Japan is home to one of the biggest auto industries in the world, so it’s understandable why many automakers send special edition models to the Land of the Rising Sun. Recently, General Motors took its turn gifting Japanese customers with a special edition Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport. The Vette is about as exclusive as they come, at least considering where it’s headed. The limited-run sports car is officially billed as the Grand Sport Admiral Blue Heritage Edition, and like most exclusive cars that come to Japan, it comes with some nifty features that underscore its status as a true special edition.
Needless to say, the Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Admiral Blue Heritage Edition isn’t going anywhere else in the world. In fact, even Japanese customers will have to fight over the special edition Corvette as reports indicate Chevrolet will only send over five units, each priced at ¥12.8 million. That converts to roughly $115,000 based on current exchange rates. By comparison, the Corvette Grand Sport starts at $66,445 here in the U.S., so Japanese customers will have to fork over nearly double to get their hands on one. Then again, it is an exclusive Corvette Grand Sport with unique details in the exterior and interior. Having a chance to own one means paying a premium for that opportunity.
What Makes The Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Admiral Blue Heritage Special Edition So Special?
Absurdly long name notwithstanding, the Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Admiral Blue Heritage Special Edition has plenty of reasons to be proud of its special edition label. Not only is it limited to just five examples, but the included features exude an exclusive vibe.
Take, for example, the exterior goodies, one of which is the Grand Sport Blue paint finish that it wears ever so proudly. The color itself may not be a one-off, but it’s one of the most popular colors offered on the Grand Sport. It’s not exactly on the same level as Ferrari and Marlboro Red in terms of top-of-the-mind association, but it’s pretty close to that level. In addition to sporting its classic colors, the special edition Corvette Grand Sport also gets red fender stripes and a thick white stripe running the length of the coupe. Chevy also mixed the exterior up a bit with a handful of aerodynamic components, each made from carbon fiber, to go with a set of black wheels with their own red racing stripes accents.
Move inside and the upgrades continue with an interior that’s finished predominantly in Jet Black. Premium and bespoke materials like leather, Alcantara, and carbon fiber are also present. On the functional side, sport bucket seats come standard on all five Corvette Grand Sport Admiral Blue Heritage Edition models.
Unfortunately, these exterior and interior upgrades to the Corvette Grand Sport are pretty much the extent of its “special edition-ness.” General Motors Japan opted to keep the car’s power and performance figures locked in the standard configuration. That may be a disappointment to some potential customers, but that feeling of discontent likely won’t last long since the Corvette Grand Sport already packs a mean punch. As with all Corvette Grand Sports, the Admiral Blue Heritage Edition is powered by the naturally aspirated 6.2-liter LT1 V-8 engine that produces 460 horsepower and 465 pound-feet of torque. These figures are good enough to propel the sports car from a standstill to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds before peaking at a top speed of just under 200 mph.
Nice touches, but they don’t stand out compared to other Corvette special editions.
There have been plenty of special edition Corvettes developed in the past. One is the Yenko S/C Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport, a special edition model developed to pay tribute to aftermarket pioneer Steve Yenko. Yenko also happens to be responsible for the Yenko Camaros, considered today as one of the most sought-after Camaros among enthusiasts of the pony car. As far as the Yenko Vette is concerned, the sports car was treated to a handful of special edition elements, most notably the use of a black paint finish and the vinyl Yenko striping running along the sides of the Corvette’s body. Yenko logos are also a prominent fixture in the special edition model, giving this particular Corvette Grand Sport a true special edition status.
As unique as the Yenko S/C Corvette Grand Sport looks, it’s ultimate trump card over other special edition models like Admiral Blue Heritage Edition is its 800 horsepower. The engine modification comes courtesy of Specialty Vehicle Engineering, which achieved its goal of unlocking 800 ponies by installing a larger 6.8-liter engine and 2.9-liter supercharger on top of all other auxiliary pieces.
note: photo of the Yenko S/C Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport
U.S. customers can still get their hands on the Corvette Grand Sport Admiral Blue Heritage Edition…sort of
To be clear, the actual special edition models are not going to the U.S. All five units are headed to Japan and nowhere else. The good news is that even without the opportunity of buying them – unless you have them imported – the beauty of customizing the Corvette Grand Sport here in the U.S. allows customers to build an identical-looking car to the Japan-exclusive special editions. It’s not going to be billed as a special edition, but still, it’s the best way to get one without actually getting one. Makes a little sense, right?
Besides, going this route actually makes sense. Even a highly-optioned, U.S.-spec Grand Sport is less expensive than Japan’s Corvette Grand Sport Admiral Blue Heritage Edition model.