The C4 Corvette debuted to a frenzy of publicity and would ultimately enjoy a lengthy run, spanning 13 years of production. During this period, GM installed a number of memorable powerplants. Many of these engines proved to be quite innovative in design, even when saddled with newly-mandated emissions equipment of the era. The following is a comprehensive guide to powerplants of the C4 era.
Offered for only two years (1982, 1984), the L83 featured GM’s newly designed Cross-Fire Fuel Injection system and is often referred to by critics as being one of the most unworthy engines to ever find its way under the Corvette’s hood. However, this begs the question of whether or not the L83 was truly deserving of this mockery.
GM ultimately decided to postpone the release of their fifth-gen Corvette, largely due to budgetary constraints. However, the development of a new powerplant for the aging C4 Corvette was greenlighted nonetheless. This engine carried the LT1 designation, and prove quite capable. The 1992 LT1 would serve as a bridge between GM small-block development.