Difference Between C4 vs C5 Corvette: For Better Knowledge!

With a storied heritage and sleek style, the Chevy Corvette is one of the best sports cars in America. That is why today we will talk about the difference between C4 vs C5 corvette. If you have corvette fever just like us, this article will be beneficial.

Before we dive into the difference between C4 vs C5 corvettes, we will look at the history of this iconic sports car. Here we will look at both C4 and C5 models separately, and then we can talk about the difference between these two models.

Top Chevrolet Corvette C4

chevrolet corvette c4
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“The first C4 Corvette was released in 1983. Most sport car users welcomed this transition from the stingray C3 model to the new and improved C4 model.”

The First C4 Corvette

This 1983 model was equipped with an L83 V8 engine and 205 horsepower. This launch was a huge financial success, and Chevrolet changed the design of the C4 considerably.

Compared to early C3 models, this was a giant leap. You can buy a well-maintained C4 corvette for $10,000 in the current market.

1985 to 1986

In this 1985 model, the L83 V8 engine was replaced with a fuel efficiency L98 engine. This was a much-needed change after the controversial L83 V8 engine in the previous model. The L98 engine was capable of 150mph top speed with its 230 horsepower engine.

With antilock brakes, a third brake light, and electronic climate control, the 1985 C4 was much better than the 1985 model. And this model came with the Pass Key feature, and it was an anti-theft system for car doors.

1987 to 1989

The 1987 C4 model gained a roller-hydraulic lifter for its engine. Because of this upgrade, the engine’s horsepower was increased to 240.

“Also, Chevrolet released the twin-turbo engine conversion, and customers were able to buy this supercharger separately.”

This model was capable of reaching a top speed of 254mph. In 1987, a total of 30632 C4 models were sold.

In 1988, Chevrolet celebrated the 35th Anniversary of the Corvette. So, they released the Triple White Corvette.

This model was all white, including its interior and wheels, and one of the most admiring features was the removable blacktop engine.

1990 to 1993

In 1990, Chevrolet introduced the C4 ZR1 corvette model. In the first year, they were able to sell over 3000 ZR1 models; at that time, this model cost around $58,995. Compared to previous models, land speed was improved considerably on this model.

“The 1992 Corvette Chevrolet model came with various changes and new features. The LT1 V8 replaced the L98 engine. This new LT1 V8 engine was capable of delivering up to 300 horsepower.”

In 1993, with the help of Lotus, Chevrolet improved the C4’s valvetrain, aluminum cylinder head, and exhaust system. So, this 1993 model was capable of more horsepower and torque.

1994 to 1996

Even though the 1994 model did not have many changes, the 1995 Corvette model came with a 2nd generation Optispark ignition system and much-needed exterior improvements.

In 1996, Chevrolet released its last C4 corvette model. With a new LT4 engine and real-time damping system, this was considered one of the best C4 models of that time.

Also, Chevrolet debuted the OBD2 diagnostic system with this model, one of the most incredible features of the 1996 C4 model.

SEE MORE: C4 Corvette Years To Avoid

Why Should I Buy a C4 Corvette?

If you are looking for a 1990s sports car for a $10,000 or less budget, C4 Corvette is the best option for you. After all, this is one of the best sports cars of the 1990s.

So, for some people, it has more sentimental value. On the other hand, these C4 models were designed to last long. Therefore, it is an excellent pick even for 2022.

Top Chevrolet Corvette C5

chevrolet corvette c5
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The fifth generation of Chevrolet Corvettes was manufactured between 1997 and 2004. During this time, Chevrolet released much more advanced models than previous generations.

Here are our top picks. Before discussing the difference between C4 vs C5 corvette, you need to know each of these models better.


Chevrolet debuted this C5 Corvette series with a brand new 5.7-liter GM V8 engine. This model was capable of 345 horsepower.

Also, transmission improved significantly, which gave the C5 model better handling and weight distribution. Furthermore, Chevrolet redesigned the chassis completely.

Instead of the multi-piece welded frame, they use a one-piece hydroformed chassis. When we talk about fuel economy, these 1997 models came with 25 mpg for highway and 18 mpg for city.


2001 was a significant year for C5 Corvette. Chevy introduced the high-performance Z06 Corvette model. This was a successor to the ZR-01 model, and the Z06 came with an LS1 engine.

This tuned LS1 engine had 285 horsepower. Even though this is less horsepower compared to the Z-01 engine, because of the lightweight, Z06 was able to outperform the older version without any effort.

Also, Z06 Corvette was equipped with a six-speed manual transmission, upgraded FES suspension, different gear ratios, brake cooling ducts, large tires, and wheels.

SEE MORE: C5 Corvette Transmission Rebuild Cost


In 2004, Chevy released the Z16 Corvette. This was a special edition of the previous Z06 model, and this model used aluminum wheels, carbon fiber hoods, and special edition badges. With tuned shocks, Chevy improved the handling of the Z16 model remarkably.

Why Should I Buy a C5 Corvette?

You can buy C5 Corvette for around $15,000. For an excellent sports car, this price is very reasonable. Also, these C5 models have a higher-performance level than the previous generations.

These models are designed to go faster, and the interior design is attractive. We will discuss this matter with details in the difference between the C4 vs C5 corvette section.

Also, these C5 Corvette models are more comfortable than the C4 models and are light-weighted. So, for $15,000, this is one of the best sports cars that you can find in the market. It might be a good opportunity for some people to make their childhood fantasies come true.


Special and Limited Edition – C5 Corvettes

Before deliberating the difference between C4 and C5 corvettes, we need to discuss special and limited edition C5 sports cars.

Indianapolis 500 Pace Car

The 1998 Corvette C5 Convertible inspired the Indianapolis 500 Pace Car. This replica was very similar to the original car. Apart from some exterior changes, there was no functional difference between the replica and the original.

The Pace car came with yellow painted wheels, special-paint colors, and decals.

“It also had the Bose sound system. This sound system was a luxury entertainment feature that many cars did not have at that time.”

Also, dual-zone climate control and leather upholstery make this Pace car special.

50th Anniversary Edition

In 2003, Chevy launched the C5 Special Edition to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Corvette. This Anniversary Corvette C5 comes in one color; Anniversary Red Metallic. It also has features such as; magnetic ride control, unique badging, and painted aluminum wheels.


Corvette C5 was used for racing extensively during its time. In 2001, Pratt & Miller built the C5-R for GM Racing. This model had a wider track, longer wheelbase, and a supreme 7L V8 engine.

Corvette C5-R model had a successful and long run on the racing track. This model won eight races out of its first-ever ten races during its first year. These wins include the 24 Hours of Daytona and the GTS class at Le Mans.

SEE MORE: Are C5 Corvettes Reliable

Difference Between C4 vs C5 Corvette

We hope that now you have a better idea about the C4 and C5 models. So, if you are planning to buy a corvette sports car, you can make your decision easier.

This section will talk about the difference between C4 vs C5 corvette. So, let us get started.


When we talk about the design, we have to give 1st place to the C5 Corvette. Even though the C4 Corvette has one of the best designs in the corvette series, the C4’s exterior design is very close to a square shape. On the other hand, Chevy designed C5 with a more rounded shape.

“Because of this round shape, C5 Corvette is aerodynamically superior to the C4 Corvette. Simply, it is like a bullet, and therefore, more speed to the C5 Corvette.”

For instance, even the mirrors are round on the C5 Corvette.

And when it comes to space, C5 has more hood space than C4. Also, the exhaust pipes are designed differently. Chevy designed the C5 with double exhaust pipes located at the center, and on the C4 model, exhaust pipes are far away.

RELATED: Aluminized vs stainless exhausts

Fuel Tank Location

Most modern sports cars are curated with a fuel tank located on one side of the vehicle. Right?

It is either left or right. In the C5 Corvette, there is no difference, and the fuel tank is located on the left side.

But, when it comes to the C4 Corvette, the fuel tank is located just behind the hood, and it is centered. This is one of the unique differences between C4 vs C5 corvette.

Because of the location of the fuel tank, you do not have to worry about the sides when you fill up gas to the C4 Corvette.


The C5 Corvette is lighter than the C4 Corvette when it comes to weight. Because of this, C5 models are much faster compared to C4 models. In C5 models, most of the parts are made with carbon fiber. So, it is lighter compared to the C4 Corvette.


Even though some C4 models have up to 300 horsepower, they match C5’s 5.7L GM V8 engine. As mentioned earlier, this 5.7L GM V8 engine can deliver up to 345 horsepower.

Also, the C5 Z06 model is one of the most powerful corvettes out there, and its LS6 engine is capable of delivering up to 405 horsepower.


Because of the aerodynamic design and lightweight, the C5 Corvette is much faster than the C4 Corvette. Also, most C5 models have superior engines compared to C4 models. So, more horsepower equals more speed. But, this does not mean the C4 corvettes are slow.


If you plan to buy a C5 corvette, it will cost you around $15000. On the other hand, the C4 Corvette costs around $10,000 or less. Both of these prices are very reasonable compared to design and performance.

Because the C5 model is more advanced than the C4 model, you can forget about the price difference. Also, you cannot put a price tag on this iconic C4 and C5 sports cars.

C4 or C5?

Picking one model from these two iconic cars is no easy task. Also, these are two different generations. So, there is no doubt C5 has the advantage, and you can understand from the difference between C4 vs C5 corvette section.

But, what is the better model? C4 or C5?

It depends on your requirements and budget. If you are looking for an under $10,000 purchase, the C4 Corvette is the best choice for you. It has unique features and good performance. Also, these C4 models are iconic and will be an excellent addition to your car collection.

On the other hand, if you are willing to spend around $15,000, you should go for the C5 Corvette. Without a doubt, C5 models are superior to C4 models, and finding replacement parts will not be difficult at all.

Also, when we compare speed, engine power, and design, the C5 Corvette is the clear winner, and it is more advanced in every department. So, if you have the budget, you should go for the C5 Corvette.

Wrap Up: C4 vs C5 Corvette

We hope you can better understand the difference between C4 vs C5 corvette with this article. As we have mentioned many times, both C4 and C5 are iconic and unique.

For some people, driving a C4 or C5 corvette can be a dream come true; hence go for it.

But, remember to go through the differences and features that we covered in this article; it will help you nicely when choosing between C4 and C5.

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