What You See: The National Corvette Museum opened in 1994. Two new colors were added-Admiral Blue and Copper Metallic-with only 116 Copper Metallic Corvettes produced before the color was discontinued. ZR-1s went to a non-directional wheel unique to ZR-1 Corvettes.
What You Don't See: A new sequential fuel-injection system was introduced that injected fuel to only the cylinder that needed it instead of firing an entire bank of cylinders in a batch. The transmission also received electronic upgrades. Instead of relying on a throttle-valve cable to regulate fluid pressures inside the transmission, electronic solenoids were used which gave more control to the operation of the shifting characteristics of the trans. Corvette owners would be required to step on the brake before shifting out of Park.
What You See: Corvette was pacing the Indy 500 again and GM offered a dark purple and white Pace Car to commemorate the occasion.
What You Don't See: This would be the last year for the ZR-1. The dash in '95 Corvettes was improved by providing better mounting of the CD player to prevent skipping. Several Velcro(r) strips were included under the dash assembly to eliminate squeaks and rattles. All '95 Corvettes received the upgraded antilock/traction-control system as well as the larger brakes previously installed only on ZR-1s.
What You See: GM wanted to protect the last year of C4 production numbers so it offered several different editions to help grab customers who might wait until the next year's C5 was offered. Grand Sports and Collector Editions, as well as the other models, were available with the updated LT engine: the LT4. With redesigned heads, camshaft, intake, and roller rockers, this engine was capable of cranking out 330 hp instead of the LT1's 300. The LT4 was only available with a standard transmission, and all Grand Sports came equipped with the LT4.
What You Don't See: Electronic control took on a larger role for the '96 production year. The suspension RPO FX3 was dropped and replaced with F45. The difference between the two suspensions was that FX3 adjusted all four shocks simultaneously, whereas F45 adjusted each shock individually every 10-15 milliseconds, which equates to approximately every foot of road surface at 60 mph. Also, due to the computer's increased role in engine/transmission/suspension management, the number of identification codes to identify a problem increased from 60 to 140. Once again, Corvette regained the top spot in AutoWeek's annual subscriber survey of American cars (July 1, '96) in which readers had the most pride. It pushed Viper into second place.
In a short 12 years, Corvette has progressed from a great-performing sports car, reeling in accolades using only the most basic of electronic computer technology, to a refined canyon carver, producing historic amounts of horsepower and performance using technology that dwarfs its predecessor by light-years. Horsepower was back and it was clear that GM wasn't going to be deterred from installing as much as possible in every Corvette. Of course, it had to be emissions-friendly as well a great performer, which it grew into. The forward thinking that went into the C4 improved the current Corvette, but also laid a foundation, the benefits of which would be reaped well into the next generation.
So the next time a C5 owner tells you how great their car is, just say "You're welcome."