1992 Sting Ray III Concept
The 1992 Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray III concept (known internally as the “California Corvette”) made its debut at the 1992 Detroit Auto Show. It was a totally original design using new architecture and hi-tech materials. One of these was carbon fiber, which gave the vehicle strength and flexibility without adding extra weight. Painted black cherry, with styling reminiscent of Corvettes of the 1960’s, the Sting Ray III had the same 102-inch wheelbase as the 1992 Corvette, but its body was two inches shorter.
Mounting the base of the sloping windshield far forward increased interior dimensions and created a feeling of spaciousness for the driver. The seats were fixed in place, and the steering wheel and pedals moved. A unique safety idea was a rollover bar that popped up when needed.
The original running prototype proposed a high-output V6 engine but by its 1992 show debut it was packing 300 horsepower from a LT-1 V8 with a rear-mounted gearbox.
The active suspensions optical sensors shone four beams of white light down from the undercarriage and the car also had four wheel steering. Low side sills and an instrument panel pod that articulated up when the door opened for improved knee clearance made climbing into the fixed seats easier. The seatbacks were raked to a nearly recumbent position, and the gauges were visible over the top of the small steering wheel.
The car was considered for production, but the price was deemed prohibitive.