Ever since the introduction of the C2 Corvette, one of the most recognizable design characteristics of the vehicle has been the four taillight configuration. The four taillights became such a trademark of the Corvette that day or night, if you saw four brake lights in the distance, you knew it was a Chevrolet Corvette.
The C4 ZR1 featured four squared off taillights which were a distinguishing factor of the first year ZR1.
For the majority of Corvette history, the four taillights have been either round or rounded and it has been a staple of what makes a Corvette whole. Sure, the C4 ZR1 was introduced with squared off taillights that then transitioned into the later years of the C4 Vette, but for the majority of the time, Vettes have had four round taillights.
This all changed with the introduction of the C7. Coming from the C5 and C6 which featured more rounded body styling, the C7 was a huge step in the opposite direction as the GM designers decided to go with a more modern and angular design to carry the vehicle into the next generation. Let’s face it, the C7 design is beautiful – even though it took some time for some folks to come around to, the C7 is the wave of the future for Corvettes and has an unmistakable presence to it.
With all of the praise the C7 has received for its design, handling characteristics, and technology, one debate in the enthusiast segment has been whether or not it was a good idea to go away from the four round taillight configuration. The C7 still has the unmistakable four light configuration, however, they are now much more angular, and are almost square. This change to square-ish (yes, they are not perfect squares) taillights came under heavy fire because of the resemblance they have with the taillights found on the 2013 Camaro.
Since there is such a debate between round or square, we wanted to find out what our readers thought was the best design and whether or not the change to square taillights took away from the heritage of the Corvette. After posting a readers poll on Facebook, we found that the enthusiast segment is very divided on the round versus square debate. While some readers say they have loved the square taillights since they first saw the C7 design, others feel the complete opposite and still do not like the design because it is too different from the Corvette’s heritage.
With any design change, there will always be early adopters, or people who love the new design right from the beginning and then there will be others that take some time to come around to the design. What we found from our readers are that the majority of them liked the new design or said that it was “growing on them,” but then there were others who were stuck on the round taillights and their importance in Corvette history.
The circular taillights found on the C6 complimented the rounded body lines of the vehicle.
While there is no right or wrong answer, the square taillights are here to stay on the C7 – and who knows how they will appear eventually on the C8. On the bright side, the square taillights still use the unmistakable four-light configuration, but it is rather odd that the Camaro’s four light design was changed for 2014 right when the C7 was introduced.
Even though the new design may take some time to win over the last of the diehard round-light lovers, any Corvette enthusiast has to appreciate the huge step forward the C7 represents over previous generations, regardless of what shape the taillights are.