At the onset of the 2010 model year, General Motors was on the precipice of beginning a new chapter in its existence. After a difficult transitory period that had seen the massive automotive manufacturer nearly disappear from the global market after being forced to file a government-backed Chapter 11 restructure, a reorganized General Motors was announced on the world market with an initial public offering of $33 dollars-per-share.
This IPO would become one of the world’s top-five largest to date. Within the same year, GM would rise from the ashes of its former self and once more return to profitability.
While the restructure of General Motors had taken its toll on the company, resulting in the discontinuation of Saturn, Pontiac, and Hummer, it had also allowed the company to refocus their efforts on the remaining brands, giving them the bandwidth to develop new strategies to help them excel once more as an innovator in the automotive marketplace. For Corvette, this innovation meant that Chevrolet would not only continue production of their beloved sports car in all of its current forms – namely, the coupe, convertible, Z06 and ZR1 models – but they’d also be introducing another variant to this already impressive lineup.
This new model would be dubbed “Grand Sport”, a name that has long been synonymous with Corvette performance. The original Grand Sport Corvette, as envisioned by Zora Arkus-Duntov, was to be a factory-built, lightweight and race-ready production model that could outperform both domestic and foreign road-racing competitors. Duntov’s concept had evolved into five 1963 prototypes that became known as the first Grand Sport Corvettes.
Unfortunately, the project was mothballed shortly after the Grand Sport’s introduction due to an agreement that General Motors had previously entered into with the Automobile Manufacturers Association (AMA) that prevented them from participating in factory backed racing programs (which included building factory manufactured race variants of their production vehicles.)
Although never officially sanctioned by General Motors, the five Grand Sport prototypes did spend a considerable amount of time competing on race tracks across the United States, and around the world. These five cars would continue to race throughout the 1960s, driven by “private” racers who had strong contacts within Duntov’s engineering circle. All five of these original Grand Sport Corvettes are accounted for today and are considered among the most valuable Corvettes in the collector market.
In 1996, Chevrolet offered a limited-edition Grand Sport production model that commemorated the original racing cars. They also marked the end of the C4 Corvette production era. A total of 1,000 C4 Grand Sport Corvettes were produced, and every single one of them featured an Admiral Blue paint scheme with white center stripes and red “hash mark” graphics on the left front fender, a look that mimicked the look of some of the original 1963 Grand Sport race cars.
The 2010 Grand Sport Corvette was introduced to the world at the 12th annual C5/C6 Corvette Birthday Bash, which was (and is) held at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky. During its unveiling, it was announced that the new Grand Sport would be offered as either a coupe or a convertible, and it would feature an appealing combination of the LS3 power plant fused with the Z06 Corvette’s wide track chassis and styling features. Additionally, the Grand Sport was to include a number of other upgrades over the base coupe and convertible models including higher performance axle ratios, sport suspension, upgraded cooling system and brakes, wider tires and special trim. While the available options on the Grand Sport were essentially the same as that of the base coupe and convertible, Grand Sport buyers would be able to order a GS-exclusive Heritage Package which featured front-fender hashmarks reminiscent of those found on the 2007 Ron Fellows Special Edition Corvette, as well as s two-tone leather interior.
Outwardly, the Grand Sport featured wider front and rear fenders – including specific front fenders with integrated Grand Sport badges. It also featured a Z06-style front splitter and tall rear spoiler, functional brake ducts for extra cooling, and unique 18-inch front and 19-inch rear wheels that either came standard with a painted finish or with an optional chrome finish. Mated to the wheels were large 275/35ZR18 tires up front and 325/30ZR19 tires in the rear. All of Corvette’s exterior colors were offered on the Grand Sport, and the available Heritage package included the iconic front fender hash marks (found on earlier generation Grand Sport Corvettes) in a selection of four colors.
Moving under the hood, the Grand Sport utilized the Corvette’s LS3-based powertrain with a racing-bred suspension package that delivered a great balance of road and race track performance. The LS3 6.2L engine was rated at 430 horsepower (321 kW) and 424 lb.-ft of torque (575 Nm) when equipped with the standard exhaust system. An optional two-mode exhaust system was also offered that elevated the power ratings to 436 horsepower (325 kW) and 428 lb.-ft. (580 Nm). The LS3 engine could be mated to either a six-speed manual transmission or a six-speed automatic. When equipped with the manual transmission, the Grand Sport models were uniquely outfitted for race track competition. The manual transmissions featured a dry-sump oiling system, a differential cover, and a rear-mounted battery. The six-speed automatic transmission included optional paddle-shifters, which allowed drivers greater control over the shifting of the transmission in virtually any driving conditions.
The 2010 Grand Sport Corvette would replace the previously offered Z51 package and would bring a greater degree of handling performance to consumers thru its wider wheels and tires, as well as revised shock, stabilizer bar and spring specifications, and specific gearing. This equipment would improve the Grand Sport’s cornering capability to 1.0g, as well as shaving 0.2 seconds off the 0-60 time of the standard LS3 powered models. In fact, the improvements made to the standard suspension rivaled the suspension package that came standard on the Z06 model, but unlike the Z06, the Grand Sport offered consumers the option of a removable top. Taking it a step further, the 2010 Grand Sport was also offered to consumers as a convertible.
Stopping power on the Grand Sport coupe was accomplished through the factory equipped Z06-style brakes, which included 14-inch (355 mm) rotors with six-piston calipers up front, and 13.4-inch (340 mm) rotors with four-piston calipers in the rear.
While the Grand Sport Corvette was certainly the major highlight of the 2010 model year, all of the Corvette models that year received at least some minor refinements, though outwardly, those changes were limited to the re-introduction of exterior color choices, including Torch Red. The convertible models, regardless of trim level, now included the tall, rear spoiler previously introduced on the Z06 model.
Looking inward, the Corvette’s interior also remained largely the same from previous years, though subtle refinements were made to continue moving the quality, craftsmanship and functionality of the cockpit forward. The instrument panel and doors came fitted with a cast-skin foam-in-place trim that featured the look of a leather panel. Designed to be inviting to both drivers and spectators alike, the material was carefully selected because of its appeal along with its durability. In fact, GM’s claim was (is) that the faux “leather” panels would double the life on an interior made out of conventional trim materials. The base coupe and convertible models also offered new interior console trim in Orbit and Gunmetal patterns. For consumers who wanted to further enhance the cockpit of their Corvette, GM also offered optional crossed-flags logo embroidery on both the driver and passenger seats.
Refinements to vehicle safety were also incorporated into the interior of the car. For the 2010 model year, side air bags were included as a standard feature.
All 2010 Corvettes came equipped with an AM/FM/XM radio with CD player and audio input jack as standard equipment. An optional Bose audio system or an in-dash six-disc changer was also available. For consumers who selected the Bose audio system option, their car also included a one-year subscription to XM satellite radio. All models included steering wheel audio controls. A full-function OnStar system with Turn-by-Turn navigation capabilities was also included as a standard option, while an optional onboard navigation system with voice recognition was made available to consumers. The optional navigation system was a DVD based system that utilized a 6.5-inch (165 mm) color touch screen display. Lastly, all 2010 Corvettes came equipped standard with keyless access, which allowed drivers to use a special touch pad built into the door that would unlock the car when the car’s keyfob was in-range (within a couple of feet of the door.)
Both the 2010 Coupe and Convertible came equipped with the LS3 small-block V-8 engine. The LS3 was rated at 430 horsepower (321 kW) and 424 lb. –ft. of torque (575 Nm) when equipped with the standard exhaust system. An optional two-tone exhaust system was also offered which would increase the LS3’s output to 436 horsepower (325 kW) and 428 lb.-ft. (580 Nm.) A standard six-speed manual transmission and an optional six-speed automatic with paddle-shift control were both offered.
All 2010 Corvettes equipped with the manual transmission option included launch control. The launch control system provided performance enhancement to the standard stability system by modulating engine speed to maximize grip during full-throttle launches. In competitive mode, the system will hold a predetermined engine speed while the driver pushes the throttle to the floor. This allows the driver to quickly release the clutch while the system modulates engine torque 100 times per second to maximize the available traction. For all Corvettes equipped with six-speed automatics, the paddle shift control now included a “push and hold” feature that enabled an easier return to the automatic mode when a driver was finished using the paddles.
Structurally, all Corvette coupes and convertibles included a hydro-formed steel rail backbone structure, which featured cored composite floors, and enclosed center tunnel, rear-mounted transmission and an aluminum cockpit structure. For 2010, three suspension choices were offered which allowed drivers the choice to setup their Corvette in the way that best matched their individual driving style. The standard suspension was tuned for a balance of ride comfort and precise handling. The optional Magnetic Selective Ride Control suspension featured magneto-rheological dampers which were capable of detecting road surfaces and adjusting the damping rates to those surfaces almost instantly, producing optimal ride control. This particular suspension package came equipped with larger, cross-drilled brake rotors.
For those looking for greater performance and power than the stock coupe, Convertible, or even the Grand Sport could provide, the 2010 Corvette Z06 platform returned once more to fulfill that need. With a race-inspired powertrain and suspension, the Corvette Z06 came equipped with exceptional levels of technology, making it one of the best values in the commercial automotive market. Despite its immense popularity amongst consumers, the 2010 Corvette Z06 did not feature many embellishments over earlier model years, though a cashmere leather interior was offered as an available option. Additionally, the Z06, when equipped with the 3LZ package, now included power sport seats and power passenger seats.
Once more powered by the 7.0 liter, 427 cubic-inch LS7 engine, the 2010 Z06 delivered a massive 505 horsepower, and was capable of delivering a 0-60 launch time of just 3.7 seconds in first gear. Further, the car boasted a quarter mile time of just 11.7 seconds and an (alleged) top speed of 198 miles per hour (a speed that was later recorded on Germany’s Autobahn during vehicle testing.)
For anyone that still needed more horsepower than even the Z06 could offer (and for anyone that could afford the six-figure price-tag that came with it), Chevrolet again offered the C6 ZR1 Corvette as the flagship of the Corvette fleet. This behemoth Corvette once more featured the supercharged 6.2 liter, 376 cubic inch LS9 engine, which produced 638 horsepower and a staggering 604 ft/lbs of torque. While the ZR1 was still a new platform in the Corvette lineup, the 2010 model did offer a couple of small, but significant, improvements for the model year.
The most notable change to the 2010 ZR1 was the addition of the Performance Traction Management (PTM) option which enabled drivers to select from five settings, each of which acted as a variant of traction control for various track settings. The PTM automatically adjusted the traction-control response and suspension firmness to suit the varying high-performance driving dynamics placed on the car. In addition to PTM, the 2010 ZR1 also included an option (RPO Q6J) that enabled anyone purchasing the car to have the wheels finished in Competition Grey.
Of course, no model year of Corvette would be complete with the introduction of at least one special edition Corvette, and 2010 was certainly no exception. To commemorate Corvette’s involvement in the 24 Hours of LeMans since it made its first appearance there in 1960, Chevrolet offered a custom “one-off” Z06 Corvette finished in white with blue stripes, the traditional American racing color scheme. The car’s look matches that of the original 1960 Corvette, which won its class in Le Mans in 1960.
This special edition 24 Hours of Le Mans Corvette came equipped with the Z07 package, which featured a number of components from the ZR1 model including: a carbon-fiber hood, carbon-ceramic brakes, active suspension, and other carbon fiber aerodynamic pieces.
Unlike many collector edition Corvettes however, the Le Mans 50th Anniversary Car was not available simply as an extra RPO option. Instead, the sole intention of this car’s creation was to help raise money for the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky. In order to purchase this special edition Corvette, consumers would first have to make a $300,000 donation to the museum, and the pay the $85,000 sticker price of the car itself.
The introduction of the Le Mans 50th Anniversary Z06/Z07 Corvette not only celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the Corvette at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, but it also commemorated the completion of Corvette Racing’s first full season in the ultra-competitive GT2 racing category of the American Le Mans Series (ALMS.) To add to the festivities, the final race of the season – the Petit Le Mans, which is held each year at Road Atlanta in Braselton, Georgia – saw the No. 4 C6.R Corvette’s first victory in the series. Driven by Oliver Gavin, the No. 4 C6.R overtook the No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari when the latter car ran out of fuel on the final lap of the race. Gavin, who had a low fuel light on his own instrument panel, passed the failing Ferrari to take the checkered flag after a grueling, ten-hour race.
2010 Corvette Specifications & Performance
See the complete breakdown of technical specifications for the 2010 Corvette, including engine, suspension, brakes, body dimensions, and power. Read more: 2010 Corvette Specifications.
Engine & Transmission
Both the 2010 Coupe and Convertible came equipped with the LS3 small-block V-8 engine, rated at 430 horsepower (321 kW) and 424 lb. –ft. of torque (575 Nm) when equipped with the standard exhaust system. The optional exhaust once again ups power to 436 horsepower (325 kW) and 428 lb.-ft. (580 Nm.). A standard six-speed manual transmission and an optional six-speed automatic with paddle-shift control were both offered. All 2010 Corvettes equipped with the manual transmission option included launch control.
The Grand Sport engine is the same 6.2 liter (376 cubic inches) LS3 that propels the coupe and convertible Corvettes. It is rated at 430 hp. The optional dual mode exhaust system (RPO NPP; $1,195) ups the power to 436 hp.
The 2010 Corvette Z06 platform returned bu there were no engine updates, with its 505-horsepower LS7 engine it was already perfect. Once more powered by the 7.0 liter, 427 cubic-inch LS9 engine, the 2010 Z06 delivered a massive 638 horsepower and 604 lb-ft of torque. To cope with the power, a two-disc clutch is fitted, and the gearbox and rear axle have been further strengthened. Read more about 2010 Corvette Performance.
All three Corvettes are spectacularly fast. The base Corvette is good for a 0-60-mph run in just 4.1 seconds with the manual or 4.3 seconds with the automatic, while the Grand Sport shaved 0.2-seconds versus the standard LS3-powered models. Next in line is the Z06, which brings Corvette owners into supercar territory thanks to its 7.0-liter LS7 V-8 that’s capable of sending the car from 0-60 mph in just 3.7 seconds and see it reach a top speed of 198 mph. Sitting at the top of the ladder is the ZR1. Its supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 rockets it from standstill to 60 mph in only 3.4 seconds and blasts through the quarter-mile in 11.3 seconds and at a 131-mph trap speed. More performance data here.
2010 Corvette Price & Options
Core Features & Factory Options
Here are the new features and content changes for the 2010 Corvette lineup:
Torch Red returns to the exterior color palette
Launch control is standard with all manual-transmission models
Revised six-speed automatic paddle shift control now includes a “push and hold” feature that enables an easier return to the automatic mode
Side air bags are standard on all models
New interior console trim in Orbit and Gunmetal patterns
Optional crossed-flags logo embroidery for seats
Convertible models include the tall rear spoiler from the Z06
Cashmere interior offered on Z06 – with Cashmere custom leather-wrapped interior offered later in the model year
The Z06 3LZ package now includes power sport seats and power passenger seats.
Launch control optimizes performance for full-throttle starts on a track. In competitive mode, the system will hold a predetermined engine speed while the driver pushes the throttle to the floor. That allows the driver to quickly release the clutch and the system modulates engine torque 100 times per second to maximize the available traction. The system is capable of approaching a skilled driver’s best effort and repeats it consistently
Pmportant performance parts shared between the Grand Sport and the Z06 include the brakes, which feature six piston calipers in front and four piston calipers in the rear. Functional brake ducting and the rear spoiler and front splitter is also the same as found on the Z06. Fitted to the larger wheels are the same Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar tires as found on the Z06. Also shared with the Z06 are the sway bars although the springs and shock absorbers are exclusive to the Grand Sport. The Grand Sport package replaces the Z51 suspension option of previous years.
Features found on the Z06 but not in the Grand Sport include the 427 cubic inch displacement LS7 motor and the Z06’s price tag; Although the Grand Sport is approximately $6000 more than the basic Corvette, it is almost $20,000 less than the Z06. Also note that the Grand Sport is available as both a Targa roofed coupe and a convertible where the Z06 is exclusively fixed roof. This is because the Grand Sport is built on the same steel chassis as the coupe and convertible, not the aluminum backbone that the Z06 relies on. The scales conclude the story with the Z06 weighing 150 pounds less.
Torch Red returns to the exterior color palette and it sold well, making up over 18% of total production. The breakdown for all 2010 Corvette colors was as follows: Arctic White 965 (7.91%), Blade Silver 974 (7.99%), Black 2,930 (24.03%), Velocity Yellow 694 (5.69%), Cyber Gray 1,699 (13.93%), Torch Red 2,249 (18.44%), Jetstream Blue 969 (7.95%), Crystal Red 1,714 (14.06%). More 2010 color information.
Pricing & Options
The Base Corvette Coupe with 6.2L 376 cu. in. 430 hp engine and six speed manual transmission started at $49,880, and the Base Corvette Convertible was $54,530. The Grand Sport Corvette Coupe with the same engine and power was $55,270 and the Grand Sport Corvette Convertible was $59,530. The Z06 Corvette Coupe crept up in price again, but who minds with that 505 hp engine all yours for just $75,235.00. The ZR1 Corvette Coupe increased in price by about $5k, not $107,830 base price. More Corvette pricing and factory options.