1992 Chevrolet Corvette ZR-1
8-cyl. 350cid/375hp MPFI
With an experienced team and a lot of data.
By 1992, the C4 Chevrolet Corvette had evolved into a thoroughly modern sports car for the time. With the ZR-1-inspired exterior from 1991 and the updated interior from 1990, the only remaining component was a new engine to replace the adequate but unremarkable L98.
This year brought the LT1 to the Corvette; a second-generation small-block Chevy V-8. It still displaced 350 cid and focused on fuel and air management as well as engine cooling. As a result, the LT1 was 20 percent more powerful, making 300 horsepower and 330 lb-ft of torque. Additionally, the introduction of synthetic oils meant that oil coolers were no longer needed. Finally, a limiter automatically shut fuel off above 5,850 RPM to prevent over revving and the potential for engine damage.
In addition to making a lot more power, this new engine had better fuel economy than the outgoing L98 V8, and met higher emissions standards. This was a cleaner, meaner ‘Vette.
All Corvettes now came with a new Acceleration Slip Regulation system as standard equipment. It used throttle adjustments and braking to help improve traction, but is easily defeat-able with an in-cabin switch.
The cabin of the 1992 Corvette was further improved with revised weather stripping and additional insulation. Buttons on the instrument panel were changed to black in an attempt to make them easier to read. While there was a power delay feature for accessories in previous models, the 1992 version allowed some accessories to run briefly even after the key was removed.
1992 marked the slowest sales year for the C4 Corvette, with 20,479 examples sold. Of that, 502 ‘Vettes were the ZR-1 high-performance model. The millionth Chevy Corvette sold was a 1992 C4.