Yes, those are Iowa bugs splattered all over the grille of a 2017 Corvette Grand Sport Convertible. It's Sunday and we just finished driving the car on the first leg of the 2017 HOT ROD Power Tour from Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, to the Iowa Speedway in Newton Iowa. The car is so easy, new, and fast, it made us feel like we were somehow cheating a little bit. Then we got over it when the car barked Second in Track Mode.
Chevrolet Performance brought it and a fleet performance variants, including Camaros and Corvettes with us to run the entire tour from Kansas to Bowling Green, Kentucky. Let's some of the details out the way.
First, the car is capable of 185 mph. That's not firsthand knowledge, it's info from Chevrolet testing and the air math that says 460 hp and seven speeds in a 3,500 pound car should get you there. We bring it up because it might sound low compared to 650 from the Z06 and all the other huge numbers coming out of Detroit these days. In this touring style roadster, 460 is the perfect blend of passing and hill climbing pop and some mid-20s mpg to get where you are going without exiting the fun for everything with a gas pump.
Cruising it late in the evening with the top down, we noticed some little details that make this a great freeway bullet. First, the side and rear view mirrors auto dimmed with a blue overlay to cut headlight glare. Second, there is little or no wind noise with the top down and 70 mph (the freeway limit in Iowa), and finally, the cruise control re-activates after you downshift for passing and click it back into Seventh to get back in the right lane.
There is a heads up display (HUD) that gives you both your speed and the local speed limit for comparisons sake and shows you radio stations as a ghostly apparition floating on the windshield. Combine those goodies with the big fat dial on the console that switches modes from T for touring to Tr for open exhaust and track suspension settings, and you have the very coolest way we've seen to be a Corvette guy on the Power Tour. You know the one. All we are missing is a matching jacket and aviators.
Next stop, the Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds in Davenport, Iowa where you can spectate this beautiful GS for free!
Frequently asked Questions: http://www.hotrod.com/articles/hot-rod-power-tour-2017-faq/
Driving Directions: http://www.hotrod.com/articles/2017-hot-rod-power-tour-route-download/
Main Event Page: http://www.hotrod.com/events/power-tour/