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The Top Gear USA car review:Chevrolet Corvette
For:Supercar performance on fast saloon budget; more practical than you might think
Against:Image is still a problem for some
What is it?
If one car can claim to be America’s sports car, it’s the Chevy Corvette. Now in its seventh generation – and soon to be moving into a whole new era of mid-engined eighth-generation design – it still offers the same breathtaking value and performance that it always has.
Starting at just $56k, even the base car has 455bhp and can top 180mph. But that’s just where things start for Corvette. Add a couple thousand more bucks and you can get the Z51 performance package and/or a convertible roof. The latter doesn’t make a huge amount of sense in cost or weight terms as all Corvettes have removable roof panels as standard.
The Grand Sport is the sweet spot in the range as it features the wider wheels and bodywork and bigger brakes from the supercharged 650bhp Z06 above it, just with the normally aspirated, dry-sump motor. The Z06 was the range topper for the past couple of years. But now the furious $122k LT5-engined 755bhp ZR1 (pictured) has burst into view as the premier Corvette. There couldn’t be a better swansong for the existing generation as it pushes the entire package to its very limits – and beyond.