The Chevy Corvette started its legendary run in 1953. Over the years it has constantly evolved to lead performance and value, with occasional lows and numerous highs along the way.
The first 1953 models featured solid rear axles and in-line six-cylinder engines, though in 1955, the V-8 became standard. When the second generation "Sting Ray" debuted in 1963, independent rear suspension was added and output was increased to 360 horsepower. A big-block 6.5-liter model was added in 1965, before the famous 427 cubic inch (7.0-liter) engine joined in 1966. The third generation began its run in 1968, running for 13 years until 1982. The new, fender-flared body style was the primary new addition to the line, along with a three-year run for the ZR-1 performance edition, though emissions and fuel regulations conspired to restrict power output and potential of Corvettes throughout the 1970s.
The fourth-generation Corvette was released in 1983 as a 1984 year model, bringing with it a complete redesign of the car aside from the engine. It had a sleek, modern design and digital instruments, and the second ZR-1 performance version. The fifth-gen car, introduced in 1997, saw another major upgrade, with improved build quality, more performance, and better handling the result. The Z06 model was introduced in 2001.
The sixth Corvette generation began in 2005, and brought with it all new bodywork and improved suspension. Power climbed to 400 horsepower for the base Corvette initially. The ZR1 was added back to the lineup in late 2007 as a 2008 year model, producing 638 horsepower from a supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 engine. Corvette Z06 upped the performance ante with extensive use of carbon fiber body panels and components, an aluminum frame, and a 505-horsepower engine.
2012 brought minor changes to the Corvette, like an updated interior, some new technology packages, and a selection of new exterior paint colors. The Corvette's high-performance Z06 and ZR1 models received updated performance packages as well.
For the 2013 model year, a new 427 Convertible Collector Edition was added, pairing a LS7 V-8 engine with a Corvette Convertible chassis and unique 60th Anniversary touches.
The seventh-generation Corvette gets a new "LT1" V-8 engine, newly designed for the sports car. The new engine makes 450 horsepower and 450 pound-feet of torque, with more than 400 pound-feet of torque between 2,000 and 4,000 rpm.A Z51 performance package is available for the 2014 Corvette, adding an electronic limited-slip differential and dry-sump oiling for the engine among other upgrades.