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Terminology

C This, C That

Corvette Generations Explained

C1
1953 - 1962

1954 Corvette 1957 Corvette 1961 Corvette
1962 Corvette rear view The first generation of Corvettes are affectionately known as "Straight Axle" Corvettes, in reference to their simple rear suspension arrangement. Although the chassis remained essentially the same, there were distinct body styles. The 1953 - '54 (left) had the rocket tail lights and the headlights set in the fender with a fashionable stone guard. The 1956 - '57 introduced the Cove as a styling element. The design was stepped up a notch with the quad headlight treatment in 1958 (above right). 1961 and 1962 were the transitional years, (right) in which the rear of the upcoming C2 convertible body was used.

C2
1963 - 1967

1964 Corvette
Also known as the "mid year" Corvettes, the C2 is probably the most sought after Corvette. They were the first to use an independent rear suspension (see The Chassis) and featured one of the most admired body styles in the history of performance automobiles.


C3
1968 - 1982

C3 Corvette
Although the C3 was a new body style, the chassis was inherited from the C2. The new body set the standard for Corvettes for many years to come. The subsequent generations of Corvette would have a strong resemblance to the C3, all the way to the C7 introduced in 2014.

C4
1983 - 1996

1984 Corvette drawings
When introduced in 1983 as a 1984 model, the C4 Corvette was an all new body style and chassis. The front was given a styling update and the rear bumper was changed from concave to a convex shape in 1991.


C5
1997 - 2004

C5 Corvette
The C5 continued the styling theme introduced with the C3. It was the first Corvette that featured an all new body style, chassis and drivetrain.

C6
2005 - 2013

2005 Corvette C6

The C6 was not a major change especially when compared to the C5; some of the Corvette faithful thought that C5.5 would have been a more accurate designation.


C7
2014 - ?

The C7 was a major upgrade; the body, chassis and engine were all new for 2014.

2014 Chevrolet Corvette C7
Note: Clicking on an image with this symbol (Boxes) will lead to a larger image.


Comments (13)

OK
So when does the C7 get announced? Should be soon.
#1 - Jack - 01/28/2011 - 19:41
Are you out of your mind?
The changes from C5 to C6 were massive. The entire car is different. Besides have no similar parts, they don't even look the same if you actually look. A base C6 Corvette out-performs and out-powers a C5 Z06... and you think it's not a major change? Right...

Try doing some research next time.
#2 - BadVette - 03/03/2011 - 18:54
WebCars! Webmaster
We stand by our statement.

While there was a styling redo, and it was a big improvement, the chassis and drivetrain remained mostly identical to the C5. See http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/car/04q1/2005_chevrolet_corvette-first_drive_review

C4 > C5: That was a big change.

C3 > C4: Ditto.

But thanks for your comment. Keep 'em coming!
#3 - Paul - 03/03/2011 - 21:11
C5 and C6 similarities
Way to put BadVette in his place!I love it! I agree the two cars are on a similar platform.The only downfall in my opinion is they should have kept the hidden headlights that were used for 3 generations,its a Corvette thing.As far as a base C6 out-performing a C5 Z06?You obviously have not tangled with a C5 with someone that knows how to drive yet!BadVette,right!!!!
#4 - Matt - 09/16/2011 - 11:08
C3 All The Way!
I agree... the C5 & C6 Vettes are very similar. And ditto on the hide-away headlights. They should have been retained.

I'm sure I'll get blasted for this, but the C4 years are dead to me. I bought a brand new 1980 and when the new C4's came out four years later I was disgusted. Square panels and straight lines! It's just my opinion, but the only redeemable thing about the C4's was Chevrolet was finally able to bring performance back into the Corvette world during those years.

I have an '80 Vette again. For the money that I spent to purchase this car and do a frame-off restoration I could have bought a mid-60's Vette, but I love the 1980 Corvette for its look and feel.
#5 - Randy - 09/21/2011 - 22:30
It's my opinion that GM tends to always fall short. Although the suspension and drive train on the corvette is awesome, it's my opinion that it still significantly lacks in styling. It needs a radical change.
#6 - Ray - 01/26/2012 - 10:02
My opinion:

I think the drive up test is the best way to tell if a change is significant. Can I tell the difference between two cars when one passes me or drives up? C1 Corvette? Yes. C2? Yes C3? Yes, ugliest Corvettes made. C4? Not always because they look so similar to C5 Corvettes. I think C4 and C5 corvettes look too much alike. C6? Yes. On average C6 Corvettes are faster, better handling and look completely different from a C6, C5, C4, C3, C2 and C1 Corvette.
#7 - No Name - 03/07/2012 - 11:03
Reason I hate my C6
C-1 strong engine in a sporty car. C-2 powerful engine, good suspension. C-3 powerful engines, better suspension. C-4 very powerful computer controlled system, C-5 new advances in technology, engine and suspension with-in a fast paced automotive popularity contest called for a new platform. C-6 newer advances in engine drive terrain cause gm to produce the biggest money pit you could ever invest in, headlights are 1500 us dollars each and are only available as an entire lamp, siliconed shut as so no one can rebuild or repair, getting them in your specific color will be even more difficult soon, similar to the C4's computer problems and Adjusting Strut rods, most of these computer systems will become obsolete in the very near future requiring bypass systems or extremely expensive computer modules, the interior is painted plastic shit, gm since bankruptcy has discontinued many of the parts, and has laid off even more factories who make and remanufacture parts. Since the C-4 made its debut, all corvettes have been designed to be "disposable" it's unfortunate that American cars have to be made so poorly to compete with the Japanese auto makers, yet still charge more for the cheaply made cars (per income percent) than ever before. But damn, my C6 is fast
#8 - A guy - 03/08/2012 - 01:37
Reason I hate my C6
C-1 strong engine in a sporty car. C-2 powerful engine, good suspension. C-3 powerful engines, better suspension. C-4 very powerful computer controlled system, C-5 new advances in technology, engine and suspension with-in a fast paced automotive popularity contest called for a new platform. C-6 newer advances in engine drive terrain cause gm to produce the biggest money pit you could ever invest in, headlights are 1500 us dollars each and are only available as an entire lamp, siliconed shut as so no one can rebuild or repair, getting them in your specific color will be even more difficult soon, similar to the C4's computer problems and Adjusting Strut rods, most of these computer systems will become obsolete in the very near future requiring bypass systems or extremely expensive computer modules, the interior is painted plastic shit, gm since bankruptcy has discontinued many of the parts, and has laid off even more factories who make and remanufacture parts. Since the C-4 made its debut, all corvettes have been designed to be "disposable" it's unfortunate that American cars have to be made so poorly to compete with the Japanese auto makers, yet still charge more for the cheaply made cars (per income percent) than ever before. But damn, my C6 is fast
#9 - A guy - 03/08/2012 - 01:40
2005 C6
I love my 05 C6. Had a bad experience with Chevy's in the mid 80's Z28, but this is a solid car. Bought her 2 years old and driven for last 4 years with great success.
#10 - SGT Marc Jones (retired) - 07/11/2012 - 19:02
I don't know man, I LOVE 'em ALL.
-And all of them have their good and evil.

My personal Absolute Favorite, tho: C4 1987 manual (which is obviously the one I've got). Mostly for "romantic" reasons, rather than technical. I wouldn't change it for anything.

Enjoy your Vette! ;)
#11 - Luis L. - 10/24/2012 - 23:28
I don't know man, I LOVE 'em ALL.
-And all of them have their good and evil.

My personal Absolute Favorite, tho: C4 1987 manual (which is obviously the one I've got). Mostly for "romantic" reasons, rather than technical. I wouldn't change it for anything.

Enjoy your Vette! ;)
#12 - Luis L. - 10/25/2012 - 02:05
last comment wrong
C6 should not have been called c5.5 and anyone that says that is wrong, 80% of all the parts changed from c5 to c6 including the frame and wheelbase. C2 to C3 used the same frame, wheelbase, and engine if anyone was not a major change it was then.
#13 - al - 11/10/2012 - 20:21
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Corvette Spotter for the iPhone-txt
Introducing the Vette Spotter app for the iPhone.


The Vette Spotter app can identify the year of any Corvette.


All years and generations are covered, from 1953 to 2014. Over 350 photographs and detailed text are included.

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