Chevrolet’s All-American sports car debuted in 1953 as a 2-seat convertible powered by a 6-cylinder engine, and Corvette continues to this day in the Chevy lineup as a high-performance sports car that challenges the top exotics of the world. Now in its seventh generation, the Corvette has evolved from a racy convertible to a race-toughened test bed conquering tracks around the world to a survivor of emissions regulations of the 1970s — emerging as one of the top performance cars of all time. Let’s take a look at the history of Corvette, from that original convertible to today’s top performance models.
The Corvette concept debuted at the GM Motorama at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in January 1953; a mere six months later, the first production Corvette rolled off the assembly line at the factory in Flint, Michigan. Only 300 Corvettes were produced for 1953 and they were all Polo White with Sportsman Red interiors. The body was made of fiberglass rather than steel, which gave the designers more opportunity to create rounded shapes and made tooling easier. All 1953 Corvettes were powered by the Blue Flame Six, an inline 6-cylinder engine with three side-draft carburetors, rated at 150 horsepower and combined with a Powerglide automatic transmission. The only options offered were a heater and an AM radio.
At the end of 1953, Corvette production moved to St. Louis, Missouri, and 3,640 Corvettes were built for 1954. New exterior colors Pennant Blue, Sportsman Red and Black were added along with a beige interior option and Blue Flame Six horsepower increased to 155. For 1955 a 265 cubic inch small-block V8 engine producing 195 horsepower was added, and a 3-speed manual transmission was offered. Only 700 Corvettes were built for 1955 and it was the last year for the 6-cylinder engine.
For 1956 the Corvette was redesigned with exposed headlights, sculpted sides, roll-up windows and for the first time a removable hardtop was offered. The side cove sculpted in behind the front wheels could be painted a second color. For 1957 V8 engine size increased to 283 cubic inches and fuel-injection was offered, producing up to 283 horsepower
Corvette made its competition debut in 1956 at the 12 Hours of Sebring, backed by legendary engineer and racer Zora Arkus-Duntov, who was continually working to develop Corvette performance behind the scenes. Three Corvettes were entered in the 1956 12 Hours of Sebring with John Fitch and Walt Hansgen finishing first in Class B and ninth overall. Corvettes went on to Sebring class wins in 1957, 1958, 1960, 1961 and 1962.
Based on a Corvette racing chassis, Arkus-Duntov developed the Corvette SR-2 with a tail fin, racing windscreen, air scoops and an extended front end. The SR-2 made its racing debut at Sebring in 1957, but a production-based Corvette driven by Dick Thompson and Gaston Andrey won the GT Class.
Arkus-Duntov also tested the Corvette SS at Sebring in 1957 with a lightweight magnesium body, tubular steel frame, coil-over-shock front suspension, a de Dion rear axle, inboard aluminum brakes and a fuel-injected small-block V8 engine. The SS was retired with suspension problems after just 23 laps. Corvette SS development ended after the Automobile Manufacturers Association announced its opposition to factory involvement in motorsports in 1957. At opening-day ceremonies for Daytona International Speedway in 1959, Arkus-Duntov lapped Daytona in the Corvette SS at 155 mph.
For 1958 the Corvette adds four headlights with separate lights for low beams and high beams. Louvers are added to the hood and two chrome strips added on the trunk. For 1961 the rear-end was redesigned with four round taillights and the exhaust no longer extending through the rear bodywork. The 1962 Corvette was offered only in solid colors with no two-tone option, the chrome trim around the side cove was removed and the grille was black. The V8 engine grew to 327 cubic inches producing up to 360 horsepower.
1959 Stingray Racer Concept
A race car concept based on an initial sketch by Peter Brock, the Stingray Racer Concept was the project of William Mitchell, then Vice President of Design for General Motors and the final design was created by Larry Shinoda. Also known as XP-87, the Stingray Racer Concept was built using one of the two Corvette SS chassis, after the Corvette SS project was cancelled. Because of the voluntary ban on manufacturer racing, Mitchell arranged to have privateer Corvette racer Dick Thompson race the car in late 1959 and Thompson won the SCCA class championship in 1960. The next year XP-87 became a show car to help generate interest in the second-generation Corvette before Mitchell drove it as his personal road car. The Stingray concept is now part of the GM Heritage Collection.
1960 24 Hours of Le Mans
Briggs Cunningham entered three Corvettes in the 1960 24 Hours of Le Mans which were mostly stock but powered by a 283-cubic-inch small-block Chevrolet V8 engine with mechanical fuel injection. European factory teams dominated the race, but the Cunningham No. 3 Corvette driven by John Fitch and Bob Grossman won the large-displacement GT Class and finished eighth overall.
1961 Mako Shark
A concept car designed to show the future direction of Corvette, the Mako Shark was designed by Larry Shinoda under Bill Mitchell as head of design. The paint is designed to follow the natural coloring of the Mako Shark, a dark blue-gray that fades and blends into the lower white-silver. The Mako Shark Corvette was used to test experimental engines including a supercharged engine with four side-draft carburetors, a V8 engine with two four-barrel carburetors and a 427 V8 engine that produced 425 horsepower.
Second Generation: 1963 Corvette C2
The all-new 1963 Corvette shows a lot of design influence from the 1959 Stingray Concept with a more streamlined profile, pronounced fender arches and concealed rollover headlights. For the first time a Corvette coupe was offered, which became known as the Split-Window Coupe because of the two-piece rear window. The new chassis features independent rear suspension and the Z06 Special Performance package was introduced, including improved handling, upgraded brakes and a larger fuel tank. The Z06 was aimed at customers who wanted to go racing;199 were built for 1963.
Corvette Grand Sport
The ban on manufacturer racing was still in place, but behind the scenes Zora Arkus-Duntov continued to work on a lightweight Corvette for racing. Five lightweight Grand Sport Corvettes were built in 1962–63 before the program was cancelled because of the racing ban. Arkus-Duntov got the cars into the hands of private racers and in 1964 Roger Penske and Jim Hall won the GT Prototype Class at Sebring in a Grand Sport, while the Mecom Racing Grand Sport finished second, piloted by A.J. Foyt and John Cannon. Two of the Grand Sport coupes were later modified into roadsters.
1965 Mako Shark II
A concept car that foreshadowed the design of the third-generation Corvette in 1968, the 1965 Mako Shark II is powered by a 427 cubic inch V8 engine. The Mako Shark II continued the paint scheme of the Mako Shark with blue-gray paint that faded into the lower white-silver. In 1969 Mako Shark II was redesigned into the Manta Ray with a new front spoiler, a redesigned grille and side pipe exhaust, reshaped rear window and a more horizontal rear end.
For 1964 the split rear window of the Corvette Coupe was replaced with a single larger window to eliminate the center bar that blocked the driver’s rear view, leaving the 1963 model as the only year to offer the split-window coupe. Optional big-block V8 engines were offered, including a 425-horsepower 396-cubic-inch V8 for 1965 and a 427-cubic-inch V8 producing up to 425 horsepower for 1966. For 1967 exterior trim updates included hood and fender vents. Also for 1967, the L88 cast-iron big-block 427 V8 added 430 horsepower to the package.
Third Generation: 1968 Corvette C3
The Corvette was redesigned for 1968 with a new look that followed the Mako Shark II concept, featuring a long hood, flowing fenders and a short, flat rear deck. New features included “T-Top” removable roof panels, pop-up headlights and a removable rear window. On November 19, 1969, the 250,000th Corvette was produced — a gold convertible. For 1969 the name on the front fenders was changed to “Stingray” from “Sting Ray” on the C2 Corvette, the small-block V8 grew to 350 cubic inches (from 327) and the ZL1 all-aluminum big-block was offered. Only two 1969 Corvettes were built with the ZL1 engine because the cost of the engine at $4,718 was almost as much as a base Corvette Coupe at $4,781.
Throughout the 1960s, Arkus-Duntov continued to support Corvette owners who wanted to race, supplying them with optional heavy-duty brakes and larger fuel tanks, as well as the L88 big-block engine program. Successful Corvette drivers in the late 1960s into the 1970s included John Greenwood, Tony DeLorenzo, Jerry Thompson and Bob Johnson, including GT Class wins at Sebring in 1968, 1970, 1971 and 1972.
For 1970 the Corvette’s side louvers were replaced with slotted fender vents to accompany new fender flares. The LT1 small-block V8 came onboard as an option, rated at 370 horsepower; the 454 cubic-inch big block was also offered, rated at 390 horsepower, as well as the ZR-1 factory racing package. The 1972 model was the last Corvette to offer a removable rear window and chrome front bumper, with a body-color front bumper for 1973 and body-color rear bumper for 1974. Like every model, Corvette was hit hard by new emission regulations and power dropped dramatically for the 1972 model year. The standard 350 V8 was rated at 200 horsepower (270 hp for 1971) and the 454 V8 dropped to only 270 horsepower (425 hp for 1971). The last Corvette Convertible was available for 1975 until it returned again in 1986 and the 500,000th Corvette was produced on March 15, 1977 — a white coupe with red interior.
For the 25th anniversary of Corvette, a new fastback body was introduced for the 1978 model year. In 1978 the Corvette was the Indy 500 pace car for the first time, and a silver and black Indy 500 Pace Car replica edition was available. For 1980 the Corvette received a new low-profile hood, a new rear bumper with an integrated spoiler and a new lightweight rear axle. In 1981 Corvette production moved to a new plant in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
1982 Corvette Collector’s Edition
To commemorate the final year of the third generation Corvette, Chevrolet produced the 1982 Collector’s Edition with a new hatchback rear glass design for access to the rear storage area. The Collector’s Edition features silver beige metallic paint, bronze solar T-top panels, contrast stripes, turbine-style wheels and a two-tone interior. For 1982 “Cross-Fire” fuel injection was added — the first fuel-injected Corvette in 20 years — increasing output of the 350 V8 to 200 horsepower. All 1982 Corvettes were built with a new 4-speed automatic transmission with overdrive — a manual transmission was not offered. No 1983 model Corvettes were produced.
Fourth Generation: 1984 Corvette C4
The all-new fourth-generation 1984 Corvette went on sale in March 1983 and was a dramatic step forward in both design and performance, with an aerodynamic new body and a much stiffer chassis. It was the first significant Corvette redesign in 16 years and the first new chassis since 1963. Power originated from a 205-horsepower 350 V8 with an automatic transmission or a 4+3 transmission, which is a 4-speed manual with overdrive for the top three gears. This new-generation Corvette features a removable targa roof panel and digital instrumentation. For 1985 the L98 350 V8 engine joined the force with Tuned Port Injection, producing 230 horsepower and 330 lb-ft of torque.
When the Corvette C4 premiered, the optional Z51 performance handling package was offered as well, making the C4 so dominant in SCCA Showroom Stock GT racing that it was banned after the 1987 season. The Corvette also dominated the Playboy and then Escort Endurance Championship from 1985–87, winning 29 of 29 races during that time. Following the SCCA, the Corvette Challenge series was created for identically-equipped production Corvettes, optimized for racing. Top-level racers were recruited, but the series only lasted two seasons because Chevrolet redirected its high-performance focus to launching the ZR-1 for 1990.
1986 Corvette Convertible
For 1986 the Corvette Convertible returned to the lineup and served as the pace car for the 1986 Indy 500. All 1986 Corvette Convertibles were delivered with an “Official Pace Car” decal that the owner could install. For 1987 the 350 V8 increased to 240 horsepower and a new Z52 handling package was available. The 35th Anniversary Edition became available for 1988, sporting white paint, white leather interior, a white leather steering wheel and white wheels. Chevrolet’s Selective Ride Control System became an option for 1989 with Touring, Sport and Competition modes, and a fiberglass hardtop was made available for the convertible.
1990 Corvette ZR-1
Chevrolet introduced the Corvette ZR-1 in 1990, powered by a double overhead cam 350 V8 engine designed by Lotus and produced by Mercury Marine, generating 375 horsepower when combined with a 6-speed manual transmission. The ZR-1 included revised front-end styling, fender vents and wider rear fenders to accommodate wider rear wheels and tires, as well as a new convex rear end design with rectangular taillights. All Corvettes received a redesigned interior with more rounded edges and a new instrument panel that combined analog and digital gauges. For 1991 many of the exterior changes for the ZR-1 were added to all models.
The 1992 Corvette received a new 300-horsepower 5.7-liter V8 engine with the LT1 designation. On July 2, 1992, the one-millionth Corvette was produced in Bowling Green — a white convertible with red leather interior in a tribute to the original Corvette. The 40th Anniversary Edition with Ruby Red paint was offered as both a coupe and a convertible for 1993. 1995 was the final year for Corvette ZR-1 production, and a Corvette was the Indy 500 pace car once again.
1996 Corvette Grand Sport
For the final year of Corvette C4 production, two special versions were available — the Corvette Grand Sport and the Collector Edition — as well as the new LT4 5.7-liter V8 engine producing 330 horsepower and 340 lb-ft of torque with a 6-speed manual transmission. The Grand Sport was offered as both a coupe and a convertible, painted Admiral Blue with a large white stripe and red hash marks on the left front fender, fitted with black five-spoke wheels and powered by the new LT4 engine. The Collector Edition is painted Sebring Silver with silver five-spoke wheels and Special Edition badging, powered by the LT1 with the LT4 optional.
Fifth Generation: 1997 Corvette C5
In 1997 the debut of the fifth-generation Corvette marked another significant step with improvements in every area including exterior design, interior, chassis and performance. Offered only as a coupe with a removable roof panel, the Corvette C5 is lighter and stiffer than the previous generation thanks to the use of hydroformed frame rails — each made from a single piece of tubular steel — and the first-ever Corvette transaxle to achieve nearly a 50/50 weight balance. A new LS1 aluminum block 5.7-liter V8 engine was introduced, producing 345 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque combined with a new Borg-Warner 6-speed manual transmission.
1998 Corvette Convertible Indy Pace Car
The Corvette Convertible returned for 1998 and was again the Indy 500 Pace Car, this time with a purple and yellow livery. For 1999 a hardtop model, known as the Fixed Roof Coupe came online with the Z51 handling package and 6-speed manual transmission as standard equipment.
A partnership between Chevrolet and Pratt & Miller Engineering, the Corvette Racing Team made its debut with the Corvette C5-R at the 1999 Rolex 24 at Daytona. The C5-R raced for five years from 1999 to 2004, earning 31 victories in the American Le Mans Series; it was the overall winner at the Rolex 24 at Daytona in 2001. The C5-R also earned three GTS Class wins at the 24 hours of Le Mans in 2001, 2002 and 2004. Ron Fellows won 21 ALMS races in the C5-R and three driver championships.
2001 Corvette Z06
Based on the Fixed Roof Coupe, the Corvette Z06 was introduced for 2001, named after the performance package offered on the 1963 Corvette. Motivated by a 385-horsepower 5.7-liter V8 engine with a 6-speed manual transmission, the new Corvette Z06 accelerates from zero to 60 mph in less than 4 seconds with a top speed of more than 170 mph. For 2002 Z06 power increased to 405 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque.
To commemorate the 50th anniversary of Corvette, a special model for the 2003 model year was finished in Anniversary Red Metallic with two-tone shale leather interior, 50th Anniversary badges and Magnetic Selective Ride suspension. The last year for the Corvette C5 was 2004 and a special package to highlight Corvette’s success at Le Mans was offered, featuring Le Mans Blue Metallic paint; red and silver stripes; special badging; and special wheels.
Sixth Generation: 2005 Corvette C6
Corvette performance continued to advance and challenge more exotic, expensive supercars with the introduction of the Corvette C6 for 2005. Five inches shorter and one inch narrower than the previous generation, the new exterior design features exposed headlights for the first time since the 1962 Corvette. The Corvette C6 is powered by a new LS2 6.0-liter small-block V8 engine producing 400 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque. Three suspension choices are offered: standard, Magnetic Selective Ride Control and Z51 Performance Package. When equipped with the Z51 Performance Package, the new Corvette C6 performs at nearly the same level as the previous generation Z06. Corvette was chosen as the pace car for the 2005 Indy 500.
The Corvette C6.R made its racing debut at the 12 Hours of Sebring in March 2005 and raced from 2005 to 2013, first in the ALMS GT1 Class and then in the GT Class. Based on the production Corvette Z06, the C6.R is powered by a 7.0-liter small block V8 engine. The C6.R won 39 GT1 races in ALMS with four championships from 2005 to 2008, with Johnny O’Connell, Oliver Gavin, Olivier Beretta and Jan Magnussen all winning driver championships. The C6.R won the GT1 Class at Le Mans in 2006, 2007 and 2009. For 2009 the C6.R was converted to GT specs to compete in the GT Class, earning 12 wins from 2009–2013, including Le Mans in 2011 and championships in 2012 and 2013.
2006 Corvette Z06
One year after the introduction of the Corvette C6, the Corvette Z06 returned, powered by a new LS7 7.0-liter (427 cubic inch) small-block V8 engine producing 505 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque. The engines are hand built at GM’s Performance Center and feature titanium connecting rods, a dry-sump oil system and 7000-rpm redline. The new Z06 has an aluminum frame, fixed magnesium top structure, magnesium engine cradle and carbon fiber front fenders. Also in 2006, the Corvette received a new 6-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters.
For 2007 Chevrolet produced the Ron Fellows ALMS GT1 Z06 special edition in honor of longtime Corvette racer and GT1 champion Ron Fellows. Only 399 of the special edition Z06 were produced, finished in Artic White with two red stripes on the left front fender that includes the Canadian maple leaf and Ron Fellows wins. The Corvette Z06 was the pace car for the 2007 Indy 500 and 500 Atomic Orange Indy Pace Car replicas were produced. The 2008 Corvette received a new LS3 6.2-liter V8 engine that produces 430 horsepower and 424 lb-ft of torque. The 2008 Indy 500 pace car was a Corvette Z06 painted E-85 Gold Rush Green, and 500 2008 Indy 500 Pace Car replicas were produced.
2009 Corvette ZR1
The Corvette ZR1 returned for 2009, powered by a new supercharged 6.2-liter V8 engine rated at 638 horsepower and 604 lb-ft of torque combined with a 6-speed manual transmission and a dual-disc clutch; it has a top speed of 205 mph. The 2009 ZR1 features Brembo carbon-ceramic brakes; 20-spoke 19-inch wheels front and 20-inch wheels rear; Michelin Pilot Sport 2 tires; wider carbon fiber front fenders; carbon fiber raised hood with clear panel; body-color rear spoiler; magnetic ride control tuned for ZR1; and visible carbon fiber on the roof, rocker panels and front splitter.
2010 Corvette Grand Sport
For 2010 Chevrolet once again offered the Corvette Grand Sport, powered by a LS3 6.2-liter V8 combined with wide-body styling and track-tuned performance. Corvette Grand Sport features include wider fenders, Z06 style front spoiler, tall rear spoiler, 18-inch front wheels with 275/35ZR18 tires, 19-inch rear wheels with 325/30ZR19 tires, 14-inch front brake rotors with 6-piston calipers and 13.4-inch rear calipers with 4-piston calipers.
For 2011 the Z06 Carbon limited edition was offered with a Z07 package, a raised carbon fiber hood, a black carbon fiber splitter, black carbon fiber rockers, black wheels, black mirrors, black headlights and a leather / suede interior with body-color stitching. The Z07 package includes Brembo ceramic brakes, Magnetic Ride Control, larger Michelin Pilot Sport 2 tires and competition gray 20-spoke wheels. The Chevrolet Centennial Edition package for 2012 included Carbon Flash Metallic paint, satin-black graphics, satin-black wheels, unique badges, special interior trim and Magnetic Ride Control.
2013 Corvette 427 Convertible Collector Edition
To celebrate the 60th anniversary of Corvette and the final year of the Corvette C6, two special editions were offered in 2013: the 427 Convertible Collector Edition and the 60th Anniversary Design Package. The 427 Convertible Collector Edition received the 505-horsepower 7.0-liter 427 cubic inch engine from the Z06, the first time the engine had been offered in a convertible, adding additional elements from the Z06 and the ZR1 to create the fastest Corvette Convertible ever offered. The 427 Convertible Collector Edition also includes a raised carbon fiber hood, carbon fiber Z06-style fenders, carbon fiber floor panels, a ZR1-style rear spoiler, an optional carbon fiber splitter and optional carbon fiber rocker panels. In addition, Magnetic Ride Control is standard as well as 19-inch front and 20-inch rear wheels with Michelin PS2 tires.
2013 Corvette 60th Anniversary Design Package
The 60th Anniversary Design Package was offered on all trim levels and included Artic White paint, Blue Diamond leather interior with suede accents, blue top for convertibles, ZR1-style rear spoiler, gray brake calipers, special badges and an optional graphics package adds Pearl Silver Blue stripes including a stitched tonal stripe for the convertible top.
Seventh Generation: 2014 Corvette Stingray
The latest generation Corvette Stingray debuted as a 2014 model with the return of the Stingray name, once again pushing the design and performance windows to create the top performance Corvette to date. Built on an all-new lightweight aluminum frame, the 2014 Corvette Stingray is powered by a new LT1 6.2-liter small block V8 engine that produces 455 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque combined with a new 7-speed manual transmission with Active Rev Matching or a 6-speed automatic with paddle shifters. Offered in both coupe and convertible versions, a carbon fiber hood is standard, and a removable carbon fiber roof panel is standard for coupes with composite fenders, doors and rear quarter panels. A 5-mode drive selector adjusts 12 vehicle attributes to the driver’s preferences, and an available Z51 Performance package includes an electronic limited-slip differential, dry-sump oil system, brake cooling, differential cooling, transmission cooling, upgraded wheels, performance tires, upgraded brakes and an aero package to improve high-speed stability.
2015 Corvette Z06
The Corvette Z06 returned for 2015, offered for the first time as a convertible as well as a coupe, powered by a supercharged LT4 6.2-liter V8 engine producing 650 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque combined with either a 7-speed manual transmission or for the first time with an 8-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters. At the time the 2015 Corvette Z06 was the fastest production car ever from General Motors and would accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 2.95 seconds with the automatic and in 3.2 seconds with the manual. Quarter-mile times of 10.95 seconds at 127 mph for the auto and 11.2 seconds at 127 mph with the manual.
Corvette’s latest race car, the C7.R was developed alongside the 2015 Corvette Z06 to compete in the GT Le Mans Class of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, making its debut at the 2014 Rolex 24 at Daytona. Since 1999 Corvette Racing has earned 107 victories, including eight wins at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, three wins at the Rolex 24 at Daytona, and 11 wins at the Mobile 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring. For 2018 Corvette Racing competes in the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GTLM Class after completing a second-straight sweep of the GTLM Manufacturer, Driver and Team titles for the 2017 season, earning four wins during the season.
2016 Corvette Z06 C7.R Edition
As a tribute to the Corvette Racing C7.R race cars, 500 Corvette Z06 C7.R Editions were produced in either Corvette Racing signature Yellow Tintcoat or black with C7.R graphics, a Z07 Performance Package with Brembo carbon ceramic brakes, Michelin PS Cup 2 tires, yellow brake calipers, black wheels with yellow stripe, visible carbon fiber ground effects package, visible carbon fiber hood section, black leather interior with suede accents, yellow contrast stitching, a carbon fiber interior trim package and Corvette Racing sill plates.
2017 Corvette Grand Sport
The Corvette Grand Sport returned for 2017, powered by the LT1 normally-aspirated 6.2-liter V8 with aerodynamics, wheels, tires and brakes similar to the Z06 but tuned to optimize performance with the LT1 engine. The Grand Sport features wider fenders, wider rear quarter panels, unique front fender inserts, Z06-style grille, Grand Sport wheel design, 19×10 inch front wheels, 20×12 inch rear wheels, a front splitter, a rear wickerbill spoiler, functional brake ducts and improved cooling package. Magnetic Ride Control is standard, stabilizer bars are specific to Grand Sport, springs are unique, electronic limited-slip differential is standard as are Brembo brakes. The Corvette Grand Sport was the pace car for the 2017 Indy 500.
2018 Corvette Carbon 65 Edition
For the 65th anniversary of America’s sports car, the Corvette Carbon 65 Edition is offered on 2018 Grand Sport 3LT and Z06 3LZ models with a limit of 650 total to be produced. The Carbon 65 Edition features a Ceramic Matrix Gray exterior with a blue top on convertibles, carbon fiber rear spoiler, carbon fiber rear intake ducts, carbon fiber visible hood, blue brake calipers, carbon fiber roof for coupe, carbon fiber tonneau inserts for convertible, black wheels with machined grooves, fender stripes and door graphics. Inside the Carbon 65 Edition includes Jet Black interior with suede accents, blue stitching, carbon fiber steering wheel rim, carbon fiber interior trim, competition sport seats and Carbon 65 Edition sill plates.
2019 Corvette ZR1
The fastest and most powerful production Corvette ever produced, the 2019 Corvette ZR1 is powered by a LT5 supercharged 6.2-liter small block V8 engine producing 755 horsepower and 715 lb-ft of torque, combined with either a 7-speed manual transmission or an 8-speed paddle shift automatic — the first time an automatic has been offered in a Corvette ZR1. Two aero packaged are offered with a standard Low Wing that allows the ZR1 to reach a top track speed of over 210 mph, or an adjustable High Wing that generates up to 950 pounds of downforce. The High Wing is part of the ZTK Performance Package which also includes a front splitter with carbon fiber end caps, Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires, chassis tuning for improved cornering and Magnetic Ride Control tuning for more grip. The 2019 Corvette ZR1 was the pace car for the 2018 Indy 500.
2019 Corvette ZR1 Convertible
The 2019 Corvette ZR1 is also offered as a convertible — the first convertible version of the ZR1 since the original in 1970. Given the new ZR1’s strong aluminum chassis, minimal structural changes were required to create the convertible, adding only 60 pounds overall compared to the coupe. The Corvette ZR1 receives an all-new front fascia that functions beyond mere styling. The new nose is designed to channel more air for better engine and drivetrain cooling. A special carbon fiber hood is open in the middle to clear the supercharger and intercooler. Chevrolet also offers the Sebring Orange Design Package for the ZR1 with the Sebring Orange Tintcoat exterior complemented by orange brake calipers, orange rocker and splitter accent stripes, orange seat belts and orange interior stitching. The Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price for the Corvette ZR1 Convertible is $123,995 with the ZR1 coupe starting at $119,995.
2019 Indy 500 Pace Car
Pace car honors for the 2019 Indianapolis 500 once again went to Corvette, with the 2019 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport chosen to lead the starting field to the green flag with popular retired NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. behind the wheel. This year marks the 16th time Corvette has served as the Indy pace car, starting in 1978. The 2019 Corvette Grand Sport Pace Car is finished in Long Beach Red Metallic Tintcoat with Racing Blade Silver dual stripes and an Indy 500 decal package. The Corvette Grand Sport Pace Car is powered by a 6.2-liter LT1 V8 engine producing 460 horsepower and 465 lb-ft of torque, combined with an 8-speed automatic transmission. The car also features performance suspension with Magnetic Ride Control, Brembo carbon ceramic brakes, Grand Sport aluminum wheels, a Carbon Flash painted Carbon Fiber Ground Effects Package and Competition Sport bucket seats.
New Eighth-Generation Corvette
Chevrolet announced the official reveal date for the eighth-generation Corvette in April by driving a camouflaged prototype through Times Square in New York prior to the New York Auto Show. Prominently displayed on the side of the prototype was the date 07-18-19 — the day the next chapter in Corvette history begins. While no other official information has been released, the shape of the prototype seen on the streets of Manhattan on April 11 confirmed the long-running rumor that the next Corvette will be a mid-engine design with the engine located behind the passenger compartment. Stay tuned for more details about the eight-generation Corvette in July.