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Vette Videos: Corvette Grand Sport Vs Porsche 911! – Head 2 Head Episode 1

Dateline: 2.9.12

The old Corvette vs 911 Porsche rivalry heats up!

Motor Trend magazine has a neat new TV program titled, “Head 2 Head.” To kick off the series MTs Editor at Large, Angus MacKenzie pits the 2012 Grand Sport Corvette against a 2012 911 Carrera S. The program is a lot of fun to watch. There are vintage clips of both cars from 1963 when the rivalry first started with the arrival of the 911 taking on the new Corvette Sting Ray. Footage of the Sting Ray is from a Chevrolet promotional film featuring race car drivers Dave MacDonald and Dr. Dick Thompson wringing out the new ‘63 Vette at the Chevrolet test track in the Summer of ‘62.

Comparisons of the two cars has always been somewhat of a force fit. In the olden days, the Corvette had the upper hand in power, but the Porsche was smaller and lighter – more expensive too. Fast forward 48 years and now the 911 is a smidge larger than the Corvette and is only 211-pounds lighter than the Corvette. The Grand Sport’s LS3 engine has 436-HP and 428 LB/FT of torque, whereas the Porsche has 400-HP and 325 LB/Ft of torque. The Grand Sport uses a 6-speed manual gearbox and the 911 uses a 7-speed twin-clutch automatic.

So far, so close. Now, here’s the deal breaker. The base price of the Grand Sport is $56,900 with a price as tested of $72,130. The 911 Carrera has a base price of $97,350 ($40,450 more than the Corvette) and a price as tested of a whopping $131,760 ($56,630 MORE that the GS Corvette). Take note that for just another $270 you could get a two base Grand Sports, one for yourself and one for your significant other!

There was no track testing, so there aren’t any numbers to gloat over or explain. Was it a fair comparison? I’d say, no. The critiques of the Corvette were the usual. While the ‘12 Grand Sport is nicely improved, they clain it’s still crude compared to the 911 and has more road noise, twitchy steering, seats that you sit “on” instean of “in,” and a “too tight” gearbox. Why wasn’t the Z06 or ZR1 chosen for the comparison? You’ll have to ask Motor Trend. The Z06 would have been way too rough for the driver and although equally priced, a ZR1 would have totally crushed the 911. Except in the areas of fit, finish, trim, etc. You know, all the usual complaints. Another element of difference is that the 911 tested is the latest configuration of the car and vastly improved. Although the Grand Sport Corvette has improved nicely in the trim department, the basic structure is now going on approximately 10 years old. (the basic platform design was worked out somewhere around ‘02 to ‘03.

So, in the end, Porsche lovers will continue to gush all over their machines while paying almost double for their bragging rights. And Corvette fans will still hold dear to America’s only true sports car. The video is a lot of fun and I’m looking forward to more episodes of Head 2 Head. At the end of the video there’s a link where you can subscribe to Motor Trend’s YouTube channel. Enjoy! – Scott


 PS – If you’re into Grand Sport Corvettes, you’ll like these…

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The above 11×17 Parchment Paper Print is available for just $24.95 + $6.95 S&H. Each print is signed and numbered by the artist. You can order your with the secure PayPal button below, of by calling 1-800-858-6670, Monday through Saturday 10AM to 9PM Eastern Standard Time.


And you can check out the Laser-Etched version HERE.

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2 Responses to Vette Videos: Corvette Grand Sport Vs Porsche 911! – Head 2 Head Episode 1

  • Totally UNFAIR! The 911 as shown, is no where near in the same class. WHy didn’t they just compare a VW Beetle to a Gallardo? It’s obvious this BRITT is prejudicial when it comes to Corvette. Why didn’t they take a ZR1 in the SAME PRICE RANGE and thrash the 911? The only thing this “contest” comparison had in common was they both have TWO SEATS! That’s it. Nothing else is even close. And I have a strong suspicion that there is a REASON there were no numbers for comparison…. A BASE C6 would probably give the 911 a run for the money. I”m not saying this just because I’m a Vette fan.. I’ve owned 911s in Europe, and drove them on the Autobahn… As well as Corvettes on the Autobahn as well. Although 911 would stick to the road better at 150… that’s about as far as it would go! The Vette would lift the front end at 120, but with an airdam up front, 150 was where it started to get fun, and 180 was where I had to let off due to traffic.
    For a “FIRST EDITION” program, then pretty much screwed the pooch when it comes to “FAIR” play. Why would I want to see any future editions when the first one was so slanted??

  • It’s the seats, Steve. LOL. Honestly, I was going to do a post asking, “why the press has turned on the Corvette?” I know they’ve always loved to bash the Vette, and probably always will, no matter what. “If it’s not made by one of the sacred cows of Europe or by Lexus, it’s junk.” seems to be the attitude. Even if they did compare the 911 to the ZR1, they’re still bitch about the seats, the squeaks, trim, and misc “unrefined” sounds the Corvette makes. The price spread on the two cars was like that nasty thing in the punch bowl. “Excuse me, but there’s something FLOATING IN THE PUNCH BOWL!!!” For too many automotive writers, the Corvette’s ultimate sin it that it’s MADE IN AMERICA. So, for them, go ahead and spend almost DOUBLE.

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