was to be more than just a joyride; we were looking to finally answer one of the questions we had spent many hours on the golf course arguing over, without ever making a solid conclusion.
You get one car, for one year, you can’t sell it to buy more cars and you daily drive it. Would you take an American sports car or an American sports sedan – and why?
In our hours spent of pointless arguing, we could not agree on the conclusion. Deal with the hassles and headaches of your only car being a true sports car, such as the 2010 Corvette Grand Sport. Or opt for a more practical, easier to tolerate sports sedan, such as a Chrysler 300c SRT8.
In all honesty, at the beginning of our southbound drive, there was no argument. We were in complete agreement that a sports car, such as the Grand Sport we were in, was the way to go. The Grand Sport was surprising both of us; it was doing everything we asked of it, and doing it very well. It easily handled the rain soaked Houston freeways that caused more than one car to spin out in front of us. It was surefooted in these less than ideal conditions, even while operated at higher than recommended speeds. Not only does the 2010 Grand Sport share the great looks of the Z06, with its functional ram air inlet and rear brake cooling ducts, but it also shares its superb suspension and brakes (6 piston front / 4 piston rear).
The weather radar on our smart phones revealed the rain showers were mostly north of downtown Houston. We were looking forward to finding a couple of locations where we could capture the beautiful downtown Houston skyline behind our freshly rain-washed Grand Sport. As we neared the buildings, our photo op of the city lights was obscured by low clouds, so we continued south. The further south we went, the wet and congested freeway became a dry and open freeway. It was there on that southbound, dry, empty freeway (closed course, professional driver, do not attempt, etc.) we discovered what the 3,311 pound Grand Sport was capable of (that silver LS1 Z28 sure found out also).
Our wide-open freeway eventually became a strictly-enforced speed-limit main street of a small town near the Texas coast. We pulled into a gas station to stretch our legs, refuel on Monster and Red Bull, and survey the astonishing number of bugs plastered to the bumper, fog lights and lower grill. So we began our discussion of the inevitable: Would you daily drive this car over a sports sedan? Although its extremely low and long nose had scraped a couple of minor dips while pulling into the gas station, I was still sold on the Grand Sport being a tolerable daily driver. My equally sleep deprived buddy was starting to change gears. While he continued to praise the Grand Sport for what it is, and what we had done with it so far, the nose scrape and the constant drone of the massive 325/30/19 Goodyear F1 run flat rear tires were beginning to taking the shine off the idea of daily driving this car.
We were back on the road, now heading northeast along the coast. Texas coastal drives are not known for their beauty…in fact, they are hardly known at all, and for good reason. The drive up the Texas coast is no A1A, US1 or PCH, but in the middle of the night, all coastal drives look alike. The dark, deserted, sand covered, bendy roads provided a great opportunity to see just how much fun Competition Mode would allow. We can confirm Competition Mode gives you almost complete control to slide the rear a perfect amount while the Grand Sport’s computers keep the car moving in the proper direction. Once the roads straightened and the fun subsided, we began to be tailed by a local law enforcement officer whose mission (contrary to what we had feared) was only to get a closer look at the new Grand Sport.
The drive so far had provided some exciting driving opportunities but almost no photo opportunities, so as we approached Galveston, with our sand and salt covered Grand Sport, it was time to get down to business and shoot some pictures of the car. Still dark and still along the coast of Texas, we had few options of where to get decent photos of the car. We settled on turning the main drive of the San Luis Hotel and Resort into our studio – it worked out well and the staff put up very little resistance. While shooting photos, we attracted the attention of a Galveston Island cab driver, who surprised us with his knowledge of Corvettes and Corvette history but had relatively little knowledge of the new Grand Sport. The cabby’s interest in learning about the car gave us an opportunity to talk about the 6.2L LS3 engine, the close ratio 6 speed transmission, the optional dual-mode exhaust, the optional Grand Sport heritage appearance package and optional touch screen navigation, all of which our test car was equipped with. After swearing a 2010 Grand Sport would be his next Corvette, he entertained us with a couple of colorful stories, only of which a cab driver working the graveyard shift could.
Heading back towards Houston, still sleep deprived and still looking for photo ops in the pitch black morning hours, we were feeling good about avoiding low flying pelicans and not driving into Galveston Bay, the questionable decision to head back to the coast for some sunrise shots was made. After our drive back, we parked along the seawall with the intensions of shooting more photos, yet found ourselves (the Grand Sport) as the center of attention for many of the early morning joggers. In between photosets and dodging traffic we were peppered with questions about the car from joggers whom we later decided were probably just looking for an excuse to stop jogging for awhile.
Now that the sun was up and Houston’s infamous rush hour traffic had begun, we decided to take the least direct route back towards the Houston area. Our return journey took us on a ferry ride to Bolivar Peninsula (which was and still is depressingly devastated by Hurricane Ike) and along some remarkably smooth, fast back roads through farm county. On our journey back home we stopped a couple of times for photos and coffee and of course fielded more questions and comments about the car at each stop.
After our less than scientific test to determine if you can deal with daily driving a sports car, such as the 2010 Corvette Grand Sport (averaged 20.5 mpg on the drive), we still could not agree. I say, yes, absolutely, you can deal with daily driving a true sports car. The joys of driving a proper sports car can easily outweigh the hassles that my buddy relentlessly pointed out. Could a new Cadillac CTS-V have what it takes to put the great debate to rest – we hope to find out soon.
This entry was posted on August 1, 2010 at 8:25 pm and is filed under cars with tags 2010, c6, Chevrolet, chevy, Corvette, galveston, Grand Sport, Houston, ike, low flying pelican, srt8, test drive, Texas, tx, Veyron, z06. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.