Corvette History: 1984-Now

In Part 1 of our look into the history of the corvette, we explored the first generations that laid the foundation for the modern era ‘vettes. This post is a continuation of that one, looking at where GM has taken the design from the 1980’s to today. Read on to continue exploring the origins of the Corvette and the impact it has had on American sports cars.

C4 Corvettes (1984-1996)

We’ll refer to this as “the lost generation” for the Corvette. While there were some horsepower improvements in this design over the C3 generation, the exterior of the car did not have the same eye-catching wow factor seen in other generations. The prototype for the vehicle released in 1983 had serious quality issues, which is why the car was not released until 1984. C4 Corvettes are starting to gain ground in the collector’s market, but they still don’t fully compare to their predecessors.

C5 Corvette (1997-2004)

After the blunders of the C4 generation, GM started redesigning the Corvette from scratch. The fifth generation of Corvettes boasted a new, curvier frame and new technology that met the standards of what was out at the time. This was the last generation of Corvettes to feature pop-up headlights, which had become a staple for the brand. Most ‘vettes from this era featured a powerful 5.7 liter LS1 motor, with the exception of the Z06 models from 2001-2004. The Z06 ‘vettes had an even more powerful LS6 engine, which is still used as an upgraded motor for many GM cars to date.


C6 Corvette (2005-2013)

The C6 Corvettes were even more refined than the C5 models, focused on performance and modern technology. The cars came equipped with many versions of the LS motor, including a powerful 7.0 liter LS7 in the 2006-2013 Z06 and a 6.2 liter LS9 in the 2009-2013 ZR1. Many of the Corvettes seen on the road today are from the C6 generation, and many of them have maintained their high price tag despite being close to 10 years old.

C7 Corvette (2014-Now)

The latest generation of Corvettes has taken on the “Stingray” title, and so far, they appear to be living up to the name. The new Corvette Stingrays maintain some of the curves of the C5 and C6 generations, but GM added sharp edges to those curves as a nostalgic twist. These sharp edges work to improve performance and define the lines of this American Classic. The current models have a 6.2 liter LT1 engine, capable of producing 460 horsepower from the factory. The 0-60 time? Just 3.8 seconds. We don’t know for sure what is to come of this new design, but if it is anything like the Stingray it gets its name from, we’re positive it will be around for years to come.