Few words have history in the Corvette lineage like Grand Sport. The special edition has popped up on several generations of the iconic sports car, and always represents a track focused version of the Corvette that celebrates the love of performance driving. Recently, the National Corvette Museum made a video on the history of the Corvette Grand Sport, and it gives us a chance to talk about everything that makes that nameplate so special, and what the future may hold for Grand Sport in the C8 generation.
The Grand Sport designation first appeared on the C2 generation Corvette, where legendary engineer Zora Arkus-Duntov created a stripped out, lightweight Corvette made for the racetrack. Around five years earlier, racing legislation blocked manufacturer-backed racing, so Arkus-Duntov and Chevrolet decided the Corvette needed a high performance model they could sell directly to racing drivers. That ended up being the original Grand Sport, which was radically different to a regular C2 despite sharing similar looks
Unfortunately, General Motors’ contemporary CEO Frederic Donner caught wind of the project after its success at Sebring, and cancelled it. In the end, only five original Grand Sport coupes were made, and they’re incredibly valuable.
After this, the name took a break until the C4 generation, where the Corvette Grand Sport Special Edition market the end of the C4. The Grand Sport skipped the C5 generation before returning on the C6 and C7. On the most recent C7 Corvette, it was regarded as a sweet spot in the range, featuring many of the handling components of the Z06 with the less powerful, naturally aspirated LT1 engine.
Moving forward, the path of the C8 Corvette Grand Sport is less clear. Rumors suggest it isn’t happening at all, with a hybrid E-Ray coming instead. This E-Ray will probably be an impressive sports car, but it won’t be a Grand Sport. We’d be happy to see the Grand Sport return for the C8, but only if it’s able to live up to the history the nameplate deserves. Right now, it’s looking like that won’t be happening.