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Corvette Suspension Options

 

Going fast in a straight line is one thing -- being able to handle curves at the same time is something entirely different.  Many suspension options were offered over the years to suit different driving styles.  Below is a list of all suspension options offered on regular Corvette models.

 



C1 (1953-62) Suspension Packages

 

 

C2 (1963-67) Suspension Packages

RPO 684/687 Heavy Duty Suspension and Brakes (1957-62)

Original Option Price: $333.60-780.10

RPO 684/687 included special front and rear springs and shocks, heavier front stabilizer bar, quick steering adaptor, metallic brake facings, finned brake drums, fresh air ducting to rear brakes, and front brake air scoops.  Cars with this option are very rare, as production never reached more than 250 units per year.

Option Restrictions: None

 

RPO F40/F41 Special Front and Rear Suspension (1964-69)

Original Option Price: $37

Much more popular than the earlier available suspension package, F40 and F41 included stiffer front and rear springs, and a larger front sway bar.  Production was very limited for the first few years, becoming much more popular as the years progressed.

Option Restrictions: None

     

 

 

C3 (1968-82) Suspension Packages

 

 

RPO ZR1/ZR2 Special Engine Package (1970-72)

Original Option Price: $968.95-$1,747 (Included LT1 or LS6 Engine)

While not directly billed as such, RPOs ZR1 and ZR2 were the only way to get a suspension package from 1970-72.  Just 65 total cars were built with these options, making this one of the rarest options ever offered on a Corvette.  ZR1 cars always came with an LT1 engine and the stoutest 4 speed manual transmission available, and featured stiffer springs and shocks, and larger diameter front and rear sway bars.  However, there have been a few instances of ZR1s produced without rear sway bars.  Heavy duty power brakes, transistor ignition, and aluminum radiators were also included. 

ZR2 was available only in 1971, and included the 454ci LS6 engine. 

Option Restrictions: Creature comforts such as air conditioning, power windows, rear defrost, radios, power steering, alarm systems, and wheel covers could not be ordered with ZR1 or ZR2 cars. 

 

 

 

RPO Z07 Off Road Suspension and Brake Package (1973-75)

Original Option Price: $369-400

Another extremely rare option with less than 250 total units produced.  Stiffer front and rear springs and a larger front sway bar were included.  Heavy duty power brakes were also included.  1974-75 models included the FE7 Gymkhana Suspension.

Option Restrictions: Available only with either the L82 or LS4 (1973-74) engine, required the M21 4 speed transmission and power brakes.  Not available with air conditioning in 1973.

RPO FE7 Gymkhana Suspension (1974-82)

Original Option Price: $7-61

The most popular suspension package available to date when it was being produced, Gymkhana suspensions included a larger front sway bar and stiffer springs. 

Option Restrictions: None.

 

RPO F51 Heavy Duty Shock Absorbers (1979-81)

Original Option Price: $33-37

A separate option from the FE7 Gymhkana Suspension, F51 was the only way to get upgraded front and rear shocks.

Option Restrictions: None.

 

 


C4 (1984-96) Suspension Packages

 

 

RPO Z51 Performance Handling Package (1984-90, 1996)

Original Option Price: $350-1,295 (The latter price represents 1988 models, which included 17 inch wheels)

Much more common on C5s and C6s than it was on C4s, the Z51 package had a few small changes over its few years available on a C4. 

1984 models: Heavy duty springs, shocks, and bushings, larger sway bars, fast ratio steering, engine oil cooler, and auxiliary fan.

1985-90 models: Heavy duty springs and bushings, Bilstein shocks, larger sway bars, fast ratio steering, and heavy duty cooling.  Larger front brake rotors and calipers became standard in 1988, as well as 17 inch wheels. Both Z51 and base suspension spring rates were decreased in 1985 due to harsh ride compaints from the 1984 model.

1996 models: Heavy duty springs and bushings, Bilstein shocks, and larger sway bars.  Heavy duty cooling options and fast ratio steering had become standard on all models at this point. Non-Grand Sport models also received 275/40/17 size tires on all four wheels instead of 285/40/17s in the rear, and 255,/45/17s in the front.

Option Restrictions: 1987-90 models required a manual transmission; Not available on a Convertible until 1996; 1996 models also required power seats, and Performance Axle Ratio, if ordered on an automatic car.  Not available with FX3 or F45.

 

 

 

RPO Z52 Sport Handling Package (1987-88)

Original Option Price: $470-970 (1988 models included 17 inch wheels, hence the jump in price)

No doubt introduced to provide a suspension option for those who demanded a convertible or automatic car, Z52 combined all of the cooling options and fast ratio steering, as well as Bilstein shocks in a slightly softer suspension.  This proved to be a very popular option, finding its way into near half of all of the Corvettes produced for these two years.

Option Restrictions: Not available with Z51.

 

RPO Z07 Adjustable Suspension Package (1991-95)

Original Option Price: $2,045-2,155

After a 16 year hiatus, Z07 returned to the Corvette option list for the 1991 model year.  This option package now included the FX3 Electronic Selective Ride and Handling Package, stiffer springs, stabilizers, and bushings, as well as the ZR1's heavy duty brakes (before they became standard on all Corvette models starting with the 1995 model year).

Option Restrictions: Not available on Convertibles; 1995 models required power seats, and Performance Axle Ratio, if equipped with an automatic transmission.

 

 

 

RPO FG3 Delco-Bilstein Shocks (1984-88)

Original Option Price: $189

The FG3 option offered the Z51's upgraded shocks without buying the full Z51 suspension package.  A joint venture between AC-Delco and premium shock manufacturer Bilstein, these stiffer shocks offered a firmer ride and improved handling characteristics.

Option Restrictions: None.

RPO FX3 Electronic Selective Ride and Handling Package (1989-95)

Original Option Price: $1,695/Standard on ZR1

Although not exactly a replacement for Z51, FX3 offered Corvette buyers another suspension option for the years that Z51 was not offered.  As its name suggests, FX3 was different from any suspension ever offered in a Corvette in the sense that it gave the driver the option to select a soft, moderate, or stiff ride on-the-fly, by means of a control knob located on the center console.  There were no restrictions made as to which bodystyle or transmission FX3 could be ordered with, and FX3 was standard on all ZR1 models.  FX3 included heavy duty cooling and suspension options, fast ratio steering, and 1987-88's Z52 springs and sway bars, which provided a wider range of suspension control than the Z51 springs and sway bars.  Nonetheless, the Z51 springs and sway bars still found their way on to the 60 or so 1989 Challenge cars that were built.  1994-95 models have lower spring rates than their predecessors, providing for an even smoother ride in "Tour" mode.

Option Restrictions: Not available with Z51 after 1990.

 

RPO F45 Electronic Selective Real Time Damping (1996)

Original Option Price: $1,695

More of an evolution of the FX3 package than anything else, F45 allowed each shock to be adjusted individually for the first time, based on input from speed sensors on each wheel, which was then processed by the Powertrain Control Module (PCM). 

Option Restrictions: Not available with Z51


 


C5 (1997-04) Suspension Packages

 

 

RPO Z51 Performance Handling Package (1997-04)

Original Option Price: $350-395

The Z51 package on the C5 included stiffer springs and larger sway bars and remained virtually unchanged for the entire C5 generation.  Z51 was standard equipment on 1999-00 Hardtop models.

Option Restrictions: Not available with F45, F55, or on Z06 cars; automatic cars required the Performance Axle Ratio.

 

 

 

RPO F45 Electronic Selective Real Time Damping (1997-02)

Original Option Price: $1,695

More of an evolution of the FX3 package than anything else, F45 allowed each shock to be adjusted individually for the first time, based on input from speed sensors on each wheel, which was then processed by the Powertrain Control Module (PCM).  The 2000 model year saw revised software for this system, which better calculated changes in conditions, resulting in ride and handling improvements. 

Option Restrictions: Not available with Z51 or Hardtop/Z06 models.

RPO F55 Magnetic Selective Ride Control (2003-04)

Original Option Price: $1,695

Standard on all 2003 50th Anniversary models , F55 was another evolution of the original FX3 suspension.  F55 used a magnetic shock fluid with iron particles, which would align in such a way that it affected flow rate when exposed to an electrical input.  This is in opposition to earlier versions of the adjustable suspension, which adjusted the ride by mechanically varying the size of the orifice through which the shock fluid flows.  This new design allowed the damping rate to be adjusted 1,000 times per second. 

Option Restrictions: Not available with Z51 models.

 

 

 

 

 

C6 (2005-13) Suspension Packages

 

 

RPO Z51 Performance Handling Package (2005-09)

Original Option Price: $1,495-1,695

The Z51 option continued with the arrival of the C6, but with several important additions.  Heavy duty cooling equipment was once again included with Z51, which now equated to oil, transmission, and power steering fluid coolers.  As far as the suspension itself, Z51 included stiffer springs and shocks, and larger sway bars.  However, brakes were addressed as well, with Z51 now including larger cross-drilled brake rotors.  Tires were also upgraded to Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar EMT runflats; 6 speed manual received the Z06's slightly-closer gear ratios.

Option Restrictions: Not available with F55, or on Z06/ZR1 cars; 2005 model year cars equipped with the automatic transmission required the Performance Axle Ratio.

 

 

 

RPO F55 Magnetic Selective Ride Control (2005-13)

Original Option Price: $1,695-1,995/Standard on ZR1

Standard on all C6 ZR1's, F55 was another evolution of the original FX3 suspension.  F55 used a magnetic shock fluid with iron particles, which would align in such a way that it affected flow rate when exposed to an electrical input.  This is in opposition to earlier versions of the adjustable suspension, which adjusted the ride by mechanically varying the size of the orifice through which the shock fluid flows.  This new design allowed the damping rate to be adjusted 1,000 times per second.  F55 continued virtually unchanged with the debut of the C6, although software improvements were made once again in 2008.

Option Restrictions: Not available with Z51 models. Not available on Z06 or Grand Sport until 2011.

RPO Z15 Grand Sport Package (2010-13)

Original Option Price: $5,000-5,840

The Grand Sport package returned in 2010 after disappearing just a year after it debuted for the 1996 model year. Replacing the Z51 option but still including the Z51 RPO as part of the Z15 package, the Grand Sport includes many features that were previously available only on the Z06. This included a larger cooling capacity, front bumper vent and splitter, taller rear spoiler, larger brakes with six piston front calipers and four piston rear calipers along with vented and slotted brake rotors, revised shock, stabilizer bar, and spring specifications, and wide body styling. Also included are new design Grand Sport-specific five spoke wheels and louvered front fenders, as well as the Performance Axle Ratio on automatic cars. Manual transmission Grand Sport coupes were designated as RPO Z52, and included a dry-sump oil system, rear differential cooler, speciific transmission gear ratios, and a rear-mounted battery. The optional Heritage Package for the Grand Sport adds front fender hash mark graphics, similar to the 1996 model. Like all manual transmission 2010-up Corvette models, launch control is standard as well.

Option Restrictions: Not available on Z06/ZR1 models.

 

RPO Z07 Z06 Ultimate Performance Package Performance Package (2011-13)

Original Option Price: $7,500-9,495

After another 16 year hiatus, Z07 returned again to the Corvette option list for the 2011 model year, but was now only available on Z06 models.  For 2011, this package included Brembo ceramic brakes, F55 Magnetic Selective Ride Control, larger Michelin Pilot Sport 2 tires, and Competition Gray ZR1 style wheels. The package was changed in 2012 to include Michelin Pilot Sport Cup tires, lightweight satin black wheels, and a full-width rear spoiler. Silver machined-face wheels could be substituted for an additional $995. F55 was no longer included in the package after 2011, but was still available as a standalone option (the cost of the Z07 option package was reduced by $2,005 in 2012 to compensate for the lack of F55).

Option Restrictions: Not available on Coupe/Convertible/ZR1/Grand Sport.

 

 

 

C7 (2014-??) Suspension Packages

 

 

RPO Z51 Performance Package (2014-??)

Original Option Price: $2,780-5,000

The Z51 Performance Handling Package was drastically revised for the C7 generation Corvette, and became a trim level rather than an option package for the first time. Unlike previous iterations, Z51 was now more of an all-around performance package than just a suspension and brake package.

The package now included performance brakes, Black brake calipers, slotted brake rotors, Dry Sump oiling, specific suspension, special front and rear wheels/tires, electronic limited slip differential with cooler, performance gear ratios, and an aero package.

Option Restrictions: Not available with Z06.

 

 

 

RPO FE4 Magnetic Selective Ride Control (2014-??)

Original Option Price: $1,995

(Detailed Information currently unavailable)

Option Restrictions: Only available on Z51 models.

 

 


Sources: Corvette Black Book, 2014 Edition; Corvette.com website

 

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