I have not owned a C1 or C2, but my uncle has. And from what I can tell the difference is the ride and handling. The C5's is better with the mian reason being the technology we have now compared to the older days. Power wise, the C1 and C2 are dam good. I actually think that my uncles C2 takes off better than my C5.
The biggest difference between my C4 and my C5 is stuff. The C5 is loaded with stuff. HUD, memory, electric telescoping wheel, dual zone climate control, selectable ride, active handling/traction control, ABS and the list goes on. Horsepower--wow.
I still love my C4 but it is a different animal. The C4 is like driving a race car. Slam the corners, sounds mean, turns on a dime. The C5 is like driving a cadillac that will go 175 mph and corners like hell. They both draw envious looks and wonderful comments where ever they go. For a trip of more than around town the C5 is the ride of choice. The C4 is easier to get into while the C5 is easier to get out of.
OH yeah!!! Storeage space is HUGE in the C5. In the C4 I can only fit one set of golf clubs, while in the C5 I can fit in two sets and all of our stuff for a weekend. A case of beer fits into the large center compartment in the back and then some.
In my opinion..the hydroformed frame rail technology is the biggest difference between the various generations of corvettes..
The C5 is one of the most rigid chassis's out there in the world today..
What does that impact on the car? The handling is more precise because the suspension can be softened a bit..and still allow greater precision of geometry..Keeps the wheel/tire to the pavement..and placed as engineers designed..
The earlier versions of corvettes (pre c5) actually used the flex of the chassis as part of the suspension design...
Hard to control and plan as well as when you know exactly where all four rigidly placed corners are..
Obviously this solid chassis lends itself to a more cadillac type ride..no squeaks or rattles as compared to earlier generations..
active handling/competition mode is a big daily driver type convenience and it helps out the novice like myself at the track quite a bit..
All corvettes are awesome..the new C6 will eclipse the C5 in many areas..its just the nature of evolution..
One of the best performance bargins is the C4! I imagine the C5 will come close when the C6 rolls out..
To me it's , in one word , drivability . By that I mean a combination of comfort ,performance and dependability . I agree with Drew totaly on the C-4 . It's like driveing a race car ! Just for romping around town the C-4 is hard to beat , but the older I get the more I value the comfort of the C-5 . The C-3 with it's beautiful lines , however , really should only be compared to the C-2s . Major changes in technology came about in the late 70s and all through the 80s . And now the 90s and new millenium technolgy is just as mind blowing . But boy would I like to have a 67 big block coupe ! Cliff
I'm kinda looking for a C3 project car like Barb or Chris. Something in a 454 or so. I know...I'm dreamin' but I'm one of those people that needs a project.
Drivability...good half dollar word there, and very accurate. In our C4 it is easy to hit the gas a little too hard while cornering and do a little half spin. That move is nearly impossible with trac/on in the rain or dry. Quite impressive actually. Now...about that extra 125 hp so I can get to 500.