1985 Chevrolet Corvette
8-cyl. 5.7L 350cid/230hp TPI
With an experienced team and a lot of data.
1985 marked the sophomore year of the C4 Chevrolet Corvette. GM addressed valid criticisms associated with the 1984 model, and in the process created a more complete ‘Vette.
The biggest improvement over the ’84 was the introduction L98 engine. Replacing the relatively anemic Chevy L83 engine, it continued with a 350 cubic inch displacement but added Bosch tuned-port fuel injection (TPI), bringing output up to 230 hp (up from 205). Torque was increased to 330 lb-ft (up from 290). This engine was also more efficient than the L83. The ’85 continued with the Doug Nash 4+3 manual transmission, with overdrive gears on the top three gears. For ’85, an override button was added to the top of the shifter.
At the time of its introduction, Car and Driver tested the 1985 Corvette and found a 0-60 time of 5.7 seconds and a quarter-mile time of 14.1 seconds at 97 mph. In response to comments about the harsh ride, GM engineers reduced the spring rates by about a quarter in the front and rear. Additionally, some of the endemic squeaks and rattles of the 1984 model were ironed out for ’85 Corvette.
Chevy offered the ’85 Corvette with the Z51 Performance Handling Package. It includes Delco-Bilstein gas shock-absorbers, thicker stabilizer bars, a heavy-duty cooling-system, and 9.5-inch-wide wheels all around. The new engine, softened ride, and eliminated squeaks all went toward a more refined Chevrolet Corvette in 1985.
While walking around the 1985 Corvette, the addition “Tuned-Port Injection” badges found on the sides of the car are meant to bring attention to the new engine. Inside, the main change was the digital instrument cluster. Its overall style was carried over from the 1984 model, but was revised to be more legible.
Chevrolet sold 39,729 Corvettes in the 1985 model year. 14,802 were optioned with the Z51 Performance Handling package, and they are worth keeping an eye out for.