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TURN SOME HEADS; Chevy corners market with G-force monitor.

Byline: Richard Hammond

THIS Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport, like ordinary Corvettes and several other cars, is fitted with a head-up display or HUD.

A gizmo projects figures on to the windscreen so you don't have to look down at the instruments to see how fast you are going or which direction the sat-nav wants you to turn next.

You've probably been in several cars with a HUD. The idea came from fighter jets, as many sexy ideas do.

But the HUD unit on the Grand Sport displays a rather interesting piece of information: it'll let you know how many Gs you are pulling in a corner.

From zero g, which is when you're travelling in a straight line, to just over 1g when you are clinging on to the steering wheel for dear life going very quickly around a tight corner. You might want to try this out at a racing circuit because it's a bit distracting on the road, especially when you think you're piling it on a bit and looking a bit Lewis Hamilton when in fact you've only got 0.3g showing on the display.

BATTERING

You can select a Sport mode for the suspension on the Grand Sport but this should only be done after a consultation with your GP to make sure your back is up to the battering that the 'Vette GS will give it in the stiff-as-aboard-suspension setting.

The other reason that you might not want to spend too long gazing at the interesting numbers on the windscreen is that the Grand Sport feels extremely wide.

It is extremely wide; wider than a standard Corvette because it has wider wheel arches and wheel rims.

The latter are the reason for the ability to out-corner one of Richard Branson's Pendolino trains. You get a set of natty white stripes across the Grand Sport's bonnet, which makes the car look even cooler.

You've a choice between coupe and roadster with the latter weighing in at more than pounds 73,000. That's Porsche money and you're not getting Porsche quality.

But then you are getting one of the best devices man has ever created (non-Italian man, that is) for showing off and looking flash. The Corvette Grand Sport's 6.2-litre, 430bhp, V8 engine will never go wrong and only needs servicing each time Britain hosts the Olympic games.

Trouble is, there's an even flasher and mightier Corvette available that it is called the ZL1.

It's fitted with the same engine but it wears a supercharger for a hat and produces more than 600bhp.

It costs almost pounds 100,000 but it is one of the most dramatic sports cars ever. And it looks even more crazy than the Grand Sport.

The Chevrolet Corvette was designed to be driven by astronauts and men having a serious, dent-the-bank-balance mid-life crisis.

The idea is to own one for a couple of years and then settle down quietly into old age and potter around in a Korean-built hatchback.

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MUSCULAR The Corvette Grand Sport pumps out 430bhp
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Title Annotation:Features; Opinion, Column
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jan 6, 2012
Words:508
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