The 1992 Stingray III / California Stingray Concept was developed by John Schinella (and team) at GM's Advance Concept Center in Los Angeles. The 1992 concept is a world away from the C4. But the dominant motifs of a smooth rounded Corvette did come to production on the C5. This prototype looks distinctly upmarket, the rear shares a shocking similarity to the Jaguar XK8, without a flat surface in sight.
The Corvette team decided to one-up the Viper with four extra cylinders, they decided on one of Ryan Falconer’s stunning, all aluminum, 600-cubic-inch, 683hp, 680 lb-ft V-12 racing engines. The biggest challenge was the fact that the all-aluminum V-12 engine was 8.8-inches longer than the production Corvette engine. So the front end of the ZR-1 would have to be stretched 8 inches. This test car was named Conan, after his raw, beastlike charisma.
The C4 ZR-1 Corvette, even some 30 years after its initial year of production, carries indisputable performance merit, the likes of which few can deny. In fact, the ZR-1 is often cited as the car which helped fend off threats, both foreign and domestic in origin, to the Corvette's elite performance car status. However, after only 6,939 ZR-1 Corvettes were built, and 6 years of production had passed, the program was terminated, falling victim to decisions regarding pricing.
Chevrolet's introduction of the LT1 in 1992 as the base engine in the Corvette phased out the L98 based Callaway Twin Turbo. Previously, Callaway Corvettes made their increased power through positive manifold pressure; now they made it through increased displacement and finesse. Initially called the CL1 or CR1, they designated the chassis they were built upon. They were based on the pushrod LT1 cars (CL1) or the 32 valve DOHC LT5 ZR-1 cars (CR1).
CERV IV was nothing more than a C4 with the all new powertrain and interior in it. Read the commentary of a car magazine reporter: "We suspect that the first, very early prototypes of the all-new, Gen III ran on the dynos at GM Powertrain sometime in the early spring of 1993. In-vehicle testing began at the GM Milford Proving Ground in the first week in May of 1993 with the "Chevrolet Engineering and Research Vehicle IV-A".
The Corvette Stingray Concept was developed as an internal design challenge to combine classic Corvette cues with surprisingly high-tech features, modern materials, and a striking new appearance. The car is well-appointed with a clamshell hood, scissor-style doors, ergonomic seats, rear-view camera with night vision enhancement, and a high performance hybrid drive. Interactive touch controls allow the driver to customize the power and efficiency of his or her ride.