The 1984 Chevrolet Corvette is “the most advanced production car on the planet”

Put on your weird metallic silver gloves and brace yourself for the self congratulatory glimpse into the future that is this 1984 Chevrolet Corvette commercial. At the time Chevrolet was so confident you'd never seen anything like the entirely redesigned ‘Vette before, they needed 90 seconds to tell the world.

The entirely redesigned C4 Corvette chassis introduced in 1984 replaced the C3 model which had been in production since 1968. Featuring a variety of then novel design improvements such as a digital dashboard, computer assisted manual transmission and unidirectional turbine style wheels underneath a sleek and updated body, the 1984 Corvette was something Chevrolet wanted to tell the world about. The resulting debut is this dramatic vintage advertisement that reminds us of a weird Prince video/Tron outtake hybrid (not that there's anything wrong with that).

We can't imagine anyone has described the 1984 Corvette as "the most advanced production car on the planet" since, well 1984. While the new Corvette was unveiled to rave reviews, history has not been so kind to the debut C4. Underneath the stylish new body and in front of the futuristic digital dashboard was perhaps one of the worst fuel injection systems ever put on a car; the infamous "Crossfire Fuel Injection." Crossfire equipped Corvettes are famous for being unreliable and not particularly fast.


The combination of the temperamental Crossfire system and questionable 1980s GM build quality has relegated many Corvettes of this vintage to permanent lawn ornament or I'll get to it someday project status. My own neighbor's Crossfire equipped 1984 Corvette set itself on fire in an act I can only explain as the final desperate act of a poorly engineered automobile. Even Chevrolet agreed "The most advanced production car on the planet" needed some changes and the Crossfire was replaced with the significantly improved Tune Port Injection system for the 1985 model year. Although the model improved mechanically as time passed, the C4 Corvette was produced with few styling updates until it was replaced by the C5 in 1997.

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What is a computer-activated manual transmission?

And how does it work???

In all fairness, I always thought it was cool!