Here's the story:
Illustrated Corvette Series No. 95 - 1994 Corvette
"No Revolution, Just Solid Evolution"
The Corvette team sure knows how to make a big splash. Three major events happened in '93 - the 40th Anniversary edition was released, Dave Hill was named the new Chief of Corvette Engineering, and the C6 Corvette was officially scheduled as a 1997 model. But there were three more model years to produce before the C5 arrived. So what's a new Chief of Corvette Engineering to do? Simple, make a great performance car even better.
With the C4 Corvette's scheduled demise, there obviously weren't going to be any more big improvements made to the Corvette. After all, at this point, the design of the car was over 12 years old and had already racked up a long list of very impressive accomplishments. And considering the state of the last C3 model, the Corvette's performance resurrection was an automotive miracle. The goal for the remaining years of the C4 was to refine the car to the limits of its basic design, keep costs in check, and maintain customer interest in the light of the up-coming all-new '97 Corvette.
Let's face it, as a car owner, you spend most of your time looking at your car through the steering wheel in your interior. The '94 Corvette received a complete revamping of its interior. Most obvious was the new 2-spoke steering wheel and the new standard leather seats. Someone decided that a $30,000 car should not have cloth seats. And down at your feet there was new carpeting. The new floor covering was premium material, thicker, and more durable. The door panels were revised to fit into the two-tone dash. Passengers received added protection with their own air bag. The new air bag took up the space where the glove box used to be, so a new storage compartment was designed into the center armrest. The plastic Roadster rear glass was replaced with real glass . Instruments were revised for better visibility and the overall car was subjected to a "squeak and rattle track" to isolate and eliminate rattles. An excellent thing for a premium automobile.
The 1994 Corvette didn't just get new interior digs. While engine power levels of the LT1 and the ZR-1 remained the same, numerous mechanical improvements were made. Both engines received the latest Sequential Fuel Injection units for better throttle response, idle, and lower emissions. The LT1 engine received an improved oil pan with a new oil sensor, a new coolant pump, and composite rocker arms. The 4-speed automatic was redesigned with new electronic controls for improved shift quality and rpm shift-point consistency.
For sport enthusiasts, the $1,695 FX3 Selective Ride and handling option received slightly softer springs for improved ride quality. But the big suspension news was the new Goodyear run-flat tires and low-pressure warning indicator. The new tires could be driven at 55 mph for 200 miles with zero tire pressure! That's why the pressure indicator was necessary.
Price increase for the '94 model wasn't too bad. The new list price for the coupe was $36,185 (up $1,590 from '93) and $42,443 for the roadster (up $1,765 from '93). The ZR-1 option was down $425 to $31,258! That's part why only 448 ZR-1s were ordered in '94. The ZR-1 models could be easily spotted by their new unidirectional 5-spoke aluminum alloy wheels and aluminumized brake rotors.
Of course, no one ever buys a basic stripped down Corvette. A "loaded" coupe cost almost $43,000, while a roadster was over $50,000. A similarly equipped ZR-1 cost almost $70,000! It all added up to an evolutionary sales improvement, with total sales at 23,330 units, up 1,740 from '93. Not too shabby for the 11th season of a car with only three years before retirement. Dave Hill's team successfully kept the '94 Corvette fresh and exciting. - K. Scott Teeters