A year ago, I decided to buy one. A 1995 Corvette with a ZF6 manual gearbox. I never really cared, nor knew about its reputation. All I saw was a car that had pretty good specs on paper, that was apparently realiable and pretty cheap. Quickly, I noticed, mostly here, that lots of people don't seem to like the C4, but I have yet to understand what is there point and why that is. I will try to go over this and mostly due an honest list of how this car is and how it evolved.
1 - Performances.
The number one reason I read for hating the C4, is its performance. How fast it goes. Accelerate. The slowest Corvette C4, from 1984, would do 0 to 60 in 7.1s (road and track stats, not GM). The fastest, non-ZR1, one would do it in 4.8s (1996 with the LT4 engine.)... So sure the 1984 version is not exactly fast, but let's go back in time a little and compare with other cars from the same era.
Number one, Ferrari 288 GTO, number two Porsche 911 Carrera, number three.... Corvette. Yup the Corvette is the third fastest car in the world produced in 1984 (0 to 60 time). So is it slow compared to todays standard? Well, it's not fast, Slow? No! It's faster in every way compared to a soooo loved miata, it's faster than most "sporty" hatchbacks that people drool onto and it's got an engine that can be modified easily to over "ALOT"hp for a very small amount of money. That and torque, which make the 1984 Corvette a loved car among auto-crosser.
Now let's go over the next generations. In 85 the L98 arrived and got a 0 to 60 time of 6.6s, for a 1/4 miles of about 15s... Stock, it could handle 0.88g of lateral force. As much as 2009 SL63 AMG.
Then the l98 engine evolved, with 0 to 60 times dropping to 6.2s in 89, and 5.6s in 1991. Lateral G's now at 0.9 or as much as a Testarossa. Finally the LT1 and LT4 engine got there, kicking butts everywhere in its time (bye bye 300Zx twin-turbo!! Note: the 91' less powerful L98 was already faster in every way: Here), with respective 0 to 60 times of 5.1s and 4.8s, all the way to 16Xmph, limited by gearing on the manual. Note that I'm not talking about HP figures here, JUST about performances.
2 - Interior design.
American cars. Absolute rubbish, like Jeremy Clarkson would say... Well, not so much. Sure you might be desappointed if you comapre it to a 2014 Audi S6, but C4 interior, depending on the model, go all the way from "lol WTF is that, awesome!!" to "hum... ok, could have been worse". The 1984 Corvette dashboard is in everyone's memory. The NYC Christmas tree has NOTHING on it!! It screams "future!" like nothing else and has its charms... Typical 80's dash and I have to say I love it. Just wish it had been a bit more reliable. Then it got a bit duller and normal in later years. Its got a whole bunch of options and hidden tricks (Hey, do you know the code to have your speed shown live on the AC controller's LCD??), but overall it's a bit banal. Seats are pretty confortable with enough customization to make you feel just right. The rest is made out of plastic like everything in this time. Oh yeah and it's got a huge trunk too!! (I slept in mine and I'm 6'1 lol)
3 - Exterior Design.
Personnal opinion here, but ask ANYONE to draw a Corvette and see which one they will be drawing.
So yes, I'm most likely on a lost cause here, but I have a hard time understanding why people bring down a realiable, two seater, manual, RWD sports car, capable of 0 to 60 in 5s and 0.9g lateral, all that for less than 10k$. My guess is that most people have never put a foot in it, let alone driven one. Go check one out, try one. Unless you find it just waaaaay too ugly for you, which I can understand (everyone has different tastes), go and give one a try. If you are in Montreal's area, contact me and I will gladly make you discover mine and even try it out if you seem nice :) (as soon as I change my clutch and release bearing... lol)
Thanks for reading me trying to convince you!