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More changes for the wheels as well as a new transmission were among the prominent changes for the 1989 C4 Corvette. For 1989, GM made the 17 inch 12 slot wheels standard for the C4. The previous year, the big wheels had just been an option as parts of the Z51 and Z52 packages.
With the demise of the 4 plus 3 Doug Nash transmission, GM offered a new six-speed manual transmission as a replacement. Like its predecessor, the new transmission generated some controversy. It featured computer-aided gear selection, which meant that if drivers didn't generate enough RPMs in first gear, the computer would automatically flip the vehicle into fourth gear. Though touted as a fuel-saving measure, this feature drew some complaints. CorvetteMods.com stocks many transmission and gear shift parts for the 1989 C4 Corvette, including the 1989-1996 C4 Corvette six -speed shifter knob.
The 1989 C4's 350 cubic inch L98 V-8 produced 240 horsepower or 245 horsepower, depending upon the muffler system installed. Options for the 1989 C4 Vette included the FX3 selective ride control that came with the optional Z51 suspension package.
The base price for the 1989 C4 Corvette coupe was $31,545, and GM produced 16,663 copies of that year's model. The company sold 9,749 convertibles, which started at a base price of $36,785. The slight uptick reversed a trend in declining sales.
In 1989, GM also continued to support the Corvette Challenge, producing 60 identical, street-legal Corvette Challenge vehicles for racers competing in a 12-race circuit for a prize of $1 million.