Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport road trip
When you're facing a 1,000-mile road trip there are a few things that are necessities: A diesel engine for a start, lots of room for luggage, and a relaxing drive.
Unfortunately the Corvette Grand Sport offers none of the above – but it does, however, have one overriding factor that makes all others pale into insignificance: The Cool Factor.
The Corvette is one of the motoring world's icons – up there with the original Mini and Mustang – so the opportunity to drive one all the way to the Frankfurt Motor Show and back was too good an opportunity to pass up.
Granted it was never going to be the most economical form of transport. In fact, the 6.2-litre V8 lump (probably) consumed as much fuel as an EasyJet flight to Germany – but I doubt those passengers were having as much fun as I was. Official consumption is 22.4mpg, but we doubt we got anywhere near that...
The Corvette Grand Sport isn't like European sportscars. It's not lithe or nimble, like a Ferrari or Porsche, instead it feels almost industrial in its execution. It's big, brutish and heavy-handed... a bit like the Americans.
Switchgear is tough and chunky, the interior cramped, and performance all about huge displacement power. Producing 437bhp and 575Nm of torque, the Grand Sport can hit 60mph in 4.7 seconds and a top speed of 186mph.
Obviously, being in Germany and driving on its derestricted Autobahns, it would have been rude not to test those claims. Off slip roads it sounded fantastic as it shifted up through the six-speed autobox, but you needed to keep your foot planted to avoid lazy changes. I managed to top 140mph on one limitless section and it felt extremely planted at these speeds.
You get to know a car intimately over 1,000-miles and I found the Corvette comfortable and a competent grand tourer companion. However, there's not much room inside and the quality of some of the interior fixings doesn't match the £73,228 price tag.
It certainly turns heads though – I got easily as much attention as when I've driven exotic European rivals – however if it was a decision between this and a similarly priced, and performing, Porsche, as cool as the Corvette is I just couldn't justify handing my money to the Chevrolet dealer...