Chevy C6 Corvette Seat Upgrade Guide
Austin holds a technical writing degree and has 5 years of experience working as a Technical Product Specialist at BMW. He is an avid car enthusiast who is constantly watching F1, consuming automotive content, racing on his simulator, and working on his Toyota’s and BMW’s. Austin’s technical writing skills, extensive automotive knowledge, and hands-on experience make him an excellent resource for our readers.
The Corvette C6 is a fan favorite in the Chevy community and an icon in the American sports car sphere. The C6 was available from 2005 to 2013 as the sixth generation of Corvette since the model’s inception in 1953. Along with a new exposed-headlight visual refresh, the C6 ‘Vette received numerous performance upgrades over the previous C5 generation. Some notable improvements include an increased wheelbase, updated independent double-wishbone suspension, and a new 6.0L LS2 V8 base engine.
At this point, it has been over 15 years since the C6 Corvette was released. While there are plenty of mechanically solid 2005-2013 Corvette C6s out there, it is likely that many of the interior components are beginning to give up at this point. One of the most common interior elements to crumble with age is the factory driver’s seat. While factory C6 Corvette seats provide a decent amount of support initially, their factory design is not centered around longevity.
In this guide, we’ll cover some of the most important considerations when purchasing replacement seats for your C6 Corvette. Whether you are looking for a track-focused option or a period-correct factory seat look-alike, we’ll offer a few suggestions that might work for your needs.
Problems With The Factory C6 Corvette Seat Design
Around a year after the delivery of their C6 Corvettes, owners began having issues with the factory seats. The biggest issue is the lack of support for the bottom cushion, as the bottom foam is only supported by the thin wiring of the seat spring. Through repeated use, this cuts through the bottom cushion, allowing it to sink deeper into the frame with no other support below it.
The metal seat frame also frequently cuts through the sides of the bottom cushion, causing a similar sinking problem. Over time, C6 owners report feeling something an uncomfortable hard lump in the middle of their seat. This is the seat memory control unit that sits under the seat springs. If you feel inconsistencies in your C6’s seats, chances are that the bottom foam has been ripped by the seat springs.
The same issue is prevalent in the other parts of the C6 Corvette seats where foam contacts the seat frame directly. The side bolsters are another point where the foam padding tears and eventually falls apart completely.
Chevy Corvette C6 Seat Upgrade Considerations
Before jumping into suggestions, there are a few considerations that you’ll have to take into account before pulling the trigger on some upgraded seats for your Chevy Corvette C6. It is important to take your time when choosing new seats, as it will be where you spend most of your time.
Take some time to assess your needs before making any final decisions, as it could mean the difference between comfort and agony. If your C6 Corvette doesn’t see many track days, it might be in your best interest to go with a seat with less aggressive bolstering. Conversely, if you are building a C6 track car, you’ll need plenty of support through the curves. Either way, proper seat sizing is paramount to both comfort and safety.
In most cases, upgrading your Corvette C6 seats will provide better overall comfort and support at the cost of some standard factory features. Unless you are willing to transplant the electronics from the factory C6 seats into aftermarket ones, you’ll likely lose out on seat position memory, heated seats, and side airbags. It is also rare to find aftermarket C6 Corvette seats with a recline feature, as the cabin is too narrow for a recline handle to fit. You’ll also likely need a seat adapter for aftermarket seat options to bolt to the factory mounting points.
C6 Corvette Seat Upgrade Sizing
Of course, in the end, the most comfortable seat is going to be the best option. One of the most crucial factors in the comfort equation is choosing a C6 Corvette seat that is the correct size. There are a few areas of an upgraded Corvette seat that you’ll have to consider in terms of sizing. First, you’ll need to make sure that the base of the seat is wide enough. The key is finding a seat that is just wide enough for you to sit comfortably without it feeling claustrophobic. If you aren’t sure how to measure yourself for seat fitment, check out this article that explains that process.
In addition to being the right size for your body, it is also crucial to make sure that it will also fit in the C6 chassis. This is often a problem for those that need an aftermarket seat with a wider base. The C6 Corvette has a notoriously narrow cockpit which can present seat mounting issues. Additionally, side bolsters can also cause problems in terms of fitment. Seats with extremely aggressive side bolsters can come in contact with your Vette’s center console and door cards. Be sure to measure before you buy.
One of the most common complaints among C6 Corvette owners when it comes to the factory seats is the lack of bolstering. As opposed to the C7 Corvette seats that followed, the C6 seats are a bit too comfort-oriented for spirited drivers. While the factory seats have decent side bolstering, they have no thigh or hip bolstering at all. That leads to a bit too much side-to-side movement on twisty backroads or on the track. As a result, most C6 Corvette owners are looking for seats that hug a little more.
As we briefly covered, thigh bolstering is a very important consideration when it comes to staying planted in a seat. For that reason, most aftermarket C6 Corvette seats, including all of the ones on this list, have significant side bolsters to prevent any sliding. The same can be said for side bolsters, which are meant to keep your midsection in place. Some aggressive, race-style seats feature protruding neck and head bolstering to keep your head in place while wearing a racing helmet.
With that being said, there are downsides to aggressive bolstering. In most cases, bolstering won’t get in the way of comfort. However, if your seat is too small or narrow, boosters can squeeze into you with some discomfort. 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.
Fixed vs Reclining Corvette C6 Seats
The choice between fixed and reclining aftermarket C6 seats can also make the difference between comfort and agony. This one is pretty self-explanatory, as the two options are stated in the heading. With a fixed Corvette seat, you won’t be able to adjust the seat’s angle. With this style of seat, the shell is typically formed from a single piece of metal, fiberglass, or carbon fiber. In that case, adjustability is significantly limited.
With a reclining Corvette seat, the aftermarket seat shell will have a less fixed position. A reclining seat will allow for the angle of the seating position to be changed, just like the factory seat. The ability to recline your C6 seat can help those with back pain that need a slightly more relaxed seating position. With that being said, aftermarket reclining C6 seats tend to be more expensive than fixed seats.
Airbag Sensor and Stock Electronics
VetteWorks C6 Corvette Airbag Simulation Plug: VetteWorksOnline.com
The Corvette C6 comes with multiple electronic features and airbags built into the seat. Depending on how much you value the electronic seat features in the stock seats, you might have to make some concessions when upgrading to aftermarket seats. Some of the most common C6 seat features include seat position memory, heating elements, passenger seat detector, and side airbags. Very few aftermarket seats have support for those features. As such, your only options are to remove those elements from the factory seat and transplant them into the new seat or ditch them altogether.
Ditching those features provides additional issues, as your Corvette’s ECU will be angry that some of those features were removed. Central among them is the side seat airbags. Without the airbag sensor plugged in, as airbag light will be perpetually illuminated on your dash. There is a solution to that, however. VetteWorks is a company known for supplying Corvette-specific parts and services. One of those happens to be an airbag simulation plug that spoofs your C6 Corvette’s ECU into believing that the airbag is still present. This will remove that pesky light. With that being said, at the end of the day, you are removing a safety feature from your Corvette. That could have potential implications in the result of a crash. Only swap out your factory seat if you are aware and content with that fact.
Seat Mounting / Aftermarket Brackets
Corbeau C6 Corvette Seat Mounting Bracket: Corbeau.com
AMT Ultralow Seat Mounting Bracket: amtmotorsport.com
To make aftermarket seats work in a C6 Corvette, you’ll need to either mock up a new seat bracket yourself or purchase an aftermarket seat bracket that works for the seat of your choice. The factory C6 seats are mounted directly to the floorboard via the factory seat base. As a result, you’ll need to find a seat solution that either works with the factory base, or uses an aftermarket mounting solution with specialized mounting brackets. Some aftermarket C6 Corvette seats, like the Caravaggio seat listed below, are Corvette-specialized and can be paired with the factory base and mounting equipment. That is less common though.
Most of the time, you’ll need to purchase aftermarket seat rails that will allow you to bolt an aftermarket seat to the factory mounting points. Luckily, there are a number of universal C6 mounting brackets that do just that. Some brackets, like the Corbeau sliding brackets listed above, are manufactured to work with a specific brand. Others, like the AMT brackets, have multiple bolting options for a variety of aftermarket seats.
Installing new seat brackets will often change the seating position of the new seats, with most sitting significantly lower than the factory base height. Some C6 Corvette owners like this, as it gives extra clearance for a racing helmet. If the lower base height is too extreme, installing spacers is always an option. Either way, base height is a very important consideration, especially if you are 6’ or above.
Best Chevy C6 Corvette Seat Upgrade Options
It used to be the case that there were very few seat options available that would fit into a C6 Corvette. Due to the Vette’s narrow cabin, aftermarket seats were often too wide to clear the center console and door trim. Back then, Corbeau was the only company that provided an aftermarket option for the C6 ‘Vette that would comfortably fit. To this day, Corbeau is the go-to option for those looking for a Corvette seat upgrade. With that being said, there are some other quality options available as well.
In the following section, we’ll focus on aftermarket C6 Corvette seat options. There are certainly some good OEM plus options available for the C6 as well which we’ll cover a bit later.
1) Corbeau A4
Price: $899.00 / $1,299.00 per pair
Purchase Here: Corbeau.com
Corbeau Corvette C6 Seat Bracket: Corbeau.com
When it comes to aftermarket seats for the C6 Corvette, Corbeau has built up quite a reputation. In fact, after any initial Google search about C6 seats, Corbeau is a repeat offender on the top search results. There’s a reason for that. The Corbeau A4 is perhaps the best seat on the market if you are looking for a true blend of quality and affordability. The A4 is a proven option in the C6 with fitment that is guaranteed by multiple ‘Vette owners that swear by them.
It is nearly impossible to dislike Corbeau A4s from a comfort, quality, or performance perspective. Comfort? The A4s have you covered with a reclining feature and optional inflatable lumbar support. Quality? The A4s are available in cloth, microsuede, and leather and in multiple different color options. All three materials are premium and undoubtedly feel quality. Performance? With semi-aggressive, yet not uncomfortable, side and thigh bolstering, you aren’t going anywhere in the A4. Additionally, if track days are in your C6’s future, the Corbeaus have shoulder pass-throughs compatible with 4 and 5-point harnesses.
You’ll get everything that you need in a performance seat with the Corbeau A4. With a 3.5” base height and support for waist sizes up to 36” with the standard model, the A4 was designed to work for most people under 6’2.” However, Corbeau also offers a Wider version of the A4 which is designed to work with waist sizes up to 40.”
2) Sparco Evo II Corvette C6 Seat
Style: Fixed-Back Seat
Purchase Here: ProPartsUSA.com
Compatible C6 Corvette Seat Bracket: amtmotorsport.com
I’m not sure exactly what it is, but from a purely aesthetic perspective, the Sparco EVO II looks like it belongs 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 important safety advances in the history of motorsports and has always been a brand synonymous with quality auto parts. The EVO fits right in with that mantra. For just over $800, you get an FIA-approved, fully fiberglass seat with all of the trimmings that you’d expect from a performance seat.
Unlike the Corbeau A4 listed above, the Sparco EVO II is a fixed-back seat, meaning that if you daily drive your C6 Corvette, this might not be the seat for you. The EVO is much more at home on the racetrack than on a road trip. Practically all of the EVO IIs design decisions and features revolve around racing applications. The EVO II is HANS compatible and features a thin bottom cushion for a lower seating position. That’s good news for the taller C6 Corvette owners out there.
The Sparco EVO II features included passthrough holes for a racing harness, but can also be used with stock seatbelts. In terms of fitment, most drivers with a 5’11” stature are able to comfortably fit in a standard EVO II. For taller C6 Corvette drivers, the larger EVO II USA might be the better option. According to C6 owners that have installed the EVO IIs in their ‘Vette head clearance is tight with a racing helmet of you are over 5’8.”
3) Corbeau Evolution X C6 Corvette Racing Seat
Style: Fixed Back Seat
Price: $469.00 per seat
Purchase Here: Corbeau.com
Corbeau Corvette Seat Bracket: Corbeau.com
For our third pick, Corbeau makes a reappearance. Simply put, they are one of the most trusted manufacturers in the aftermarket seat space. Overall, they have a reputation for making seats that bridge the gap between comfort and performance. In the case of the Evolution X, Corbeau actually goes well beyond that. In fact, when it comes to an aftermarket seat that is tailor-made for the Corvette, it is impossible to beat the Corbeau Evolution X.
Due to Corbeau’s stellar reputation in the Corvette community, they decided to design a seat inspired by the C5 and C6 chassis. The result was the Corbeau Evolution and Evolution X, both of which are made to look and perform as well as possible in fifth and sixth-generation Corvettes. The Evolution X features a tubular steel frame in combination with injection molded foam, making it light and durable.
The sporty design of the Evolution X is aimed at providing a sufficient amount of support without being suffocating. In addition to being well-bolstered, the C6 Corvette Evolution X seat is made to sit as low in the cockpit as possible, providing the maximum amount of headroom for a racing helmet.
In comparison to some of Corbeau’s other models, including the A4, the Evolution X provides better support for drivers with larger waist sizes. The Evolution X fits up to a size 38” waist, making it a solid all-inclusive option. Despite being a fixed-back seat, the Corbeau Evolution X is a great performance seat option that isn’t uncomfortable on longer drives.
4) Caravaggio C6 GT Race Seats
Style: Fixed Seat
Purchase Here: Caravaggiocorvettes.com
To round out the list, we’ve chosen a fixed-back, fiberglass, performance-oriented option with plenty of support from the C6 community. The Caravaggio GT is a midrange seat from one of the leading Corvette seat manufacturers. When researching C6 Corvette seats, Caravaggio is a name that appeared frequently. Many C6 Corvette forum members praise Caravaggio for their quality and attention to detail.
Built on a unibody fiberglass frame, the Caravaggio GT strikes a balance between being strong and being lightweight. It is clear that Caravaggio designed the GT to fit right in with the rest of the C6 interior. The leather-wrapped bucket provides plenty of support with large side bolsters, but widens at the top to give non-constricting support for your shoulders.
Since Caravaggio is a Corvette specialty company, fitment and stock compatibility are two considerations that carry a lot of weight for them. As a result, their GT race seat is compatible with the factory C6 Corvette seat rails with no need for modification. If you opt to retain the stock lower frame, you’ll be able to bypass many of the electrical logistics that you have to work around with some of the other aftermarket seats on this list. The only features that you’ll miss out on are side airbags and heated seats.
It is important to note that the Caravaggio GT seats are designed to fit within the constraints of the Corvette interior comfortably. As a result, they are narrower than quite a few other options. For that reason, it is important to contact Caravaggio directly to ensure fitment before ordering.
C7 Corvette Seat Swap
Outside of aftermarket Corvette seat options, it is also common to swap seats from other Corvettes into the C6 chassis. From the C6 to C7 chassis Corvette, Chevy fixed many of the issues associated with seat degradation and foam tearing. In comparison to factory C6 Corvette seats, the C7 GT seats are more aggressively bolstered as well. The thigh bolsters make you feel like you are sitting in the C7 seats rather than sitting on them like the C6 seats. With that being said, there are a couple of hurdles that you’ll need to overcome installing C7 seats into your C6 Corvette.
The primary issue is the electronic systems. The C6 and C7 Corvette use different wiring harnesses. That means the electronic C7 seat controls and features won’t work with the factory C6 connectors. This applies to the heated seats, seat control module, airbag, passenger detector sensor, and seat position sensor. To make the C6 systems work with a C7 seat, you’ll need to take the associated systems out of the C6 seat and wiring harness and install them in the C7 seat. That is certainly an involved procedure and one that takes a fair bit of wiring knowledge and finesse.
Additionally, the C6 and C7 Corvette seat belt mounting solutions are a bit different. That is another consideration that you’ll have to work out. Most Corvette owners that have done the swap have used the C6 seatbelts in favor of the C7 belts, as it is easier to adapt the C6 belt system. The seat belt attachment belts will have to be relocated to work with the C7 seat passthrough.
Stock Corvette C6 Seats Foam Upgrade
1997-2013 Corvette Seat Cushion Repair Kit: amazon.com
Pre-2012 to Post-2013 C6 Seat Conversion Guide: Corvetteforum.com
If you enjoy the look and feel of the factory C6 Corvette seats and aren’t interested in aftermarket solutions, updating the foam seat inserts is another option. Due to the fact that the factory C6 Corvette seats are pretty much universally lamented for their structural weakness, there are a ton of writeups out there about upgrading pre-2012 C6 ‘Vette seats to the much sturdier post-2012 seat configuration. The primary component of this upgrade is swapping out the old seat foam and skin for an updated set.
The new foam will rest on additional foam supports that protect the seat cushions from being torn by the frame. Most C6 owners that have performed the upgrade also recommend adhering non-tear fabric to any part of the new foam that makes contact with the frame for even more added protection.
The overall process is too in-depth to go into detail here, but the basics are simple enough. You’ll need to uninstall your C6 Corvette seats, 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 put everything back together. While there are nuanced steps to that process, it isn’t too demanding overall. Check out the link listed above for a more comprehensive step-by-step guide if you intend on doing it yourself.
Chevy Corvette C6 Seat Upgrade Guide Summary
The Chevy Corvette C6 has a lot of positive aspects going for it, but seats are not one of them. The factory C6 seats are often one of the first interior components to fall apart on 2005-2012 Corvettes due to the overall design. The seat cushions don’t have enough support for continued use and tear and crumble due to the stress. While the factory seats aren’t the best in terms of build quality or support, there are plenty of good aftermarket C6 seat options out there.
Before making a decision on C6 ‘Vette seats, some due diligence is important. Of primary importance is C6 seat fitment, in terms of the seat being the right size for you and for the chassis. Most reputable seat manufacturers do a pretty good job of providing detailed schematics of their seats pre-purchase, so it is important to make sure that the base width of your chosen seat is wide enough for you to fit comfortably, but not so wide that you’ll be sliding around. Side bolster width is another item of importance, as you don’t want them to make contact with your Corvette’s center console or door cards.
Consider what you plan on doing with your Corvette and base your seat choice on that. If you are building a dedicated track C6, your best bet is likely a fixed back seat that is as light as possible and made from strong materials in case of a crash. If you are refreshing a daily driven Corvette, you’ll likely want a reclining seat that is as comfortable as possible yet still provides the support of the factory sport seats. Luckily, there are solid options for both ends of the spectrum.