The Chevrolet Corvette is an unbeatable sports car when it comes to value. Older iterations still pack a punch, and owning one won’t break the bank, but there are performance differences between various generations. A new video from TFLclassics shows the difference a decade made with the Corvette, pitting a 1988 C4 against a 1999 C5.

The C4 packs a 5.7-liter V8 under the hood. It produces 245 horsepower (182 kilowatts) and 340 pound-feet (460 Newton-meters) of torque. The C5 makes a lot more horsepower, pumping out 345 (257 kilowatts) from its 5.7-liter LS1. However, the engine’s torque rating is similar to the C4’s– 350 lb-ft (474 Nm). Another difference between the two cars was their gearboxes, with the C5 pairing its engine with an automatic while the C4 has a four-speed manual. 

The C5’s extra power is instantly noticeable. It blasted off the starting line, getting a sizable lead over the C4, which struggled for traction. The C4 could not close the gap and lost by quite a lot, crossing the quarter-mile finish line in 16.89 seconds at 89 miles per hour (143 kilometers per hour). The C5 finished first with a 15.24-second time at 99.2 mph (159.6 kph).

The rolling race started well for the C4, which might have jumped the start, but the more potent C5 reclaimed the first position before crossing the finish line. The C4 wasn’t that far behind it. The final braking test ended with a big surprise, even though both cars had anti-lock braking systems. The older Chevy stopped at 109 feet from 60 mph (96 kph), beating the C5. The 1999 Corvette needed 122 feet to stop, but the C4 recently completed a thorough brake service that included new pads and fresh fluid, likely giving it an advantage.

The Corvette has come a long way since the C4 and C5 generations. The C8 flipped the script for the icon, finally making it a mid-engine sports car that somehow remains a performance bargain. Each Corvette generation has improved on the previous one, and this battle demonstrates just how much can change in as little as a decade. 

Got a tip for us? Email: tips@motor1.com