The Corvette reviewed here came so equipped, meaning it wore exclusive Ceramic Matrix Gray paint, featured Carbon 65 graphics on the fenders and doors, and had carbon fiber practically splattered all over it, including on the splitter, rocker-panel blades, spoiler, side mirrors, hood insert, rear fender ducts, wheel caps, and about half of the steering-wheel rim. These carbon-fiber items are all optional on regular Grand Sports, as are the package’s included Competition Sport seats. The net effect is eye-catching—our Carbon 65 coupe attracted endless attention. The interior’s blue stitching (including quilting for the removable carbon-fiber roof panel’s microsuede-upholstered headliner), additional black microsuede accents, and carbon-fiber trim noticeably classed up the Corvette’s cabin. Whether that’s worth the package’s $15,000 cost (and this specific Carbon 65’s $99,230 sticker) is up to you.
It’s performance you can enjoy, too, thanks to the clear feedback from the steering and chassis as you near the grip limits at either end of the car. We have zero complaints about the way the Grand Sport looks, sounds, or drives. And when you want to relax and just cruise, the Vette serves up a comfortable ride in its Tour driving mode. (Cycling through the Sport and Track modes transitions the ride to firm and then to rock hard.) It’s even capable of nearly 30 mpg on the highway, thanks to the manual transmission’s ultratall seventh gear and the V-8’s cylinder-deactivation feature that can shut down four cylinders to save fuel. The available automatic transmission’s eight forward speeds aid the cause of efficiency with their wider ratio spread, and its quick shifting helps get the Vette up to speed even more quickly.
A few other warnings: We recommend trying the narrow Competition seats on for size before buying. And for all the Corvette’s external size, particularly its width, its interior is cramped, particularly in width. Oh, and you probably will bang your knee on the sharp corner of the dashboard while getting into and out of the ultralow driver’s seat, because it juts out into the space between the steering wheel and the seat. Approach the Grand Sport like the affordable track-capable car it is, and these flaws fade into the background; treat it like any other $65,000 car, and they’re less forgivable.