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Road and track? Chevy’s 2017 Grand Sport Corvette will tame both

The great thing about the Corvette’s 60-plus year history is that Chevy can occasionally dip into it for meaningful references. The Grand Sport name has been applied to a number of special Corvettes over the years, and now it adorns a ferocious new model debuting at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show.

The 2017 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport is essentially a beefed up version of the current Corvette Stingray that borrows parts from the monstrous Z06 to improve handling and affect a more focused attitude. It’s a similar approach to the last Grand Sport, which was based on the previous-generation Corvette C6.

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The new Grand Sport retains the Stingray’s 6.2-liter V8, which produces 460 horsepower. As with other Corvette models, it’s available with either a seven-speed manual transmission, or an eight-speed automatic. Both coupe and convertible versions will be offered.

Things get more serious from there. The engine itself gets an active exhaust system, and a dry-sump oiling system that helps it cope with higher cornering forces. To generate those higher forces, the Grand Sport gets stickier Michelin Pilot Super Sport summer tires mounted on 19-inch rims, tuned suspension, Brembo brakes, and a standard electronic limited-slip differential.

That allows the Grand Sport to achieve 1.05g in the corners, Chevy says. An optional Z07 package adds carbon-ceramic matrix brakes and even more aggressive Michelin Pilot Sport 2 Cup tires, increasing the cornering threshold to 1.2g. With the Z07 package, Chevy says the Grand Sport was also less than one second off the track record for GM’s Milford Proving Ground, which was set by the previous-generation Corvette ZR1.

Chevy claims the Grand Sport features “track-honed” aerodynamic elements, and it features parts like a new grille, front fender inserts, and widened rear fenders that give the car a definite Z06 vibe. Chevy will also offer a Grand Sport Collector Edition with the unusual combination of Watkins Glen Grey Metallic exterior paint and Tension Blue trim that you see above. That model will arrive sometime after the “regular” Grand Sport, which goes on sale this fall.