With all respect to that Incredible Hulk, the Corvette Z06, you don’t need 650 horsepower to have a good time. And yet, the standard-issue Stingray does raise a few questions on track.
The emphatic answer is the Corvette Grand Sport. This is the thinking man’s Corvette, with the thick-hipped supercar body, suspension, and LeMans-bred aerodynamics of the Z06, but minus the supercharged overkill and the starting price of around $80,000. Instead, you’re looking at $66,445 for the Grand Sport coupe, and an extra $4,000 for the convertible. The coupe costs just $5,000 more than a Stingray Z51, and $10,000 more than a base Stingray.
That, for a 6.2-liter, 460-horsepower Detroit enforcer that chews up laps and spits out lesser cars. A sports car so proudly American that it deserves its own Declaration, affirming the self-evident truths of a front-mounted, naturally aspirated V-8 and optional manual transmission. The hot pursuit of happiness includes a 3.6-second romp to 60 mph and an 11.8-second quarter mile, both accomplished with the optional Z07 track package and eight-speed, paddle-shifted automatic. That’s an accelerative gain of 0.4 and 0.2 seconds, respectively, over the standard Stingray coupe.