By Bruce Caldwell
How much better can the Chevrolet Corvette get? The current generation Corvette is so spectacular that improvements have to be incremental. The modern Corvette so long ago surpassed domestic performance cars as well as most foreign competitors that there doesn’t seem like much point in going quicker or faster.
Changes for 2010 are very minor. There is the new Grand Sport model. This model reaches back to a historically significant name from the sixties that resurfaced as a limited edition model in 1996. For 2010, the Corvette Grand Sport focuses on handling and suspension upgrades that are similar to the previously offered Z51 Performance Handling Package.
The King of the Hill ZR1 is still a world-beating supercar. The problem with the phenomenal speed of the ZR1 is that there aren’t many places where you can safely use that much power, much less places where it can be done legally. But, if you like to harass Porsches and Mercedes on the Autobahn send your ZR1 over for your next automotive dream vacation.
The base Corvette continues to the best bang for the buck proposition. The performance is incredible and the incremental improvements of the “faster” models really aren’t appreciable in everyday driving. The ZR1 should be pictured in the dictionary under the definition for overkill.
Corvette performance and driving excitement are givens, but it’s the Corvette’s practical nature that surprises many people. The hatchbacks are quite versatile (we had space to spare after a big Costco trip) and can return excellent fuel economy if your right foot isn’t too heavy. It’s a safe car that makes average drivers think they’re superior drivers. The Corvette is tractable around town and very pleasant on the highway. It’s an absolute joy on back roads.
Walkaround: The Corvette is a stunning car. It’s the kind of car you always look back at after you park it. Fit and finish are very good. The wheels and tires are huge and contribute much to the car’s outstanding performance.
Interior: Seating position is very low, but legroom is excellent. The seats are very supportive. Interior noise is low for such a powerful car (you won’t ever think you’re driving a hybrid) and the sound system is first rate. The cockpit storage areas are definitely on the small side, but there’s lot of space behind the seats. The Heads Up Display is one of our favorite features.
Under The Hood: The 2010 Corvette, like its recent predecessors, is an engineering marvel.
There are two 6-speed transmissions—manual and automatic. Both are excellent–the manual is more fun and the auto is more practical.
Behind The Wheel: Being behind the wheel of a Corvette is where we like to be. Driving a new Corvette is so much fun that it will distract you from other activities. You’ll want to find the most twisting route instead of the shortest.
Whines: The hot, shallow center console is short of useless unless you need a place to store asbestos.
Bottom Line: The current Corvette is so spectacular that it’s difficult to imagine how it can get any better, but we’re sure Chevrolet will find a way.