One of the surprises at the Geneva Motor Show was the introduction of the 2017 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport, a step-up model positioned between the Stingray and the range-topping Z06 models.

Incorporating weight savings, aerodynamics and chassis tweaks from the C7.R GTE Pro race car which recently won the 24 Hours of Daytona, the Grand Sport is designed to offer a higher level of performance with handling nearly on par with the previous generation ZR1.

As a result of the tauter chassis and Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires, the Grand Sport is able to generate 1.05 g of lateral force, a measure of the car’s road-holding ability. When fitted with the optional Z07 performance package that includes stickier Michelin Sport Cup 2 tires, that number goes up to 1.2 g.

“We didn’t hold back with the new Grand Sport,” said Corvette Chief Engineer Tadge Juechter. “For the first time, buyers can equip the Grand Sport with a Z07 performance package, which adds carbon-ceramic brakes, Michelin Sport Cup 2 summer tires and carbon-fiber aero package that delivers true downforce.”

Distinctive look

The 2017 Corvette Grand Sport is distinguished by specific front fender inserts, a Z06-style grille and wider rear fenders, which attests to its track-ready capabilities. In addition to being available in all standard colors and interiors of the Stingray, the Grand Sport also offers a Heritage package that includes hash-mark fender stripes in six colors with the detail carried over onto the interior’s brushed aluminum trim. Buyers can also specify full length stripes on the hood, roof and tail.

Grand Sport models are equipped with the same 460-horsepower 6.2-liter V8 engine as the Stingray, but add specific 19-inch front and 20-inch rear alloy wheels, upgraded brakes, standard magnetic ride control, an electronic limited slip differential, a choice of a 7-speed manual or 8-speed automatic transmission and the optional Z07 performance package.

A special Grand Sport Collector Edition will be offered later in the year with an exclusive Watkins Glen Gray Metallic exterior with Tension Blue hash marks on the front fenders, as well as a blue leather and suede interior. The headrests will be embossed with an image of the original Grand Sport race car, which will also be used on a commemorative dash plaque. The 2017 Chevrolet Grand Sport goes on sale this summer in the U.S. and in the fall in Europe with prices announced closer to the on-sale date.

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