The Guide to Chevy C6 Corvette Seat Upgrades. The Corvette C6 is a fan favorite in the Chevy community and an icon in the American sports car sphere. The Corvette C6 was available from 2005 to 2013 as the model’s sixth generation since its introduction in 1953. The C6 ‘Vette received numerous performance upgrades over the previous C5 generation, in addition to a new exposed-headlight visual refresh. A longer wheelbase, updated independent double-wishbone suspension, and a new 6.0L LS2 V8 base engine are among the notable enhancements.
The C6 Corvette has been on the market for more than 15 years. While there are plenty of mechanically sound 2005-2013 Corvette C6s on the market, many of the interior components are likely to be failing at this point. The factory driver’s seat is one of the most common interior elements to deteriorate with age. While factory C6 Corvette seats initially provide adequate support, their design is not centered on durability.
In this guide, we’ll go over some of the most important things to think about when buying replacement seats for your C6 Corvette. We’ll offer a few suggestions that might work for your needs, whether you’re looking for a track-focused option or a period-correct factory seat look-alike.
Problems with the C6 Corvette’s Factory Seat Design
Owners began experiencing problems with the factory seats about a year after receiving their C6 Corvettes. The main problem is the lack of support for the bottom cushion, which is only supported by the thin wiring of the seat spring. This cuts through the bottom cushion over time, allowing it to sink deeper into the frame with no other support beneath it.
The metal seat frame frequently cuts through the sides of the bottom cushion, resulting in a similar sinking issue. C6 owners have reported feeling an uncomfortable hard lump in the middle of their seat over time. This is the seat memory control unit, which is located beneath the seat springs. If you notice inconsistencies in your C6 seats, the bottom foam has most likely been ripped by the seat springs.
The same problem exists in other areas of the C6 Corvette seats where foam directly contacts the seat frame. The side bolsters are another point where the foam padding tears and eventually falls apart completely.
Considerations for Chevy Corvette C6 Seat Upgrade
Before we get into recommendations, there are a few things you should think about before investing in some upgraded seats for your Chevy Corvette C6. It is critical to take your time when selecting new seats because this is where you will spend the majority of your time.
Before making any final decisions, take some time to assess your needs, as it could mean the difference between comfort and agony. If your C6 Corvette does not see many track days, a seat with less aggressive bolstering may be preferable. If you’re constructing a C6 track car, you’ll need plenty of support through the curves. In either case, proper seat sizing is critical for both comfort and safety.
Most of the time, upgrading your Corvette C6 seats will improve overall comfort and support at the expense of some standard factory features. Seat position memory, heated seats, and side airbags are likely to be unavailable unless you are willing to replace the electronics from the factory C6 seats with aftermarket ones. It is also difficult to find aftermarket C6 Corvette seats with a recline feature, as the cabin is too narrow to accommodate a recline handle. Aftermarket seat options will almost certainly require a seat adapter to bolt to the factory mounting points.
Sizing of C6 Corvette Seat Upgrades
Of course, the most comfortable seat will be the best option in the end. Choosing the correct size C6 Corvette seat is one of the most important factors in the comfort equation. There are a few areas of an upgraded Corvette seat that you’ll have to consider in terms of sizing. To begin, ensure that the seat’s base is sufficiently wide. The key is finding a seat that is just wide enough for you to sit comfortably without it feeling claustrophobic. If you’re not sure how to measure yourself for seat fitment, read this article to learn how.
It is critical that, in addition to being the correct size for your body, it also fits in the C6 chassis. This is frequently an issue for those who require an aftermarket seat with a wider base. The C6 Corvette’s cockpit is notoriously narrow, which can cause seat mounting issues. Side bolsters can also be problematic in terms of fitment. Seats with extremely aggressive side bolsters may make contact with the center console and door cards on your Vette. Always measure before you buy.
The lack of bolstering in the factory seats is one of the most common complaints among C6 Corvette owners. In comparison to the C7 Corvette seats that came after, the C6 seats are a little too comfortable for spirited drivers. While the factory seats have adequate side bolstering, they lack thigh and hip bolstering. This causes excessive side-to-side movement on twisty backroads or on the track. The result, most C6 Corvette owners want seats that hug a little tighter.
As we briefly discussed, thigh bolstering is an important consideration when it comes to staying seated. As a result, most aftermarket C6 Corvette seats, including those on this list, have substantial side bolsters to prevent sliding. The same can be said for side bolsters, which are designed to support your midsection. Some aggressive race seats have protruding neck and head bolstering to help keep your head in place while wearing a racing helmet.
With that being said, there are downsides to aggressive bolstering. In most cases, bolstering will not interfere with comfort. Boosters, on the other hand, can squeeze into you with some discomfort if your seat is too small or narrow. Additionally, large thigh bolsters can make it more difficult to get in and out of your Corvette, as you’ll likely have to get in butt first.
Corvette C6 Fixed vs. Reclining Seats
The difference between fixed and reclining aftermarket C6 seats can also mean the difference between pain and pleasure. The two options are stated in the heading, so this one is pretty self-explanatory. You won’t be able to adjust the angle of a fixed Corvette seat. The shell of this type of seat is typically made of a single piece of metal, fiberglass, or carbon fiber. Adjustability is severely limited in this case.
The aftermarket seat shell will be less fixed with a reclining Corvette seat. A reclining seat, like a factory seat, allows you to change the angle of your seating position. The ability to recline your C6 seat can benefit those who suffer from back pain and require a more relaxed seating position. Having said that, aftermarket reclining C6 seats are typically more expensive than fixed seats.
Stock Electronics and the Airbag Sensor
The Corvette C6 includes numerous electronic features as well as seat-mounted airbags. Depending on how important the electronic seat features in the stock seats are to you, you may have to make some sacrifices when upgrading to aftermarket seats. Seat position memory, heating elements, a passenger seat detector, and side airbags are some of the most common C6 seat features. Only a few aftermarket seats support those features. As a result, your only options are to remove those elements from the factory seat and replace them in the new seat, or to discard them entirely.
Ditching those features provides additional issues, as your Corvette’s ECU will be angry that some of those features were removed. The side seat airbags are central to this. The airbag light will remain illuminated on your dashboard if the airbag sensor is not plugged in. There is, however, a solution. VetteWorks is a company that specializes in Corvette parts and services. One of these is an airbag simulation plug, which tricks your C6 Corvette’s ECU into thinking the airbag is still present. This will get rid of that annoying light. Having said that, you are, at the end of the day, removing a safety feature from your Corvette. In the event of a crash, this could have serious consequences. Only replace your factory seat if you are aware of and comfortable with this fact.
Seat Brackets / Aftermarket Brackets
To make aftermarket seats fit in a C6 Corvette, you’ll need to either make your own seat bracket or buy an aftermarket seat bracket that fits the seat of your choice. The factory C6 seats are directly mounted to the floorboard using the factory seat base. As a result, you’ll need to find a seat that works with the factory base or an aftermarket mounting solution with specialized mounting brackets. Some aftermarket C6 Corvette seats, such as the Caravaggio seat listed below, are Corvette-specific and can be used in conjunction with the factory base and mounting hardware. However, this is less common.
Most of the time, you’ll need to buy aftermarket seat rails to attach an aftermarket seat to the factory mounting points. Fortunately, there are several universal C6 mounting brackets that do just that. Some brackets, such as the Corbeau sliding brackets mentioned above, are designed to work with a specific brand. Others, such as the AMT brackets, have multiple bolting options to accommodate a wide range of aftermarket seats.
When new seat brackets are installed, the seating position of the new seats is frequently altered, with most sitting significantly lower than the factory base height. Some C6 Corvette owners prefer this because it allows for more clearance for a racing helmet. Installing spacers is always an option if the lower base height is too extreme. In any case, base height is a critical consideration, especially if you are 6′ or taller.
Options for Chevy C6 Corvette Seat Upgrades
It used to be that there were very few seat options that would fit into a C6 Corvette. Because of the narrow cabin of the Vette, aftermarket seats were frequently too wide to clear the center console and door trim. Corbeau was the only company at the time that offered a comfortable aftermarket option for the C6 ‘Vette. Corbeau remains the go-to option for Corvette seat upgrades to this day. Having said that, there are some other high-quality options available.
The following section will concentrate on C6 Corvette aftermarket seat options. There are certainly some good OEM plus options for the C6, which we’ll go over later.
1) A4 Corbeau
Price: $899.00 / $1,299.00 per pair
Corbeau has a solid reputation when it comes to aftermarket seats for the C6 Corvette. In fact, Corbeau appears repeatedly on the first page of Google search results for C6 seats. There’s a good reason for this. If you want a true blend of quality and affordability, the Corbeau A4 is possibly the best seat on the market. The A4 is a tried and true option in the C6, with fitment guaranteed by multiple ‘Vette owners who swear by them.
It’s difficult to dislike Corbeau A4s in terms of comfort, quality, or performance. Comfort? The A4s have a reclining feature as well as optional inflatable lumbar support. Quality? The A4s are available in cloth, microsuede, and leather and in multiple different color options. All three materials are high-end and have a premium feel to them. Performance? You’re not going anywhere in the A4 with semi-aggressive, yet not uncomfortable, side and thigh bolstering. If track days are in your future, the Corbeaus have shoulder pass-throughs that are compatible with 4 and 5-point harnesses.
The Corbeau A4 provides everything you need in a performance seat. The A4 was designed to work for most people under 6’2″ tall, with a 3.5″ base height and support for waist sizes up to 36″ with the standard model.” Corbeau, on the other hand, offers a Wider version of the A4 that is designed to fit waist sizes up to 40.”
2) Corvette C6 Sparco Evo II Seat
Seat Type: Fixed-Back
I’m not sure what it is, but from a purely aesthetic standpoint, the Sparco EVO II appears to belong in a Corvette. With its heavily bolstered fiberglass shell, you can tell that the EVO means business. Sparco has been responsible for some of the most significant safety advancements in motorsports history and has always been a brand synonymous with high-quality auto parts. That is exactly what the EVO does. For a little more than $800, you get an FIA-approved, fully fiberglass seat with all the trimmings you’d expect from a performance seat.
Unlike the Corbeau A4, the Sparco EVO II is a fixed-back seat, so if you drive your C6 Corvette on a daily basis, this may not be the seat for you. The EVO is more at home on the racetrack than on the highway. Almost all of the EVO II’s design decisions and features are centered on racing applications. The HANS-compatible EVO II has a thin bottom cushion for a lower seating position. That’s great news for C6 Corvette owners who are taller.
The Sparco EVO II has passthrough holes for a racing harness, but it can also be used with standard seatbelts. Most drivers with a 5’11” stature will be able to fit comfortably in a standard EVO II. The larger EVO II USA may be a better option for taller C6 Corvette drivers. According to C6 owners who have installed the EVO IIs in their ‘Vette, head clearance with a racing helmet is limited if you are taller than 5’8.”
3) Seat Corbeau Evolution X C6 Corvette Racing
Price: $469.00 per seat
Fixed Back Seat Style
Corbeau returns for our third selection. Simply put, they are one of the most trusted aftermarket seat manufacturers. Overall, they have a reputation for producing seats that balance comfort and performance. Corbeau goes far beyond that in the case of the Evolution X. In fact, when it comes to an aftermarket seat designed specifically for the Corvette, the Corbeau Evolution X is unrivaled.
Corbeau decided to design a seat inspired by the C5 and C6 chassis because of their stellar reputation in the Corvette community. As a result, the Corbeau Evolution and Evolution X are designed to look and perform as well as possible in fifth and sixth-generation Corvettes. The Evolution X is lightweight and durable thanks to its tubular steel frame and injection molded foam.
The Evolution X’s sporty design is intended to provide adequate support without being suffocating. In addition to being well-bolstered, the C6 Corvette Evolution X seat is designed to sit as low as possible in the cockpit, allowing for the most headroom for a racing helmet.
In comparison to other Corbeau models, such as the A4, the Evolution X offers more support for drivers with larger waist sizes. The Evolution X fits up to a 38″ waist, making it a great all-around option. Despite its fixed-back design, the Corbeau Evolution X is an excellent performance seat that is not uncomfortable on longer drives.
Related : The Best Subaru WRX & STi Racing Seats
4) Seats Caravaggio C6 GT Race
Fixed Seat Style
To round out the list, we chose a fixed-back, fiberglass, performance-oriented option that has received a lot of praise from the C6 community. The Caravaggio GT is a mid-tier seat from one of the most reputable Corvette seat manufacturers. When researching C6 Corvette seats, the name Caravaggio came up frequently. Many C6 Corvette forum members laud Caravaggio’s craftsmanship and attention to detail.
The Caravaggio GT strikes a balance between strength and weight thanks to its unibody fiberglass frame. Caravaggio clearly designed the GT to blend in with the rest of the C6 interior. With large side bolsters, the leather-wrapped bucket provides plenty of support, but it widens at the top to provide non-constricting support for your shoulders.
Fitment and stock compatibility are important considerations for Caravaggio because they specialize in Corvettes. As a result, their GT race seat is completely compatible with the factory C6 Corvette seat rails. If you keep the stock lower frame, you’ll be able to avoid many of the electrical issues that some of the other aftermarket seats on this list require. The only features you won’t get are side airbags and heated seats.
It is important to note that the Caravaggio GT seats are designed to fit comfortably within the confines of the Corvette interior. As a result, they are narrower than quite a few other options. As a result, it is critical to contact Caravaggio directly before ordering to ensure fitment.
Corvette C7 Seat Swap
Aside from aftermarket Corvette seat options, swapping seats from other Corvettes into the C6 chassis is also common. Chevy addressed many of the issues associated with seat degradation and foam tearing in the C6 and C7 chassis Corvettes. The C7 GT seats are more aggressively bolstered than the factory C6 Corvette seats. The thigh bolsters make you feel like you’re sitting in the C7 seats rather than on them like you’re sitting in the C6 seats. That being said, there are a few obstacles to overcome when installing C7 seats in your C6 Corvette.
The main issue is with the electronic systems. The wiring harnesses for the C6 and C7 Corvettes are different. That means the electronic C7 seat controls and features won’t work with the factory C6 connectors. This includes heated seats, the seat control module, the airbag, the passenger detector sensor, and the seat position sensor. To use C6 systems with a C7 seat, remove the associated systems from the C6 seat and wiring harness and install them in the C7 seat. That is an involved procedure that requires a fair amount of wiring knowledge and finesse.
Furthermore, the seat belt mounting solutions for the C6 and C7 Corvettes differ slightly. That’s another thing you’ll have to think about. Most Corvette owners who have made the swap have used C6 seatbelts instead of C7 belts because the C6 belt system is easier to adapt. To work with the C7 seat passthrough, the seat belt attachment belts must be relocated.
Foam Upgrade for Stock Corvette C6 Seats
- Repair Kit for 1997-2013 Corvette Seat Cushions
- Conversion Guide for Pre-2012 to Post-2013 C6 Seats
If you like the look and feel of the factory C6 Corvette seats and aren’t interested in aftermarket solutions, you can update the foam seat inserts. Because the factory C6 Corvette seats are universally panned for their structural weakness, there are numerous writeups available about upgrading pre-2012 C6 ‘Vette seats to the much sturdier post-2012 seat configuration. The primary component of this upgrade is replacing the old seat foam and skin with a new set.
The new foam will be supported by additional foam supports, which will keep the seat cushions from being ripped by the frame. Most C6 owners who have upgraded recommend adhering non-tear fabric to any part of the new foam that comes into contact with the frame for added protection.
The overall process is too complex to go into detail here, but the fundamentals are straightforward. Remove your C6 Corvette seats, then remove the seat bottom and foam composite section, drill new mounting holes for the new foam and skin, adhere the non-tear fabric to the new foam, and reassemble everything. While there are nuanced steps to that process, it is not overly demanding. Check out the link listed above for a more comprehensive step-by-step guide if you intend on doing it yourself.
Summary of Chevy Corvette C6 Seat Upgrade Guide
The Chevy Corvette C6 has many positive features, but seats are not one of them. Because of the overall design, the factory C6 seats are frequently one of the first interior components to fail on 2005-2012 Corvettes. The seat cushions lack sufficient support for continued use and tear and crumble as a result of the stress. While the factory seats aren’t the best in terms of build quality or support, there are a plethora of excellent aftermarket C6 seat options available.
Some research is required before making a decision on C6 ‘Vette seats. The most important aspect of C6 seat fitment is that the seat is the correct size for you and the chassis. Most reputable seat manufacturers do a good job of providing detailed schematics of their seats prior to purchase, so make sure the base width of your chosen seat is wide enough for you to fit comfortably, but not so wide that you’ll slide around. Another consideration is the width of the side bolsters, as you don’t want them to make contact with your Corvette’s center console or door cards.
Consider what you intend to do with your Corvette and base your seat selection on that. If you’re constructing a dedicated track C6, your best bet is probably a fixed back seat that’s as light as possible while also being made of strong materials in case of a crash. If you’re looking to refresh a daily driven Corvette, you’ll probably want a reclining seat that is as comfortable as possible while still providing the support of the factory sport seats. Fortunately, there are viable options at both ends of the spectrum.