1994 Corvette

For the 1994 Corvette, revisions to the base LT1 engine included a more powerful ignition for shorter starting times (especially in cold weather), and a new sequential fuel-injection system for better throttle response, idle quality, overall driveability, and lower tailpipe emissions. Matching the engine's refinements was the Corvette's first electronically controlled automatic transmission, offering smoother and more consistent shifting than the previous all-mechanical four-speed. Also, in light of industry concerns regarding so-called "unintended acceleration" episodes, a lockout switch on the new automatic gearbox required a driver to depress and hold the brake pedal before shifting out of "park."

Newly avaliable for the 1994 Corvette were five-spoke wheels wearing Goodyear
Newly available for 1994 Corvettes were five-spoke
wheels wearing Goodyear "run-flat" tires.

So-called "run-flat" or "extended mobility" tires were newly added to the options list for 1994. Designed by Goodyear, these low-profile tires were among the first available on a production car. They featured a special bead construction that could maintain its shape, even with a complete loss of air pressure. The tires were advertised as being able to hold up for a range of at least 50 miles after losing air without a noticeable loss of ride and handling quality. The optional low-tire-pressure warning system was mandatory when buyers ordered the run-flat tires, however, since a driver might not be able to otherwise tell when one of them was "flat."

Also for 1994, spring rates on the RPO FX3 selective ride and handling package were softened a bit to improve ride comfort, and tire pressures on standard models were reduced from 35 psi to 30 psi.

Cosmetic changes for the model year were limited to the addition of two new colors, Admiral Blue and Copper Metallic (though only 116 cars were sold with the latter due to limited availability) and unique non-directional five-spoke wheels included with the ZR-1 package. Inside, a passenger-side airbag and knee bolster were made standard, complying with the second phase of the federal government's "passive restraint" safety requirements. Leather seats were made standard, and were available in base and "sport" versions. Less-restrictive bolsters were now included to accommodate larger passengers and to facilitate entry and exit.

Also new was a redesigned two-spoke steering wheel that, to most reviewers, was a functional step down from the one it replaced (there were no longer spokes at the convenient "10 and 2" positions, for example). A one-touch "express down" driver's side power window was likewise added for '94, and new dashboard instrumentation now changed colors -- from white to tangerine -- at night. Also, the car's air-conditioning system now used an environmentally friendly refrigerant, R-134a, instead of the ozone-layer-unfriendly R-12 Freon. What's more, rear windows on convertibles were now made of glass instead of plastic and came standard with a defogger.

Reeves Callaway would continue massaging Corvettes, and ran a modified Corvette at LeMans in May, 1994 -- the first time in nearly 20 years Chevy had appeared there. While the car qualified for pole position in the GT-2 class, and would lead the pack at the six-hour mark (running 8th overall) -- it would run out of gas an hour later due to a fuel-consumption miscalculation. The Corvette's racing fortunes would be more favorable in July, as a Callaway SuperNatural Corvette driven by Andreas Fuchs and Enrico Bertaggia finished first in GT-2 class and second overall at the four-hour endurance race at Vallelunga, Italy. The same month, a Callaway SuperNatural driven by Boris Said and Halmut Reis would finish first in GT-2 class and third overall at the Spa/Francorchamps four-hour race.

Surprisingly, 1994 Corvette sales rose to 23,330 despite few noteworthy changes and a modest price increase to $36,185. The $31,258 ZR-1 package managed only 448 orders, however. It was subsequently announced that 1995 would be the last model year for the King of the Hill. The package was being continued in order to make use of the several hundred LT5 engines built by Mercury Marine that remained in storage (Mercury had completed production of the LT5 back in November 1993).

On a happier note, after years of planning and fund-raising with support from both Chevrolet and private contributors, the National Corvette Museum would open in Bowling Green, Kentucky, not far from the assembly plant, on September 2, 1994. Four-thousand Corvettes from virtually every state in the union would be on hand for the opening ceremonies, and 118,000 visitors would tour the museum over the course of the three-day festivities; the gift shop alone would ring up $1 million in sales.

Learn about other Corvettes in this generation:

1984 Corvette
1985 Corvette
1986 Corvette
1987 Corvette
1988 Corvette
1989 Corvette
1990 Corvette1991 Corvette1992 Corvette
1993 Corvette1994 Corvette1995 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.