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1988 Corvette

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1988 Corvette
The 1988 Corvette featured important upgrades to the engine and chassis. Learn the great new features on this classic 35th anniversary Corvette. See more classic car pictures.

For Corvette's 35th anniversary year, the 1988 Corvette was again treated to important engine and chassis upgrades. Freer-breathing cylinder heads and a reprofiled camshaft gave the L98 small-block another five horses -- now up to 245 bhp, though torque was unchanged. Z51 and Z52 suspension packages now included 17-inch wheels; these were newly styled 17 X 9.5 "Cuisinart" rims wearing huge, P275/40ZR-17 Goodyear Eagle GTs. Enthusiasts were quick to note the tires' "Z" speed rating, indicating that they were good for sustained running at over 149 mph. The new wheel styling was also applied to the standard 16 x 8.5-inch rims, which were likewise upgraded to Z-rated rubber of 255-mm section.

To make the most of the new higher-performance tires and for better directional control in hard stops, front suspension geometry was reworked to incorporate "zero scrub radius." This means a steering axis that intersects the road at the exact center of the tire's contact patch, rather than outboard (positive scrub radius), as on previous Corvettes, or inboard of it (negative scrub radius) as on some European cars.

Rear suspension was also revised, with slightly more rebound travel and reduced camber for improved straight-line and braking stability. Brakes were fortified as well, gaining two-piston front calipers, thicker rotors all around, and a handbrake integral with the rear discs (replacing the previous small, separate drum brakes).

Like the Porsche 928 of the day, the C4 had always had its pull-up handbrake mounted outboard of the driver's seat, with a lever that could be folded down after engagement so as not to interfere with entry/exit. This was retained for 1988, but the assembly was moved a bit lower and farther back to be a bit less intrusive. In addition, interior air extractors in coupes were modified to increase the flow rate as an improvement to the climate-control system, which was now offered with the extra-cost automatic temperature control that was phased in toward the end of 1987 production.

With total Corvette production nearing 900,000 units sold over a span of 35 years, it was time to mark another anniversary with a special-edition Corvette. Recalling the Waldorf debut of the original '53 Motorama car, the anniversary car bowed at the New York Auto Show on April 1, 1988, with announced production of only 2,000 units (actually, 2,050 were sold). Offered only as a coupe, the 35th Anniversary edition -- officially, the $4,795 option package Z01 -- offered a bright white lower body (including color-matched door handles, mirrors, bodyside moldings, and 17-inch wheels) set off by a black roof hoop and transparent black acrylic roof panel. Special commemorative badges appeared above the front-fender "gills," and as embroidery on the seatbacks in an all-white leather-upholstered interior. Other standard features included dual six-way power sport seats, automatic climate control, the GM-Delco/Bose audio system, and heated door mirrors.

While the 35th Anniversary car was a sellout, it wasn't enough to lift the Corvette's fortunes at dealerships. The sales downturn continued for 1988, with production slipping to just under 23,000 units, the lowest model-year total since 1972.

Meanwhile, the C4 was continuing Corvette's winning ways on the track -- it was the undefeated class champion in SCCA Showroom Stock racing for three straight years. Fifty-six street-legal cars were built for the 1998 SCCA Corvette Challenge series. Stock engines would come from the CPC engine plant in Flint, Michigan, shipped to Bowling Green for installation, and the cars would then be trucked back to Wixom, Michigan, for roll cages and other racing modifications. During the course of the year, Chevy would replace most engines, however, swapping them for motors having more evenly calibrated power output.

Learn about other Corvettes in this generation:

1984 Corvette
1985 Corvette
1986 Corvette
1987 Corvette
1988 Corvette
1989 Corvette
1990 Corvette
1991 Corvette
1992 Corvette
1993 Corvette
1994 Corvette
1995 Corvette
1996 Corvette


Looking for more information on Corvettes and other cars? See:

  • Corvettes: Learn about the history behind each model year and see Corvette photographs.
  • Corvette Specifications: Get key specifications, engine and transmission types, prices, and production totals.
  • Corvette Museum: The National Corvette Museum draws Corvette lovers from all over the world. Learn more about the museum.
  • Corvette Pictures: Find pictures of the hottest classic and current-year Corvettes.
  • Muscle Cars: Get information on more than 100 tough-guy rides.
  • Consumer Guide Corvette Reviews: Considering a Corvette purchase? See what Consumer Guide has to say.

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The 1988 Corvette was fortified with plenty of upgrades to the engine, chassis, steering, and brakes. Chevrolet also released a special 35th Anniversary package for 1988. Here are the specifications for the 1988 Corvette:

1988 Corvette
The 1988 Corvette was the last C4 available with the interesting "4+3" manual transmission.

 

Vehicle Specifications
HatchbackConvertible
Wheelbase, inches
96.2 96.2
Length, inches
176.5176.5
Width, inches
71.071.0
Track, inches
front: 59.6 rear: 60.4
front: 59.6 rear: 60.4
Height, inches
46.7 46.4
Curb weight, pounds
3,2163,279

Mechanical Specifications (2-door hatchback/convertible)

Suspension
front: Independent; unequal length upper and lower A-arms, transverse fiberglass leaf spring, tubular hydraulic shock absorbers, antiroll bar
rear: Independent, upper and lower trailing arms, lateral arms, tie rods, halfshafts, transverse fiberglass leaf springs, tubular hydraulic shock absorbers, antiroll bar

Wheels/Tires
P255/50ZR-16

Brakes
front: anti-lock 11.5-inch disc
rear: anti-lock 11.5-inch disc

Transmission
4-speed automatic
4+3-speed manual (4-speed manual with overdrive in 3rd and 4th gears)

Standard axle ratio
2.59:1 (auto) 3.07:1 (manual)

Engine Specifications

Typeohv V-8ohv V-8
Displacement, liters/cu inch
5.7/350
5.7/350
Bore × Stroke, inches
4.00 x 3.48
4.00 x 3.48
Fuel ManagementTuned Port Injection
Tuned Port Injection
Horsepower @ rpm240 @ 4,300245 @ 4,300
Torque @ rpm, pound-foot340 @ 3,200340 @ 3,200

Published Performance Numbers

Acceleration240 hp, 4-speed automatic
0-60 mph, second
5.6
0-100 mph, second
16.3
1/4-mile, second @ mph
14.3 @ 95

Source: Car and Driver

Vehicle Production and Base Prices

Car Type
Production Price
2-door coupe
15,382
$29,489.00
2-door convertible
7,407
34,820.00

Options and Production

Option Production Price
Power Passenger Seat
18,779
$240.00
Power Driver Seat
22,084
240.00
Sport Seats, leather
12,724
1,025.00
Base Seats, leather
9,043
400.00
Callaway Twin Turbo (not GM installed)
124
25,895.00
Radiator Boost Fan
19,035
75.00
Dual Removable Roof Panels
5,091
915.00
Removable Roof Panel, blue tint
8,332
615.00
Removable Roof Panel, bronze tint
3,337
615.00
Electronic Air Conditioning Control
19,372
150.00
Twin Remote Heated Mirrors (convertible)
6,582
35.00
Illuminated Driver Vanity Mirror
14,249
58.00
Delco-Bilstein Shock Absorbers
18,437
189.00
Performance Axle Ratio, 3.07:1
4,497
22.00
Engine Oil Cooler
18,877
110.00
4-Speed Manual Transmission
4,282
0.00
California Emission Requirements3,882
99.00
Radio Delete
179
-297.00
Stereo System, Delco-Bose
20,304
773.00
Heavy Duty Radiator
19,271
40.00
35th Special Edition Package (coupe)
2,050
4,795.00
Performance Handling Package (coupe)
1,309
1,295.00
Rear Window + Side Mirror Defoggers (coupe)
14,648
165.00

Color Choices and Production

Color Choice
Production Color Choice
Production
Silver Metallic
385
Medium Blue Metallic
1,148
Dark Blue Metallic
1,675
Yellow
578
White
3,620
Black
3,420
Dark Red Metallic
2,878
Bright Red
5,340
Gray Metallic
644
Charcoal Metallic
1,046
White/Black
2,050


Learn about other Corvettes in this generation:

1984 Corvette
1985 Corvette
1986 Corvette
1987 Corvette
1988 Corvette
1989 Corvette
1990 Corvette
1991 Corvette
1992 Corvette
1993 Corvette
1994 Corvette
1995 Corvette
1996 Corvette


Looking for more information on Corvettes and other cars? See:

  • Corvettes: Learn about the history behind each model year and see Corvette photographs.
  • Corvette Specifications: Get key specifications, engine and transmission types, prices, and production totals.
  • Corvette Museum: The National Corvette Museum draws Corvette lovers from all over the world. Learn more about the museum.
  • Corvette Pictures: Find pictures of the hottest classic and current-year Corvettes.
  • Muscle Cars: Get information on more than 100 tough-guy rides.
  • Consumer Guide Corvette Reviews: Considering a Corvette purchase? See what Consumer Guide has to say.

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