15 Best Corvettes Model Years of All Time

Source: edmunds

Over the last 65 years, Chevrolet has improved the Corvette’s performance and looks by introducing a range of cutting-edge technologies, some of which have been more successful than others. Its history has always been colorful, starting with the original “rolling bathtub,” which gained popularity when it was unveiled at General Motors Motorama in 1953, and continuing with the 2020 Corvette C8, a vehicle with supercar features that challenge the most powerful V8 sports vehicles on the planet today.

The eighth-generation Chevrolet Corvette is in its fourth model year, and Chevy has silenced many of its critics with its contentious rear-mid-engine redesign. As the Corvette has reclaimed its place in the automotive world, it’s worth delving into the C8’s predecessors, the vehicles that established the manufacturer as an industry legend.

15. 1955 Chevrolet Corvette V8

Source: hemmings

The 1953 Corvette started a legend that lasted for more than 65 years, but most car fans would say that it really became a sports car in 1955, when a V8 engine was added. Chevrolet was on the verge of permanently stopping the manufacture of the Corvette series due to the poor quality and performance of the ’53 and ’54 models, but this model saved the day.

Chevy offered a 265 cubic inch (4.3 liter) optional V8 engine for their now-iconic fiberglass-bodied sports car, the 1955 Corvette, which allowed it to compete with more established European high-performance sports vehicles.

When paired with a three-speed manual transmission, the V8 sped up from 0 to 60 mph (96 kph) in 8.5 seconds, down from an average of 11 seconds with in-line 6. Chevy was about to cancel the Corvette, but the speed upgrade saved it.

Engine4.3 L
Engine ConfigurationNaturally-aspirated V8
0-60 mph (96 kph)8.5 sec
Top Speed118 mph (189 kph)
Power195 hp
Torque260 lb-ft
Curb Weight2,910 lbs (1319 kg)
LayoutFront mid-engine, RWD

14. 1957 Chevrolet Corvette Fuel Injected

Source: Youtube/Lou Costabile

The Corvette debuted in 1953 and got its first V8 engine in 1955. Even better, the 1957 model was the first Corvette to use a fuel injection system. The 1957 Corvette, often known as the “Fuelie” Corvette, was quite rare because most Corvettes were still marketed without this feature.

It was the fastest car available in America when it first came out. Its modest 283-ci engine managed an astounding 283 hp with the help of the fuel injection option. Although this isn’t special by today’s standards, the fact that the car is almost 60 years old and rare on its own makes it extremely valuable.

Engine4.6 L
Engine ConfigurationNaturally-aspirated, fuel-injected V8
0-60 mph (96 kph)5.7 sec
Top Speed132 mph (212 kph)
Power283 hp
Torque290 lb-ft
Curb Weight2,985 lbs (1353 kg)
LayoutFront mid-engine, RWD

13. 1988 Chevrolet Corvette Callaway Sledgehammer

Source: motor1

In October 1988, Callaway’s Corvette Sledgehammer super coupe reached 254.7 mph (408 kph), setting a world record for a road-legal vehicle. The record was held until 2010, when Bugatti’s Veyron Super Sport reached 267.8 mph (429 kph).

Callaway modified the suspension to accomplish the record-breaking speed. These modifications included installing 17-inch (43 cm) Dymag magnesium wheels covered in distinctive Goodyear tires, moving the lower control arms, decreasing the ride height by one inch, and employing Koni shock absorbers.

The Sledgehammer was the first Corvette to have the Callaway Aerobody package added to it. This changed the shape of the body, which was important for reaching record speeds. Eventually, a pair of Turbonetics T04b turbochargers fed through a pair of repositioned intercoolers allowed the Sledgehammer to reach record speed. This allowed for a 22 PSI boost, which translated into an estimated 898 hp and 772 lb-ft of torque.

Engine5.7 L
Engine ConfigurationTwin-turbo V8
0-60 mph (96 kph)3.9 sec
Top Speed254.7 mph (408 kph)
Power880 hp
Torque772 lb-ft
Curb Weight3,400–3,672 lbs (1542–1665 kg)
LayoutFront mid-engine, RWD

12. 1963 Chevrolet Corvette C2 Grand Sport

Source: robbreport

The Ford Cobra’s success in racing prompted Chevrolet to start a project under the direction of the “Father of the Corvette,” an American engineer of Belgian descent named Zora Arkus-Duntov, to develop a second-generation Corvette that was lighter than its predecessor. The 1963 Corvette Grand Sport was designed as a race car, with 125 units planned for production.

The program had been kept under wraps. When GM leaders learned about the Chevy project, it was canceled, but not before five cars were made. The five Corvette Grand Sports took part in multiple races and even managed to win a few. Jim Hall, A.J. Foyt, and Roger Penske were among the well-known drivers who drove these race cars, which had V8 engines with a maximum power rating of 550 hp.

Engine5.3 L
Engine ConfigurationV8
0-60 mph (96 kph)4.3 – 4.5 sec
Top Speed175 mph (281 kph)
Power360 – 550 hp
Torque550 lb-ft
Curb Weight1,900–2,150 lbs (816–975 kg)
LayoutFront mid-engine, RWD

11. 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray “Split-Window”

Source: supercars

With its iconic split-window coupe, the second-generation Corvette is widely considered by many auto aficionados to be among the most aesthetically pleasing American vehicles of all time. The 1963 Sting Ray was the first Corvette coupe with a split window. Due to visibility concerns, the design was discontinued the next year.

The 1963 Stingray was equipped with a four-speed manual transmission and a 327c cubic-inch (5.3 liters) V8 engine that generated 360 hp (or more if fuel injection was chosen).

It was easier to drive the “Split-Window” because it had a new three-link independent with transverse multi-leaf spring suspension in the back and a spherical joint independent coil suspension up front. There were hydraulic 11-inch (27 cm) brakes with bonded linings that were fade-resistant.

Engine5.3 L
Engine ConfigurationV8
0-60 (96 kph)5.8 sec
Top Speed130 (209 kph)
Power360 hp
Torque352 lb-ft
Curb Weight3,037 lbs (1377 kg)
LayoutFront mid-engine, RWD

10. 1967-1969 Chevrolet Corvette C3 L88

Source: corvetteblogger

Chevrolet introduced the L36, the first 427 cubic-inch (6.9-liter). engine in the Corvette, in 1966. It generated 390 hp. The L68 and L72 followed with improved performance options, boosting power to 400 hp and 425 hp, respectively. The 427 cubic inches (6.9 liters). The L7171 and L89 models had even more power; each was rated at 435 hp.

But for many, the rare L88, found in just 216 Corvettes built between 1967 and 1969, is the Holy Grail of the ’60s Corvettes. GM rated the L88 engine at 435 hp. Tests revealed it was actually closer to 550 hp. Since its limited production in the 1960s, the L88 has become one of the most sought-after Corvettes, selling for over six figures.

Engine7.0 L
Engine ConfigurationV8
0-60 (96 kph)4.7–5.2 sec
Top Speed170+ (273 kph)
Power435 hp
Torque460 lb-ft
Curb Weight3,250 lbs (1474 kg)
LayoutFront mid-engine, RWD

9. 1969 Chevrolet Corvette ZL1

Source: streetmusclemag

The 1969 Corvette ZL1 is one of the most exclusive production Corvettes ever made. There were just two produced and offered for sale via Chevy stores. The 1969 Corvette ZL1 was only made for that model year and had an all-aluminum version of the already-terrifying L88 7.0-liter big-block engine that was made for racing.

Chevy gave the engine an official power rating of 430 hp, but testing showed that the real output was closer to 460 hp. The ZL1 reached a maximum speed of 193 mph (310 kph) and could accelerate from 0 to 60 mph (96 kph) in a swift 3.9 seconds. It could also complete a quarter-mile run in 12.1 seconds. But that power didn’t come cheap. It significantly raised the Corvette’s base price by $4,700.

Engine7.0 L
Engine ConfigurationV8
0-60 (96 kph)3.9 sec
Top Speed193 (310 kph)
Power430 – 460 hp
Torque460 lb-ft
Curb Weight3,250 lbs (1474 kg)
LayoutFront mid-engine, RWD

8. 1990–1995 Chevrolet Corvette C4 ZR-1

Source: hotcars

When the Corvette ZR-1 was released in 1990, it gave the Porsche 911 Turbo and the Ferrari Testarossa tough competition. Designed by Lotus, the LT5 engine was the first-ever twin-cam Corvette engine in history.

The V8 engine produced 375 hp with the help of an aluminum block, 32 valves, four overhead camshafts, and a unique air management system. In 1993, an improved 5.7-liter V8 engine produced 405 hp and 385 lb-ft of torque.

The ZR-1 reached a high speed of over 180 mph (289 kph) when it was first produced, and it could accelerate from 0 to 60 mph (96 kph) in just 4.4 seconds. The ZR-1 coupe broke multiple world records, including running for 5,000 miles (8046 km) at 279.6 mph (449 kph) and reaching 175.5 mph (281 kph) at the 12 Hours Endurance and 175.8 mph (282 kph) at the 24 Hours Endurance.

Engine5.7 L
Engine ConfigurationV8
0-60 (96 kph)4.4 sec
Top Speed~180 (289 kph)
Power405 hp
Torque385 lb-ft
Curb Weight~3,360 lbs (1524 kg)
LayoutFront mid-engine, RWD

7. 2000-2004 Chevrolet Corvette C5 Z06

Source: Youtube/Doug Demuro

When the C5 Corvette debuted in 1997, it was a substantial upgrade over the C4, with the Z06 being the best. The bodywork looked identical to the regular vehicle, but it had a different powertrain. Although the ZR-1’s 385 hp was more than the new LS6 engine’s, the Z06’s aluminum chassis and rear transaxle made it lighter overall, improving its power-to-weight ratio.

The 2002 Z06 Chevrolet had an increase in power to 405 hp, allowing for a 3.9-second sprint to 60 mph (96 kph) and a 12.4-second quarter-mile run. The C5 Corvette is one of the most thrilling and affordable sports cars. The Z06’s production halted in 2004 when Chevrolet began development on the C6-generation Corvette.

Engine5.7 L
Engine ConfigurationV8
0-60 (96 kph)3.9 sec
Top Speed171 (275 kph)
Power385–405 hp
Torque400 lb-ft
Curb Weight3,118 lbs (1414 kg)
LayoutFront mid-engine, RWD

6. 2009-2013 Chevrolet Corvette C6 ZR1

Source: ultimatecarpage

The Corvette design team responded to the initial ZR1 Corvette’s mission of “Shock and Awe” by creating the most powerful Corvette ever produced at the factory. The 6.2-liter supercharged LS9 V8 engine in the C6-generation ZR1 made 638 hp, which is 133 hp more than the Z06.

In addition, it was the fastest Corvette, clocking in at a record-breaking 205 mph (329 kph) at its peak speed and reaching 60 mph (96 kph) in just 3.4 seconds. The ZR1 made significant use of carbon fiber. The engine hood, roof, front splitter, fenders, and rocker moldings were all made of lightweight material. It also included carbon-ceramic brakes and the biggest wheels ever seen on a production Corvette.

Engine6.2 L
Engine ConfigurationSupercharged V8
0-60 (96 kph)3.4 sec
Top Speed205 (329 kph)
Power638 hp
Torque604 lb-ft
Curb Weight3,353 lbs (1520 kg)
LayoutFront mid-engine, RWD

5. 2011 Chevrolet Corvette C6 Z06 Carbon Fiber Edition

Source: motor1

In 2011, the Corvette came with the Z06 Carbon Limited Edition model, and in the years that followed, the Z07 Performance Package was a cool addition. These were carried out in honor of Corvette’s 50th Le Mans anniversary. It looked quite impressive due to the black headlamps, splitter, and elevated hood composed of carbon fiber with Supersonic Blue or Inferno Orange finishes.

Engine7.0 L
Engine ConfigurationV8
0-60 (96 kph)3.8 sec
Top Speed198 (318 kph)
Power505 hp
Torque470 lb-ft
Curb Weight~3,160 lbs (1433 kg)
LayoutFront mid-engine, RWD

4. 2016 Chevrolet Corvette C7 Z06

Source: autohunter

It only takes a quick look at the C7 Corvette Z06 to see the significance and excellence of every little detail. We’ve grown to connect this high-performance car with sportiness, and its sleek, low-slung, aerodynamic design, balanced proportions, and muscular sculpture perfectly capture that feeling.

The 6.2-liter V8 engine in the C7 Corvette Z06 produces 650 hp, which is just the right amount of power for drivers to really appreciate the beast’s agility. The engine can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph (96 kph) in as little as 3 seconds, and it can reach a maximum speed of 195 mph (313 kph).

Engine6.2 L
Engine ConfigurationV8
0-60 (96 kph)3.0 sec
Top Speed195 (313 kph)
Power650 hp
Torque650 lb-ft
Curb Weight~3,558 lbs (1613 kg)
LayoutFront mid-engine, RWD

3. 2019 Chevrolet Corvette C7 ZR1

Source: caranddriver

A car brand’s latest model isn’t always the best one they’ve ever made, but for the Corvette, the 2019 ZR1 could be seen as “the very best Corvette ever made” because it’s the result of over 65 years of changes and improvements. Even though the 2019 ZR1 isn’t the greatest, it still earns a spot on the list.

The ZR1 is equipped with the most extensive aerodynamic kit Chevy has ever created for a road vehicle. The supercharged 6.2-liter V8 produces 755 hp and 715 lb-ft of torque, allowing the 2019 Corvette ZR1 to reach 60 mph (96 kph) in 3.1 seconds and a top speed of over 210 mph (337 kph). The Corvette uses an optional wing that can deliver up to 950 lbs (430 kg) of downforce to grip the road with race-car ferocity.

Engine6.2 L
Engine ConfigurationSupercharged V8
0-60 (96 kph)3.1 sec
Top Speed210+ (337 kph)
Power755 hp
Torque715 lb-ft
Curb Weight3,560 lbs (1614 kg)
LayoutFront mid-engine, RWD

2. 2020 Chevrolet Corvette C8

Source: cnet

For some sports car lovers and enthusiasts, the Chevrolet Corvette can be the most beautiful American vehicle on the road today. The 2020 Chevrolet Corvette is the first model year for the highly renowned C8, or 8th-generation Corvette.

The 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray is sure to turn heads with its eye-catching 8th-generation design, mid-engine configuration, powerful 6.2-liter naturally-aspirated V8 (495 hp, 470 lb-ft), and 8-speed dual-clutch automated transmission.

Engine6.2 L
Engine ConfigurationV8
0-60 (96 kph)2.9 sec
Top Speed194 (312 kph)
Power495 hp
Torque470 lb-ft
Curb Weight3,366 lbs (1526 kg)
LayoutFront mid-engine, RWD

1. 2022 Chevrolet Corvette C8 Z06

Source: wallacechevrolet

The 8th-generation (C8) Chevrolet Corvette has been widely acclaimed since its 2020 debut for its ability to compete with the performance and handling of more expensive sports vehicles. Chevrolet debuted the more powerful Corvette Z06 in 2023 as a trim level instead of a performance package.

As the first mid-engine Z06 in American history, the 2023 Chevrolet Corvette C8 Z06 boasts a 5.5-liter flat-plane crank V8 (670 hp, 460 lb-ft), which is among the most potent naturally-aspirated production V8 engines on earth. The 2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 can reach 60 mph (96 kph) in 2.6 seconds from a standstill, which puts it on par with more costly sports vehicles and even top-dollar supercars.

The 2023 Chevrolet Corvette has a “great” 8.5/10 rating from Edmunds, a “best” 92/100 quality and reliability score from JD Power, and an impressive 4.7/5 rating from KBB’s expert reviews.

Engine5.5 L
Engine ConfigurationFlat-plane crank V8
0-60 (96 kph)2.6 sec
Top Speed195 (313 kph)
Power670 hp
Torque460 lb-ft
Curb Weight3,500 lbs (1587 kg)
LayoutRear mid-engine, RWD


Chevrolet has produced more than 1.3 million Corvettes throughout eight generations over the course of 60 years. The majority have been decent vehicles. Some of them have been quite bad vehicles. And at least ten Corvettes have been absolutely fantastic.

In this article, we have discussed the 15 best Corvettes of all time. Chevrolet dealerships offered these Corvettes to anyone who could get a loan. And that idea itself is kind of mind-boggling. This highlights the importance and status of this legendary vehicle, which has made it come back to conquer again.

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