As this blog stated very long time ago, the introduction of Grand Sport version of the seventh generation of +General Motors Chevrolet Corvette was not a matter of if but rather WHEN. Apparently, when is now and to be specific, tomorrow, at the Geneva Auto Show.
Last time Corvette Grand Sport came about, it was not to pay homage to Zora Arkus-Duntov and his idea of track worthy race car, wearing Corvette emblem, it was purely to revive the sagging sales of the sixth generation of Corvette. At that time, it happened during the fifth model year of production run but this time, the sales boost made its appearance one year earlier, apparently driven by sooner than expected sales plunge, causing thousands of newest Corvettes to rot on the dealer lots, including both 2016 and 2015 model years.
Unlike the previous generation of Grand Sport, this time around, there is no bullet proof LS3 engine available to power the latest poser edition. Instead, there is the failure prone LT1 instead, waiting for the transplant into a latest version of so called Corvette "widebody" but this seems to be a great match, a turdy motor stuffed in a true anti aerodynamic body, devoid of the ability to deliver either a high top speed or sustainable track performance while powered by the already infamous LT4 supercharged embarrassment.
The recipe for the newest Grand Sport was already disclosed by +Tadge Juechter , long time ago under so called Track Concept Corvette.
On the bright side, the C7 Z06 should be less prone to the overheating and heat soak issues but not to the extent that would allow the look alike to perform flawlessly on the track, the Z06 based body is still missing the proper air intake and air circulation, necessary for adequate engine heat extraction and there still no adequate engine cooling design, not to mention the problems with the engine block cooling jacket (never addressede).
The biggest problem the new Grand Sport faces is the lack of power, the newest widebody makes the high power necessary, it is so anti aerodynamic!!! But... there is a problem here: courtesy of the obsolete engine technology and fuel economy and emissions compromises, GM lacks the ability to offer a higher powered version of the newest pushrod small block. Unlike Ford, GM refused to invest in the future and instead decided to penalize the Corvette with fuel economy related extra weight and complexity, thus, there is no elbow room to improve the LT1 engine, a true trap that will see the normally aspirated engine struggle while attempting to move the widebody both on the street and especially on the track.
Of course, since the great weight saving measures were supposedly already achieved on the base car, there is next to nothing available to reduce the weight of the upcoming porker to compensate for the lack of extra power. If the Z06 (on a cold day and downhill, before limp mode kicks in) struggles already, things will be considerably worse for the newest poser Corvette.
Will that part matter to the majority of the buyers? Of course not!!! Given that the majority of the public cannot distinguish the base car from the C7 Z06, those who can will certainly be fooled by the newest poser, giving the buyers great motivation to purchase the car, no matter how worthless it may be performance wise.
To put things in perspective, the previous Grand Sport, with the Cd of 0.34, weighing in at 3300 pounds, could must about 182 mph while trying to achieve its top speed vs. base LS3 Corvette reaching 190. With the base Stingray already capped at 179 mph, the poser car with Cd exceeding 0.4 and higher (depending on the aero level) while weighing more and gaining only 24 hp will be a sight to see, even for the driver of Prius.