Uncovering the 1988 Corvette Specifications, Features, And Performance

Unveiling the Powerhouse: 1988 Corvette Specifications, Features, and Performance. Buckle up as we ride back in time!

Today on Vette Vues’ blog we are looking at the C4 1988 Corvette Specifications. The C4s were one of the most loved generations of America’s sports cars. 1988 was now the fifth year of production of the C4s. 1988 was loved because of its sleek design, its power, and performance. It’s no wonder why so many people still remain smitten with the 1988 model year. Whether you’re a long-time fan or new to the Corvette family, understanding the 1988 Corvette Specifications can help you get a better sense of what this vehicle is all about and can help in your choice as to possibly purchasing one. We will look at the Corvette’s Specifications, features, performance, and values of the 1988 Vette. So get revved up, and let’s take a deep dive into what makes the 1988 Corvette a classic car worth knowing about and owning.

1988 Corvette Side Shot - Photo Credit GM
1988 Corvette Side Shot – Photo Credit GM
1988 Corvette Overhead View of Interior - Photo Credit GM
1988 Corvette Overhead View of Interior – Photo Credit GM
1988 Corvette Front - Photo Credit GM
1988 Corvette Front – Photo Credit GM


The following are a few pieces of interesting details and trivia about the 1988 Corvette model:

  • As we look at the C4 1988 Corvette specifications, we learn that there was a total of 22,789 Corvettes produced: 15,382 were coupes, and 7,407 were convertibles.
  • For Corvette’s 35th birthday, Chevrolet celebrated with the limited-edition 1988 Vette. Only 2,050 of these cars were produced, and only 180 of them were equipped with manual transmission. These anniversary vehicles had a classic white paint job, custom wheels, a luxe leather interior, and unique badges.
  • In 1988, 56 street-legal but race-prepared Corvettes were made for the SCCA Corvette Challenge Series, and 124 models received the Callaway twin-turbo upgrade.
  • The C4 was built from 1983-1996 and was constructed with a galvanized steel chassis, bulkhead, floor, and a fiberglass body.
  • The 1988 C4 Chevrolet Corvette was designed with rear-wheel drive/
  • From 1985 to 1991, the Corvette was powered by the L98, a 5.7 liter V8 engine equipped with a tuned port injection system. It superseded the 5.0-liter engine of the prior year and was a substantial advancement, generating 230 horsepower and 330 lb-ft of torque. The L98 saw its last use in 1991 before being discontinued.
  • The base 1988 Corvette engine was a 5.7L V8 with Tuned Port Injection, generating 240 HP at 4,300 RPM and 340 lb-ft of torque at 3,200 RPM. This was paired with a 4-speed automatic transmission and a 3.07:1 axle ratio. Overall, the vehicle weighed in at 3,229 lbs.
  • The base 1988 Chevrolet Corvette had a 5.7 liter, 350-ci V8 engine with 240 horsepower, but the Callaway twin-turbo option could increase the horsepower to about 380.
  • Car and Driver magazine reported that a 1988 Chevy Corvette, which was outfitted with a 4-speed automatic and the optional 3.07:1 axle ratio, had a 0-60 mph time of 5.6 seconds and was able to run the quarter-mile in 14.3 seconds, reaching a maximum speed of 95 mph. Popular opinion suggests that the stock quarter-mile time for the 1986-1989 Corvette models is generally in the low 14s.
  • The Callaway Corvette C4 has a remarkable maximum velocity of 191 mph, enabled by the upgrade of the L98 engine’s internal components as well as the addition of two turbochargers, significantly boosting its horsepower and torque.

What was the fastest C4 Corvette?

In 1988, the Callaway team achieved the remarkable feat of pushing the C4 Corvette platform to its utmost limits with their ‘Project Sledgehammer,’ leading to the record-breaking speed of 254.76 mph. The legacy of this astonishing speed set by the Callaway Sledgehammer endured well past the start of the new millennium.

Check out the beautiful Corvette bags and coolers designed with the Enthusiast in mind. Featuring your favorite Vette's logo of various years. C1, C2, C3, C4, C5, C6, C7, and C8.

Was there a ZR-1 in 1988?

In 1988, a prototype of the Chevrolet Corvette ZR-1 was released. This particular C4 Corvette was one of two made that year prior to its series production, which started in 1990. The ZR-1 model served as GMs premier sports car during the start of the 90s.

Currently, the Lingenfelter Collection in Brighton, Michigan, houses the 1988 ZR-1 prototype.

New features for the 1988 Corvette

  • New two piston front brake calipers and thicker rotors
  • Suspension refinements include zero-scrub front suspension on reduced rear camber.
  • New parking brake system with parking brake handle moved down and rearward, away from the entry area.
  • The body vent pressure relief system increases heating/ventilation/air conditioning flow through the vehicle (Coupe only).
  • Three new colors – Dark Blue Metallic, Charcoal Metallic, and Gray Metallic.
  • New heavy-duty brake system with RPO Z51.
  • New standard 16″ x 8″ cast aluminum wheels with P255/50ZR-16 Eagle Blackwall tires.
  • New 17″ x 9″ cast aluminum wheels and P275/40ZR-17 Eagle tires are optional (included with RPO Z51 and Z52).

Below are the 1988 Corvette Specifications Charts:

For the 1988 Corvette model year, a total of 2,050 units of the 35th Anniversary Edition were manufactured in the coupe body style only.

1YY07Base Corvette Sport Coupe15,38229,489
1YY67Base Corvette Convertible7,40734,820
AR9Base Seats – Leather9,043400
AQ9Sport Seats – Leather12,7241,025
AC3Power Driver Seat22,084240
AC1Power Passenger Seat18,779240
B2KCallaway Twin-Turbo12425,895
B4PRadiator Boost Fan19,03575
C2LDual Removable Roof Panels (coupe)5,091915
24SRemovable Roof Panel, blue tint (coupe)8,332615
64SRemovable Roof Panel, bronze tint (coupe)3,337615
C68Air Conditioning, Electronic Control19,372150
DL8Twin Remote Heated Mirrors (convertible)6,58235
D74Illuminated Driver Vanity Mirror14,24958
FG3Delco-Bilstein Shock Absorbers18,437189
G92Performance Axle Ratio4,49722
KC4Engine Oil Cooler18,877110
MM44-Speed Manual Transmission4,2820
NN5California Emission Requirements3,38299
UL5Radio Delete179-297
UU8Stereo System, Delco-Bose20,304773
VO1Heavy Duty Radiator19,27140
ZO135th Special Edition Package (coupe only)2,0504,795
Z51Performance Handling Package (coupe)1,3091,295
Z52Sport Handling Package16,017970
Z6ARear Window/Side Mirror Defogger (coupe)14,648165

1988 Corvette Exterior Color Options and Codes

13Silver Metallic385
20Medium Blue Metallic1,148
28Dark Blue Metallic1,675
74Dark Red Metallic2,878
81Bright Red5,340
90Gray Metallic644
96Charcoal Metallic1,046

In 1988, five special Corvette models were manufactured in Dark Orange and designated as pilot vehicles. These cars were not listed in the above chart.

1988 Corvette Interior Color Options

113White Leather
19CBlack Cloth
192Black Leather
212Blue Leather
60CSaddle Cloth
602Saddle Leather
732Red Leather
902Gray Leather

1988 Corvette Overview

The Chevrolet Corvette has captured the hearts of enthusiasts for decades. With a rich history of performance and innovation, the Corvette represents the epitome of the American sports car. In 1988, Chevrolet unveiled a true powerhouse that left an indelible mark on automotive history, now in the fifth model year in the C4 generation. Let’s look at an overview of the 1988 Corvette and embark on an electrifying ride through time.

Weighing in at 3,279 lbs., the 1988 Chevrolet Corvette convertible was a lighter model than its coupe counterpart, which had a curb weight of 3,330 lbs, which includes the vehicle’s standard components, as well as oil, lubricants, coolant, and a full tank of fuel.

  • Horsepower: 240 HP at 4,300 RPM
  • Torque: 340 lb-ft at 3,200 RPM
  • Fuel delivery: Tuned-port fuel injection
  • Suspension: Modified to improve car control under hard braking
  • Height: 46.7 inches for the coupe, 46.4 inches for the convertible
  • 1988 Corvette Transmission: Available with a Doug Nash “4+3” transmission, which is a 4-speed manual with automatic overdrive on the top three gears

Design and Exterior

The 1988 Corvette’s design exuded pure charisma. Its iconic body styling showcased a blend of curves and sharp lines that drew attention wherever it went. But aesthetics were not the only consideration; the engineers placed a significant emphasis on aerodynamics, resulting in a sleek and functional exterior that enhanced performance. Available in a range of eye-catching color options (see chart above), the Corvette’s presence on the road was undeniable.

Below is a C4 1988 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible that sold at the Mecum Kissimmee auction (2023) for $12,100. The odometer read 51,383 miles. According to the Hagerty valuation, the current price ranges (in 2023) from the low $30,000s to $4,600 for the convertible with the 8-cyl. 350cid/245hp FI. So as you can see, they can be purchased at a very reasonable price right now.

1988 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible - Photo Credit Mecum
1988 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible – Photo Credit Mecum

Many Corvette enthusiasts wanted to add their own personalized touch to their cars during the C4 generation, making customization an incredibly popular choice. By exploring the evolution of C4 Corvette body kits from 1984 to 1996, one can learn the secrets of customizing these classic cars with aftermarket enhancements and accessories, adding both style and performance. You can take a look at some of the most popular C4 Corvette Body Kits in this blog post.

For anyone looking to buy a pre-owned Corvette, it is highly beneficial to be knowledgeable about the original specifications of the car so as to be able to tell if the car has been customized.

1988 Corvette Engine and Performance

1988 Chevrolet Corvette L98 350 245 HP V-8 Engine - Photo Credit Mecum
1988 Chevrolet Corvette L98 350 245 HP V-8 Engine – Photo Credit Mecum

Under the hood, the 1988 Corvette boasted an impressive powertrain. The heart of the beast was a powerful V8 engine, producing jaw-dropping horsepower and torque figures. Any Corvette enthusiast driving a 1988 Corvette could feel an invigorating thrill when listening to the sound of the engine, and especially the alluring sound of the exhaust. Whether cruising on the highway or pushing the limits on the track, the 1988 Corvette delivered an electrifying performance.

The 1988 Chevrolet Corvette C4 Coupe, was powered by an L98 OHV Turbo-Charged 350 V-8 engine with electronic port fuel injection and a displacement of 349.8 cubic inches, which was advertised as 245 horsepower output. This L98 engine is an alteration of the 6.0L L76, itself a variant of the 6.0L LS2. Models equipped with a 3.07:1 rear axle experienced a 5-horsepower boost due to the more efficient mufflers.

1988 Corvette Chassis and Suspension

To complement its power, the Corvette featured a rigid and robust chassis construction. This provided the foundation for an exceptional driving experience. Equipped with an independent suspension system, the Corvette offered precise handling and agility, giving drivers an unparalleled sense of control on the road.

The 1988 Corvette features a unique chassis and suspension configuration. Shock absorbers are mounted on reinforced lower control arms while a fiberglass transverse leaf spring and aluminum A-arm system, front and rear, support the vehicle. In addition, a unitized, welded steel frame is employed, with the drivetrain components mounted on a cradle.

It was a machine that encouraged spirited driving and left a lasting grin on anyone lucky enough to take the wheel.

Interior and Comfort on the 88 Corvette

1988 C4 Corvette Convertible Interior - Photo Credit Mecum
1988 C4 Corvette Convertible Interior – Photo Credit Mecum

Stepping inside the 1988 Corvette, drivers were greeted by a driver-focused cockpit design. The interior reflected a blend of luxury and sportiness, with high-quality materials and impeccable craftsmanship. Despite its performance-oriented nature, the Corvette did not compromise on comfort. The cabin was well-appointed, equipped with amenities and technology that were cutting-edge for its time.

Safety and Innovations

Safety was not overlooked in the 1988 Corvette. The model featured various safety advancements that added an extra layer of protection for drivers and passengers. As a symbol of automotive innovation, the Corvette played a vital role in pushing the boundaries of technology and performance, leaving a lasting impact on the industry.

1988 Special Edition Corvette

In 1988, Corvette saw the release of the 1988 Chevrolet Corvette 35th Anniversary Edition, a limited-edition Corvette that was only available in 1988. Commemorative editions celebrated milestones in Corvette’s history. These special editions have become sought-after treasures for enthusiasts and collectors alike.

Below is a 1988 Chevrolet Corvette 35th Anniversary Corvette that bid $32,000 but did not sell at the Mecum Indy 2023 auction. It has only 831 Miles since purchased new.

1988 Chevrolet Corvette 35th Anniversary Corvette - Photo Credit Mecum
1988 Chevrolet Corvette 35th Anniversary Corvette – Photo Credit Mecum

Purchasing a used 1988 Corvette

When shopping for a pre-owned Corvette, you may be presented with documentation of its maintenance history to gain an insight into how the vehicle has been maintained (or not). Make sure to carefully look this over. It can save you money in the end.

Once you have bought your new car, if you have a problem with your 1988 Corvette, check out the recalls. You can check your Chevrolet Corvette for safety recalls and get them fixed for free at a Chevrolet dealership.

Here are some recalls for the 1988 Chevrolet Corvette:

  • Rear wheel tie rod assembly: The assembly may fatigue and fracture at the inboard bearing
  • Oil filter: The oil filter may leak, potentially leading to a fire
  • Fuel filter connector: The connector on the fuel filter may not have been manufactured to Honeywell’s specifications.
  • Fuel filters: Aftermarket fuel filters may leak
  • Seat belts: The safety belts may be affected under certain vehicle operations and occupant usage conditions

Community and Enthusiast Culture

Owning a Corvette is more than just driving a car; it’s joining a vibrant community of like-minded enthusiasts, often referred to as a Corvette family. Corvette clubs and gatherings bring together people who share a passion for these legendary vehicles. The camaraderie and shared experiences foster a deep bond among Corvette owners, creating a sense of belonging that goes beyond the joy of driving. Vette Vues Magazine has an extensive only listing of Corvette events throughout the year on our website. Check Vette Vues’ Corvette Events near you.

Joining the Corvette family is easy! There are Corvette clubs all over the world, and Vette Vues’ directory will help you find one close to you. Whether you want to go on cruises, attend meetings, or join events, there is always something for Corvette enthusiasts to enjoy. Don’t miss out on the close-knit camaraderie that awaits. Check out Vette Vues’ Corvette Club Directory and Join the Corvette hobby today!

Repairs, Restorations, and Customizations

Once purchased a new/used Corvette, some owners choose to restore their classic Corvettes to their former glory, painstakingly preserving the car’s originality. Others embrace restomods, modernizing the vehicle with contemporary technology and personal touches, creating one-of-a-kind masterpieces that pay homage to the classic design.

If you are looking for a restoration shop, check Vette Vues’ listing of custom and restoration shops as well as places to get your Corvette worked on. These companies come from readers’ suggestions and showboards from events. Where to get your Corvette Fixed: Corvette Custom and Restoration Shops List If you know of one that isn’t on the list, let us know so we can add them.

Owning a Piece of History

1988 Chevrolet Corvette © General Motors
1988 Chevrolet Corvette © General Motors

A vintage car like a 1988 Corvette is a timeless piece that will take car lovers on an incredible journey to the past. With the thrills and reminiscences it provides, it’s an incomparable experience. If you’re considering buying a 1988 Corvette or any other year from the C4 series (1984-1996), then you are in for a treat! Also, don’t forget to visit Vette Vues Magazines’ Corvette For Sale Classified Ads, the perfect marketplace for buyers and sellers to connect.


The 1988 Corvette stands as a testament to automotive excellence, representing a golden era in sports car history. Its captivating design, exhilarating performance, and lasting impact on the automotive world make it a powerhouse that continues to ignite passion in the hearts of enthusiasts. Right now, the C4s can be picked up for a very reasonable price and give you years of enjoyment. Buckle up and experience an electrifying ride through time with the 1988 Corvette.

Here are some other articles you may also enjoy:

Dave McLellan, succeeding Zora Arkus-Duntov, was the Chief Engineer behind the transformative C4 Corvette, shaping its evolution from 1984 to 1996. Explore McLellan’s visionary engineering journey and the evolution of this iconic sports car in our in-depth article. Dave McLellan History

Vette Vues Magazine’s C4 overview offers a look at the evolution of the C4 Corvette generation from 1984-1996, highlighting all the key modifications that happened in each model year.

From the 50s to the 90s: the Design History of Corvette Engineering

10 of the Most Desirable Performance Corvettes Ever Made

Want to build a C4 Project Car?

Corvette Powertrain History 50-Years of Development (1953 – 2003)

While you are here, check out Vette Vues great selection of Corvette T-shirtsCorvette Hats / Caps for Sale, and assorted Corvette Totes, Coolers, and Bags for Sale, all offering Free United States Shipping.

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