C8 Z06 & Grand Sport Update
The Chevrolet Corvette C8 Grand Sport is expected to arrive for the 2023 model year to assume its rightful place in the eighth-generation Corvette family.
The Grand Sport, or GS, is expected to combine the drivetrain from the C8 Stingray with the chassis improvements and lightweighting from the C8 Z06.
No photos of the Corvette C8 Grand Sport are currently available. We will update this section one we get the very first spy shots.
GM Authority expects the Corvette C8 Grand Sport to be powered by the same naturally-aspirated 6.2L V8 LT2 engine as in the C8 Corvette Stingray, but tuned to be slightly more powerful, making about 510 horsepower and 490 pound-feet of torque (compared to the 495 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque in the Stingray with the Z51 Performance Package).
Shifting duties in the C8 Grand Sport will be handled by the same eight-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission as in the Chevrolet C8 Stingray. Like with all other variants of the C8, a manual transmission will not be offered.
Co-developed with TREMEC, the dual-clutch automatic delivers lightning-fast shifts and incredible power transfer in the Stingray model, and we have no reason to believe that this will change for the Grand Sport. The transmission was designed to provide drivers with the best of both worlds: the spirited feel and direct connection associated with a manual as well as the premium driving comfort of an automatic. The double-paddle de-clutch feature allows the driver to disconnect the clutch by holding both paddles for more manual control, in addition to choosing a specific gear. This enables the drive to perform a free-rev, if and when desired.
Power will be sent to the rear wheels.
We expect the C8 Grand Sport to feature an upgraded chassis compared to the C8 Stingray. In fact, the model will most likely utilize the suspension setup directly from the Z8 Z06.
That means that the Magnetic Ride Control system might be replaced by DSSV dampers, which might be better-suited for on-track performance. That change, in turn, could lead to a considerable revamp of the suspension system as a whole.
Larger, more capable brakes compared to the Stingray will also be part of the upgraded chassis in the Grand Sport.
Earlier this year, GM Authority was first to report that the upcoming 2022 Corvette C8 Z06 will offer a relatively large rear wing, most likely as part of the optional Z07 package. Now, whispers circulating around the web might shed some light on the upcoming track-focused missile’s tire size.
The C8 Z06 is tipped to ride on 20-inch wheels up front wrapped in 275/30R20 rubber, and 21-inch wheels out back wrapped in 345/25R21 meats. Compared to the C7 Z06, that represents an increase of 1 inch in diameter and 10mm in width.
C8 Z06 285/30-19
C7 Z06 275/30-20
Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 R tires will be offered. Developed specifically for track use, the Z-rated tires use a tread compound taken directly from Michelin’s motorsport tires for enhanced grip during acceleration, braking and cornering. Furthermore, the Pilot Sport Cup 2R tires are intended for supercars and sports cars for which they were homologated, meaning that this isn’t an off-the-shelf tire by any stretch.
One of the better-known vehicles to use the Cup 2R rubber currently are the 911 GT2 RS and 911 GT3 RS. Since the sizes used by Porsche and other automakers offering the tires are not big enough for the 2022 Corvette C8 Z06, Michelin will create a custom size specifically for Chevrolet.
A few other noteworthy characteristics of the tire is a massive outboard shoulder with fewer lateral notches. Additionally, the tire’s circumferential grooves are narrower, creating wider tread ribs for more rubber in the contact patch. The inner shoulder is focused on wet traction, with deep, lateral notches to evacuate water from the tire’s footprint.
Despite the fact that the Sport Cup 2 R tires meet DOT requirements, along with Michelin’s intent for the rubber to handle wet environments, the tires’ primary purpose is realizing a vehicle’s full potential in dry driving conditions. As such, the rubber is not recommended for driving in wet conditions where standing water is present and there is the risk of hydroplaning, particularly if the tires are shaved or worn. Use in climates below 14°F (-10°C) is also a no-no.
As of this writing, the Sport Cup 2 R tires sell between $717 and $920 USD per unit at various tire retailers.
Carbon Fiber Wheels:
What’s more, the 2022 Corvette C8 Z06 is also tipped to offer an optional set of carbon fiber wheels. These light rollers will likely be part of the optional Z07 package, which is typically offered on the Z06.
About C8 Z06:
The 2022 Corvette C8 Z06 will be focused on all-out performance at the track. GM Authority expects it to be powered by a naturally-aspirated 5.5L V8 LT6 engine with a flat-plane crankshaft. The rev-happy DOHC 32-valver is expected to be rated at around 600 horses, while torque should land between 480 and 550 pound-feet.
We initially expected the Corvette C8 Z06 to arrive in the second half of the 2021 calendar year as a 2022 model year vehicle. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed that timeline back by a few months, and the launch might now slip to late 2021 or early 2022.
Besides the 2022 Corvette Z06, Chevrolet will launch at least several other variants of the C8, including the C8 E-Ray, C8 Grand Sport, C8 ZR1, and C8 Zora.
We’ll be back soon for more on the future Z06, so be sure to subscribe to GM Authority for more C8 Z06 news, Corvette news, Chevrolet news and around-the-clock GM news coverage.
Specific performance figures for the Corvette C8 Grand Sport are not available, but we do expect it to be very capable. It might not be as powerful as the C8 Z06, but it should still be able to hold its own at the track, outperforming the base Stingray.
A 0-60 mph time around 2.8-2.9 seconds should be well within reach. However, the point of this car will not be straight-line acceleration. Instead, the C8 Grand Sport will be focused on being a very capable track car, much like the Z06, but at a lower price.
Meanwhile, the superior balance of the mid-engine configuration will aid in achieving higher levels of performance, as the layout maximizes traction and grip, enabling more power to be put to the pavement compared to a front-engine, rear-drive setup.
The exterior will feature a “wide body” design, with flared fenders front and back to accommodate larger wheels and tires, bigger brakes and more capable powertrain cooling. We do not expect the Grand Sport to feature any active aerodynamic features.
We expect the Corvette C8 Grand Sport to be available as a two-door coupe (with a removable hard top panel) and a hard-top convertible.
Inside, the Corvette C8 Grand Sport will not stray far from the world-class cabin introduced by the C8 Stingray. The same general cockpit is expected, with Grand Sport badging and a few unique accents throughout.
We expect the C8 Grand Sport to become available in late 2022 calendar year as a 2023 model year vehicle.
Like all other Corvette models, the C8 Grand Sport will be assembled at the GM Bowling Green plant in Kentucky – home of the Corvette.
We expect the LT2 motor to be assembled at the GM Tonawanda engine plant in Buffalo, New York.
The C8 Grand Sport be underpinned by the GM Y2 platform – the new mid-engine vehicle architecture that underpins all variants of the Corvette C8.
GM Global B will serve as the vehicle’s electrical system. In fact, a big reason why the entire Corvette C8 family, starting with the C8 Stingray, saw a six-month-long delay in coming to market, was to utilize the Global B electrical system.
Pricing for the C8 Grand Sport is currently unknown. However, GM Authority expects the MSRP to start around the $70,000 mark.
C8 Grand Sport specifications currently not available. We will update this section once we have them.
Other Corvette C8 Variants:
The Corvette C8 Grand Sport will be one of many C8 models variants. Other expected model variants include:
C8 Stingray – the base Corvette that’s an-around performer
C8 Z06 – a track-focused, all-motor missile
C8 E-Ray – a unique model that hybridizes the Stingray
C8 Grand Sport – a lightweight model that uses the Z06 body with the motor from the Stingray
C8 ZR1 – the range-topping, non-hybrid flagship slotting beneath the Zora
C8 Zora – the undisputed range-topping flagship with close to 1,000 horsepower and AWD capability