Morimoto XB LED Taillights for C6 Corvette

Product Review: Morimoto XB LED Taillights

Aftermarket Taillight Lenses for the C6 Corvette

Product Review: Simple Taillight Upgrade by Morimoto Improves the Appearance of Any C6 Corvette!

This past weekend, I installed a set of Morimoto XB LED Taillights on my 2013 Corvette Coupe.

The factory taillights on the C6 are iconic – they are unmistakably Corvette – but they’ve also become commonplace.  When considering all of the design advances made on the C7 and C8 models, there are elements of the 2005-2013 C6 Corvette that are beginning to look a little a bit dated.  To resolve these design “shortcomings,” the aftermarket parts industry has, over the course of the past decade, developed a number of really unique and interesting-looking aftermarket components for the C6 Corvette.  While some are more brash than others – chrome lettering that exaggerates the “Corvette” name on the rear fascia or fender hash decals that give any base coupe/convertible a look more synonymous with the Grand Sport (despite being a feature that just doesn’t belong on the base models), for example – these taillights are a bit of an understated upgrade that adds dimension and personality to both the rear fascia and to the car as a whole.

This is my 2013 Corvette Coupe with it factory taillights installed.
This is my 2013 Corvette Coupe with it factory taillights installed.

Morimoto HID was established in 2008 in the United States to fill the void in the aftermarket industry for consumers who were looking for high quality automotive lighting products.  Prior to companies like Morimoto, individual consumers were forced to either salvage original equipment components and customize them or rely on inferior aftermarket parts that were developed without the research and development dollars needed to ensure a factory fit.  Working with automotive manufacturers around the world, Morimoto developed a line of products based on local market demands, resulting in a broad array of factory-fitting aftermarket components for just about any individual’s unique style.  Their claim is superior quality product that has a factory fit, is easy to install and improves the look and feel of the car in which their product is incorporated.

That’s their claim – and the team at A07 Online decided that, since I owned a C6 Corvette, that I would install the Morimoto XB LED taillights and evaluate their quality against these parameters:

  1. Ease of install.
  2. Overall fitment.
  3. How well did they enhance the appearance of the car?

Ease of Install

The Morimoto XB LED Taillight Lenses come pre-packaged with their own wiring pigtails.  Each pigtail includes the appropriate connectors to mate to the Corvette’s factory taillight harness, making this a “plug and play” installation. No additional hardware (resistors, modules, etc.) are needed.

Both the factory and Moritoro XB LED taillights are secured in-place by two, small guide "clips" (you can see the corresponding notches in the bottom of the opening) and a single set screw that is screwed into the top of the opening (not visible from this angle.)
Both the factory and Moritoro XB LED taillights are secured in-place by two, small guide “clips” (you can see the corresponding notches in the bottom of the opening) and a single set screw that is screwed into the top of the opening (not visible from this angle.)

A single retaining screw at the top of the factory taillight is the only piece of hardware that needs to be undone before the factory taillights can be removed.   One the retaining screw is removed, each factory light assembly (there are four total) slides out easily.  The wiring connector detaches from the factory lens/bulb assembly and is ready for the new connector on the Morimoto lens.

The most “difficult” part of the installation is getting the new taillight assemblies properly aligned in the rear fascia.  In each taillight pocket are two small alignment notches.  On the bottom of each taillight assembly is a corresponding tab that aligns with these notches.  Because of the additional depth of the Morimoto assemblies, and the internally-built ballast assembly that is used to power the LED lights, fitment of these units can be a little challenging if the guide tabs aren’t perfectly aligned to the notched assemblies on the rear fascia.  On all four taillights, I struggled momentarily to get the lens assemblies to properly set into the guide notches.  However, once they were properly aligned, they fell right into place.  Once they are seated, you simply re-install the set screw and that’s it, the new taillight assembly is ready for use!

Overall Fitment

As mentioned above, the rear assemblies on these lenses are a little more robust than the factory lens.  As such, it makes placing the unit into the corresponding taillight pocket a little more challenging, but certainly nothing that even a novice installer can’t overcome.  However, once each lens is in-place, they are a perfect fit with the factory assembly.

Side-by-side comparison of the Morimoto XB LED taillight assemblies (left) and the factory lenses (right.)
Side-by-side comparison of the Morimoto XB LED taillight assemblies (left) and the factory lenses (right.)

There was one interesting observation I made before installing the lenses.  When looking at the Morimoto assemblies in their factory packaging, they appeared to be a lot more oval-shaped than the factory lenses appear while installed on the car.  In fact, when I first opened the packaging, I had some concern that I’d been shipped the lenses for a C5 Corvette (which has a very elongated oval taillight shape.)   The factory lenses in my rear fascia looked much more round than these replacements, so I was more than a little surprised to discover that the Morimoto lenses were, in fact, the same shape as the factory lenses.  For reference, the taillights on a C6 are oval, not circular as any casual observer might believe.

How Well Did They Enhance the Corvette’s Appearance?

The Morimoto Lenses fully installed on my C6 Corvette.
The Morimoto Lenses fully installed on my C6 Corvette.

While they don’t jump out at you the way some aftermarket part do, the Morimoto taillight assemblies definitely enhance the overall appearance of the car.  In fact, I think part of what makes them work so well with the car is that the aesthetic improvement is subtle enough that it doesn’t look aftermarket, yet dramatic enough that it immediately draws your eyes to it.

When in-use, the Morimoto XB LED Taillights are brighter than the factory lens with their original, incandescent bulbs.  Additionally, the LED’s light immediately during braking, providing quicker communication to other drivers about your intentions.

The Morimoto XB LED Taillights come in two different colors – red and clear (smoked).  While we opted for the red lenses, the clear lenses have a more dramatic appearance because of their stark contrast to the factory red taillight lenses.  However, both options provide a more technically sophisticated appearance to the car’s rear fascia.  These Morimoto XB LED taillights were actually inspired by the factory taillight assemblies of the Ferrari 488.  The result is that these taillight assemblies give the Corvette a slightly European feel synonymous with super cars that are well beyond the Corvette’s price-point.  Given that these lenses retail at $480.00 for the set, it’s a small investment that definitely enhances your C6 Corvette’s appearance!

Morimoto XB LED Taillight assembly when lit.
Morimoto XB LED Taillight assembly when lit.

Product Highlights

  • Sold in a set of 4
  • Plug & Play Install
  • Non-Sequential is currently the only option for these tail lights
  • 10 Year Warranty
  • DOT, ECE, SAE Compliant
  • IP67 Waterproof
  • High Impact Polycarb (UV-Resistant) Lens Material
  • Injection molded ABS Housing
  • Turn/Brake (Dual Intensity) Modes
  • SSC LED (Red) Light Source

NOTE: While the team at A07 Online has reviewed products provided to them by the manufacturer, it should be noted that the Morimoto XB LED Tail light assemblies were purchased by A07Online and installed by me without any sponsorship/endorsement from Morimoto HID.

 

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