From GM press: The 1980s -- Anticipation
Sales of Corvette remained strong in the early '80s. It was clearly now a part of the American fabric, attracting buyers with its rich heritage and dramatic styling.
There were no 1983 Corvettes produced for public sale, but 43 pilot models of the new-generation Corvette were built in 1983 for testing purposes. Today, one of those 1983 pilots is on display at the Corvette Assembly Plant in Bowling Green, Kentucky. The rest were scrapped.
Chevrolet introduced the first all-new Corvette since 1968. It featured an all-new body design, a double-wishbone front suspension and five-link independent rear suspension teamed with Goodyear Gatorback unidirectional tires. Inside, the cockpit surrounded the driver and featured advanced electronic instrumentation.
The introduction of the 1984 Corvette was one of the most eagerly awaited vehicle announcements in recent history. It was named Motor Trend's "Car of The Year."
For 1986, the Corvette Convertible was back! To celebrate the convertible's return, Corvette again paced the Indy 500 and all convertibles were designated Pace Car replicas. The evolution of Corvette as a world-class performance car also continued with the addition of new standard 4-wheel ABS, an increase in maximum horsepower to 230 from its 5.7 Liter V8 and continued suspension fine-tuning. The PASS-Key¨ theft-deterrent system was also added as standard equipment on all models.
Corvette handling made great strides in 1989 with the Performance Handling Package becoming standard equipment, along with new 17-inch wheels and tires. The Selective Ride Control adjustable suspension system was also introduced -- allowing drivers to choose between three different operating modes: "Touring," "Sport" and "Performance." A new 6-speed manual transmission was also offered, giving drivers added ability to maximize the Corvette power range.