Five Coolest Corvette Concept Cars

Corvette’s concept cars dig deep into the possibilities—drawing from heritage designs to produce practical, yet dreamy, visions for the future.
Written by Maxine Boyko
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
Updated on Mar 23, 2023
For nearly seven decades, Corvette has produced several concept cars alongside its regular lineup, tracking the direction of its brand evolution. In many instances, such as the 1986 INdy and Stingray, Corvette’s concept cars inspired the next models, innovative features, or even paved the way for a new generation.
Corvette’s concept cars are more than simple prototypes—they’re dreams, works of art, and engineering marvels. We're here to show you around the aspirational side of Corvette with this list of the best concept cars they’ve dreamed up throughout the years. 
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1986 Indy

The 1986 Indy was introduced as a potential successor to the 4th generation Corvette. This super-cool, tech-advanced hypercar was designed mainly to race in the Indy 500, and it’s easy to see why. 
The Indy was powered by a mid-mounted 32-valve 2.6-liter V8 intercooled twin-turbo engine—say that three times fast! Essentially, this made the car incredibly balanced, reliable, and strong, with a top speed hitting 180 mph and a 0 to 60 speed of less than five seconds. The model was also four-wheel-drive and four-wheel-steering with fully independent suspension.
The 1986 was future-oriented when it came to its technology. At a time when GPS was only available to the military, the Indy was equipped with a center-mounted CRT and navigation display. It also had a rearview blindspot camera with an in-dash display, in addition to climate and entertainment info displayed on the door.


The Chevy XP-897GT concept car, which first debuted at the 1973 Paris/Frankfurt Motor Show, was built on the modified chassis of the Porsche 914/6. In the 1970s, the ideal futuristic build option was to use rotary engines. Unfortunately, the Corvette of the time was too large and heavy, and Chevy wanted the design to appeal to the European market—cue the more compact sporty concept car.
As far as the details of the build go, the HP-897GT boasted a 266ci 2-rotor mid-mounted Wankel engine with 180 horsepower. Ironically, the car looked nothing like a classic Corvette, thanks to the uniquely blended GM-designed and Pininfarina-crafted steel body. 
Sadly, although this concept made quite an international stir, it never made it to production. The original was set to be destroyed in the 1980s, but a ‘Vette enthusiast bought it off GM just in time to preserve this slice of history. 


The XP-895 was part of a series of concept Corvettes built to experiment with alternative engine placements and chassis layouts. This particular Corvette debuted at the New York Auto Show in 1973. It was designed on the chassis of the XP-882, but there were two concepts built—one steel body and one aluminum—to demonstrate the practicality of using lightweight material.
The concept car was powered by a 400 CID small block V8 engine and a Turbo Hydramatic transmission. John DeLorean, Chevrolet’s general manager at the time, toyed with the idea of bringing the lighter car into production, but found it much too costly and scrapped the endeavor. 


Chevrolet caused quite a stir at the Chicago Auto show when it introduced the
in 2009. 
The body—which later influenced the design of the Mako Shark I—was based on the Q-Corvette, with the design later reworked to fit the Corvette SS chassis. It’s made of fiberglass with aluminum reinforcement and sports fan-splitting features like front and rear gills and a split rear window.
In addition to having a controversial design, it’s difficult to determine what this concept car is capable of. Everything remains untested—the small-block V8 engine never having been driven over 80 mph. Still, the Stingray stands as the last true, ‘Vette-centric concept car. 


Considered one of the most advanced concept cars ever created, the Corvette CERV III also came the closest to production. Drawing inspiration from the Corvette Indy, this concept boasted the very best auto tech the early 90s had to offer—including a 5.7 V8 Lotus tuned engine with a whopping 650 horsepower and twin Garret Turbochargers
The body was an impressive mix of carbon fiber, Kevlar, and Nomex, and reinforced with aluminum honeycomb. All-wheel-drive, four-wheel steering, and a computer-controlled, titanium suspension system made the car uniquely luxurious for the time, with scissor-style doors grabbing the attention of the generation’s trendiest car-enthusiasts.

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