|C1||- 1953 to 1962|
|C2||- 1963 to 1967|
|| - 1968 to 1982
|| - 1984 to 1996
|| - 1997 to 2004
|| - 2005 to 2013
|| - The All-New 2009 Corvette ZR1
* Detroit Auto Show Images
* Added 1-16-08
|| - the Future Corvette
Interior - Finally World Class
When the 1984 Corvette was unveiled, the interior was state of the art for cars of that era. There was a futuristic digital dash, grippy seats that gave the appearance of great support, and lots of cargo room. There were many problems, however. The shorter wheelbase and huge tires narrowed the footwells dramatically. The digital dash, while high tech looking, didn't work well and was restyled for the 1990 model year. All that changed when the C5 made it's debut in 1997. The instruments were clean and logically placed, the wheel base was extended and the footwells widened, augmented by a real deal pedal. The high door sills of the c4, deemed necessary by the removal of the support bar for the t-tops, was made lower and wider, ending up with a stiffer and much easier to access cabin. While all of these items improved the Corvette interior, the quality and appearance of the materials still lacked the appeal of its rivals. The C6 addressed some of these issues, coming closer, but still missed the mark. One target that Corvette never hit was the seats; they lacked proper support for aggressive driving. Blame the buyers partially for that. Those endeared with the affluance The that can afford Corvettes are usually a bit beyond their prime, and a seat that is easy to get in and out of and a snug seat with lots of support generally do not complement one another. Corvette had to provide seats that were wide enough to fit the majority of buyers.
When developing the new Corvette Stingray, the past complaints were addressed. Quality, ergonomics, and appearance were revised to give the look and feel of a higher quality interior. The major surfaces in the C7 have cut and sewn wraps, regardless of the trim level. The coverings are a high quality grained vinyl on all but the top trim level (3LT) and that level receives leather on most of the surfaces. The covered interiors are soft to the touch, rather than the harder vinyl covered foam on than previously used on Corvettes. The accent materials used in the C7's interior is now real. Accent pieces throughout the interior are now what they appear to be. Painted plastics that appear to be carbon fibre or aluminum trim are now the geniume atricle. Corvette Stingray mhas moved to a whole new level.
Great emphasis on Corvette's interior was directed at the seats for the next generation. The seats offered by Porsche, Audi, and GM's own programs that use Recaro seats were reviewed. The seat supplier, Lear, (which also supplies Porsche) is responsible for production of Corvette's seats. As in the past, there will be two distinct seats, except instead of being good and better, the seats are now best (GT - base) and "bestest" (Competition Sport - Optional.) All the seats have magnesium frames to keep the mass down, replacing the steel stampings used previously. The seats are now stiffer, and much more supportive, 1LT/2LTs are finished in "Moulan" leather with the aforementioned cut and sew crafting, and "Napa" leather covers the 3LT seats and interior. Suede inserts are available on 2LT/3LT optioned cars The GT seat has a much more agressive seatback bolsters, to hold you in place when driving the car at its 1+ g cornering limit. All are equipped with an 8-way power seat adjuster for the driver and passenger. On the 2LT/3LT models, the seats are heated and vented as well as having adjustable seatback wings. The Competition Sport seats will be available after the start of production and they will be aimed at a much more hard core buyer than the GTs. One distinct feature are cutouts in the seat back for an owner installed four point seat belts.
Interior space is little changed but the packaging is rearranged. The traditional console mounted parking brake lever has been replaced by an electric parking brake. The change opens up the console to contain the new mode selector knob and a new set of more user friendly cup holders. The central tunnel is about an inch and a half taller than before and gives the appearance of a shorter shift lever. Ahead of the driver is an 8 inch color display flanked by a pair of pods with proper needle gauges for the speedometer (left) and fuel (top right) & coolant temperature (lower right.) The color display is reconfigurable and can show information such as a central tachometer, a graph tachometer, navigation instructions, and other typical info such as fuel economy, range, G-meter, etc. An interesting interior bit is a console mounted grab handle. Eary Corvettes had a gimmicky grab handle for the passenger, but it was impractically mounted on the the instrument panel. The new handle fall "right into the hand" of Corvette's passenger and with expected 1-g cornering prowess, it's certain to be used often.
The info is viewed through a Corvette Stingray exclusive 360mm (14.2 inch nominal for us old timers.) Previously, the Corvette wheel was sized at 376mm or 14.8 inches. Naturally, it is leather wrapped, of can also be covered in a suede like material foir greater grip. The air bag is housed in one of the smallest enclosures on a production automobile. Nested next to the horn/air bag cover are switches for cruise control, radio, and phone controls.
The big news on the inside is the availability of the next generation Chevrolet MyLink system radio and vehicle integration. The new radio face is an 8 inch color touch display with on screen icons to navigate various vehicle and "infotainment" settings. With MyLink, many popular cell phones seamlessly integrate to give you access to your phone's contacts and play any music you might have stored. The system can also fetch popular apps such as Sticher and Pandora streaming audio. If the optional navigation is ordered, it too is displayed on the higher resolution toch screen, accepting, voice, keyed in, at OnStar downloaded directions.
Photos © General Motors and by the Author
- 1953 to 1962
- 1963 to 1967
- 1968 to 1982
- 1984 to 1996
- 1997 to 2004
- 2005 to 2013
- The Future Corvette - 2014 to ?
"CorvettePage.com is not affiliated with, Associated with, or Sponsored by General Motors or the Chevrolet Motor Division."