We drove a $70,000 Corvette and a $273,000 Aston Martin to see which car we liked better — here's the verdict

Aston Martin DB11 Vanquish

  • The Corvette Grand Sport convertible and the Aston Martin DB11 Volante match up closely on specs, even though the Aston costs hundreds of thousands of dollars more.
  • I put both cars through their paces.
  • The Aston Martin DB11 is impressive, but the Corvette Grand Sport is the best value available in high-performance sports cars.

I’ve often said that Aston Martins are the thinking person’s Corvettes.

But I should probably stop saying that, not least because the latest generation of the Vette, built with pride in Bowling Green, Kentucky, is the sports car many people would buy — if they thought seriously about their purchase. Basically, the Corvette is where the truly smart money should look.

That said, Aston Martins are still Aston Martins: James Bond’s ride, an icon of style, expensive as all get out, but in many ways totally worth it. I often want to argue with Aston because the price tags are so high. And then I slip behind the wheel and all is immediately forgiven. 

I recently reviewed an Aston Martin DB11 Volante, a $273,244 convertible version of the DB11, the British carmaker’s successor to the DB9. What a car!

But I was reminded, as I went through my usual Corvette counter-analysis, that I’d checked out a similarly spec’d Vette — the Grand Sport — a while back and was blown away by this $70,000 beast. For the record, Astons and Vettes might be separated by $200,000, but they go head to head on some of the world’s greatest race tracks in endurance racing, most notably at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

So let’s say you want to drop a considerable amount of coin on an Aston — just because, you know, it’s an Aston. Should you step back and potentially save yourself a few hundred grand by at least considering the Vette?

I think it’s a worthy exercise. So let’s get to it.

Photos by Hollis Johnson, unless otherwise indicated.

Let’s begin with the Corvette Grand Sport.

With a 460-horsepower, naturally aspirated, 6.2-liter V8 engine, the Vette gives up 45 ponies to the Aston, which cranks out 505 horsepower using a 4.0-liter, Mercedes-sourced V8 that boasts twin turbochargers.

Could a turbo Vette match the Aston? Perhaps — but then it wouldn’t offer that pure V8 vibe that Corvette is known for. Besides, both cars can achieve the 0-60 mph sprint in under four seconds. 

The Vette’s motor is definitely more raw and stonking. The Aston’s delivers a refined scream at higher revs, while the Corvette, being a Corvette, attempts to scare driver, children, and animals. 

Smaller, turbocharged engines are becoming more prevalent on sports cars, for reasons of fuel economy, emissions, and regulatory compliance. The DB 11 Volante’s twin-turbo V8 is juxtaposed with its big brother DB 11 Coupé’s V12, for example. 

But there’s something to be said for taking gasoline, squirting it into combustion chambers, blowing it up in controlled fashion, and translating that violence into sweet velocity — without having to resort to extra plumbing to use exhaust gases to spin some turbos to intensify the process. Blunt, yes. Old-school, sure.

But so, so satisfying. 

The Corvette Grand Sport was created by the car’s first chief engineer, Zora Arkus-Duntov, in 1963. They were intended to be race cars, designed to run in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The Vette GS sits between the Stingray and the 650-horsepower Z06 in the lineup — with the 755-horsepower Zr1 at the top of the mountain.

No supercharger, as on the Z06. But the GS gets a bunch of the Z06’s performance goodies, making it the better track car than the Stingray. That’s the key difference among the three versions of the this Vette.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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