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."
"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."
Newly available for 1994 Corvettes were five-spoke
wheels wearing Goodyear "run-flat" tires.
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.
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).
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
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|
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