“We wrote the book on V8 performance. Wait till you get your hands on the sequel.” 1992 Corvette sales brochure
- The new LT1 replaced the L98 V8 in the base Corvettes, increasing horsepower by 50 over the previous year.
- Traction control was introduced along with the LT1.
- The one millionth Corvette was built in 1992.
The L98 small-block V8 engine had been in use in Corvettes for years, and the new LT1 was a welcome change in terms of power. The engine was named after the LT-1 of the 1970s, but dropped the dash.
The 5.7-litre V8 engine increased horsepower from 250 to 300 due to revised cylinder heads, accessory drives and fuel injection. The engine also was the first Chevy motor to use “reverse flow cooling.” This meant the engine routed coolant directly to the cylinder heads instead of through the engine block, which was aimed at reducing ring friction.
The only other engine option was the one that came in the ZR-1 Coupe. Also a 5.7-litre V8, the engine was rated at 375 horsepower. But this year presented a problem to the ZR-1.
When the famous ZR-1 of 1990 was introduced, it produced 130 more horsepower than the base Corvette engine. But with the introduction of the LT1 in 1992, the difference was much less noticeable. What was extremely noticeable, however, was the price tag. The ZR-1 was priced $31,683 higher than the base coupe model – which many felt was hardly worth only a 75-horsepower bump and the sportier suspension. Only 502 buyers opted for the ZR-1 in 1992.
Other than the new engine under the hood, nearly everything else about the 1992 Corvettes was a carry over from the year before. The twin exhaust outlets were changed to be rectangular, and the ZR-1 received additional emblems on the side fenders.
The fact that one million Corvettes were produced was remarkable for any sports car. The one millionth Corvette was a convertible that aped the original 1953 Corvettes white exterior, red interior color scheme. The car rolled off the line on July 2, 1992.
But even with total sales of one million, the production of the car for 1992 dropped once again. Total production for the model year was 20,479.
1992 Corvette Coupe
Though total production dropped, production of the coupe actually rose by just over 1,000 units for the year to 14,102. The base price for the car was $33,424, which was only $419 more expensive than it had been the year before.
1992 Corvette Convertible
Production of the convertible also rose slightly over the previous year, and 5,875 were built. This represented a rise of 203 units from the previous year. The base price of the car held relatively steady from the previous year at $39,739.
1992 Corvette ZR-1 Coupe
As mentioned before, the performance of the ZR-1 was no longer enough of an asset for many justify paying over $65,000 for the model. The base price for the car this year was $65,107.
Comparison to the 1991 and 1993 Corvette
The engine in the coupe models made all the news in 1992, but it would be the ZR-1’s engine that caught the headlines the following year.
It would seem that by 1993, GM would account for the above complaints that the ZR-1 wasn’t powerful enough by boosting horsepower in the model to 405. Even accounting for the difference between net horsepower ratings and the formerly used gross ratings, this would represent the most powerful Corvette ever made up until that point. Other than that and a new 40th anniversary package, things would remain essentially the same in the Corvette family for 1993.
|ZR1||350ci||Multi-Port Fuel Injection||375 hp @ 5800 rpm||370 lb-ft @ 5600 rpm|
|Base||350ci||Multi-Port Fuel Injection||300 hp @ 5000 rpm||330 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm|
|0 to 60 mph||Quarter Mile||Engine||Source|
|5.0 sec||13.6 sec @ 104.0 mph||350ci/300hp||Car and Driver Dec 91|
|5.7 sec||14.1 sec||350ci/300hp||Estimate|