The hills are alive with the sound of thundering Bald Eagles. Actually, there are no hills at Johnny Bohmer Proving Grounds, just trees and 3.2 miles of extremely level tarmac situated in Florida’s Space Coast next to the Atlantic Ocean. As for the Bald Eagles, that’s the sound of American V8 power, delivered today by a 2018 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport.
This isn’t the base model ‘Vette, but it does wield the entry-level engine. Under the long hood is a 6.2-liter LT1 V8 developing 460 horsepower (343 kilowatts), driving the rear wheels through a seven-speed manual transmission. The car is said to be completely stock, and as such, GM says it should top out at a drag-limited 175 mph. In fact, this plucky Corvette claws its way past that mark to reach 180 mph, but that’s not really the takeaway from this video.
By now, we’ve seen many cars tackle the 2.7-mile stretch of runway formerly used by the Space Shuttle, and most have clipped past the 200-mph barrier without much effort. The fact that this Corvette seems slow is a testament to both the wide-open space at the facility, and the insane golden age of performance we currently enjoy. This is a 460-hp two-seat sports car that hits 180 mph – in no reasonable way is this car slow. And yet, the video plays more like dash cam footage on YouTube from an empty highway in Arizona. At least this time we’re treated to a good, long look at the Space Shuttle on display at the side of the runway.
We’ll say this much about the run, however. When the video switches to the outside camera at the finish line, the noise of this sweet V8 at full roar is the stuff of petrolhead porn. Here’s hoping the forthcoming mid-engined Corvette sounds just as good.