1996 Chevrolet Corvette
8-cyl. 350cid/300hp FI
With an experienced team and a lot of data.
1996 marked the final year of the C4 Chevrolet Corvette as well as the introduction of a new engine called the LT4. It was available only with the 6-speed manual transmission and made 330 horsepower and 340 lb-ft of torque. The LT1 was still the base engine, which had 300 horsepower and 335 lb-ft of torque on tap.
With the ZR-1 gone, Chevy filled the upmarket gap with the Corvette Grand Sport and Corvette Collector Edition. The Grand Sport can easily be distinguished by its Admiral Blue paint job with a large white stripe down the middle and red “hash marks” at the front fender. This car was fitted with the LT4 and so was only available as a 6-speed. These cars also featured unique two-piece black five-spoke wheels. The 1996 Grand Sport Corvette was available in both coupe and convertible form.
Chevy also offered a Collector Edition of the last year of the C3 Corvette, and continued that tradition with the C4. The 1996 Collector Edition is distinguished by its exclusive Sebring Silver paint, silver five-spoke wheels, and “Special Edition” badging. It came with the LT1 and automatic transmission, though the LT4 and manual were optional.
The Z51 performance package was tuned more aggressively for autocross events, making it a true “driver’s” option. This was also the first year for ODB II diagnostics across the lineup, which will pay dividends for troubleshooting Corvette owners out there.
Another unique feature to the 1996 Corvette was the “Real Time Damping” system. As the name suggests, this system measured the wheel travel at all four corners, and electronically adjusted the suspension for each wheel individually – all in real time.
Sales for the 1996 Corvette were up from the year prior to 21,536, which was pretty good considering the C4’s long production run and the anticipation for the upcoming C5 generation. The Collector Edition represented 5,412 of those sales, but the true collector car from this year is the Grand Sport, with only 1,000 built.