First things first: Imgur album
Also, tl;dr: Rode in Corvette. Decided I wanted my own. Used my incentives from working for GM to pick up my own Grand Sport 1LT. 12/10 would do again.
Background: A friend of mine at work was looking for a new cars when the lease on his Camaro SS was up, and I happened to come across some lease deals being advertised for Corvettes for ~$400/month along with a CTS-V being offered at about $600/month (granted that was with 10k down). Fast forward a few days, and he picked up a brand new Corvette Grand Sport 1LT on a 27 month lease. Rode back from lunch with him one day, and even though it was a short ride, I was sold. I wanted one of my own. I had been looking into cars to replace my Subaru with when the lease was up in January anyways. I test drove a CPO BMW 335i xDrive with a 6 speed manual when I was home not long ago planning to go that route. But I wasn’t sure that I wanted to spend 5-6 years (to keep payments where I wanted) paying for a used BMW. It also doesn’t help that I inevitably want a new car every few weeks. I started looking into leasing a new BMW instead. The payment would have been higher, but with included maintenance, a full warranty, and being able to walk away after 3 years without worry about being upside down, it was a decent option. However, a lease payment would have been around $610/month for one optioned the way I wanted with $4500 down.
I conveniently just transitioned from being a contract employee to a direct employee at GM (engineering) which means I now qualify for the full employee discount along with other incentives and also got a pretty good pay bump. A couple of insurance quotes and lease quotes later, I was driving home in a brand new 2018 Corvette Grand Sport 1LT. There aren’t many options on the car – red brake calipers, red seat belts, carbon flash badges, black wheels with the red stripe, and the battery protection package (aka charger). I’ll still have to replace the Subaru in January so I have a car for bad weather driving, but I’ll likely end up going for a cheap employee lease deal on something like an Equinox/Terrain or a Silverado. It’s not uncommon to see 24 month leases advertised at <$100 per month here.
I regret nothing. I test drove it with 4 miles on the odometer. It was at 9 miles when we got back to the dealership, and it was up to 10 miles when I took delivery since they have to take it off-site to fuel it up with premium for delivery. I’m up to about 325 miles so far from driving it this week.
This car is absolutely amazing! It’s unlike anything I’d ever driven before. My first car was a 2005 Mazda 6i which was replaced by a 2008 Subaru Legacy 2.5i. That was eventually replaced with a 2016 Subaru Legacy 3.6R Limited. Other than those, the fastest/most powerful car I’d driven more than a few feet (used to work as a valet attendant) was probably my friends tuned STI or his new tuned 335i. I don’t know which one was more powerful – probably the STI since it was tuned on E85 (vs 91 octane for the BMW). Still, it’s just a night and day difference. This car just feels like it never wants to stop pulling. I haven’t been able to go too crazy yet. For the break-in period, the dealer said to keep it under 3500rpm for the first 500 miles. That’s easier said than done though. The redline on the tachometer starts at 3500rpm right now. Actual redline is 4500rpm. I’ve been doing my best to go no higher than 4000rpm though, but I’ve hit probably 4500-5000 twice. At 500 miles, the odometer should change to its normal redline and I should be good to go after I get the first oil change done.
Also, the active rev matching is fantastic. I know how to drive a manual, but I’ve never driven one regularly enough to say I’m truly skilled at it. The rev matching works wonderfully. The shifter feel is also fantastic. The shifter doesn’t really feel sloppy at all. Still need to get used to there being a 7th gear though, I’ve accidentally gone from 6th back down to 5th instead of 7th a couple of times, and it takes some getting used to in general to know where the gears are. I have a smile on my face every time I drive this thing! It is definitely going to take some getting used to as well in a lot of regards. I’ve spun the tires a few times, and it was purely accidental. A couple of times were from hitting the gas too soon when going through a turn. Another time was just hitting the gas too hard when accelerating from a slow speed. It’s wild. I’m not used to being able to do anything like that. But at the end of the day, I’m incredibly satisfied with this car! The next 39 months should be amazing.