The new C7 Corvette was a difficult design for Chevrolet as they had to mix together emotion and economics. They would need to make sure that the car suited its fans making sure that the changes made would be up to par.
Therefore it is interesting to know more about the car, in order to find out what changes have been made to it. There has been information gathered from a selection of sources to make up a list of ten interesting facts about the new car.
1. Shape memory alloy wire is used for the first time in a production vehicle in this car.
This is used in order to reduce the weight of the car. It is a smart wire which is used in the cargo area and saves 1.1 pounds of weight. The operates a cabin vent and replaces the motorised actuator that was used in previous models. It is triggered when the hatch is opened and heat is generated by an electrical current, in a similar way that the interior lamp is powered when the door opens. The heat causes a lever to move and open a vent which will allow air to escape thus reducing the pressure in the cabin which makes shutting the boot easier. Once it is closed the current is cut off and the wire returns to normal and the vent is closed using a spring and the cabin temperature is therefore maintained.
This sort of smart material is one of 247 that GM has got patents for over the last five years. Their vast research and development has led to many breakthroughs. It is thought that there are over 200 motorised parts in a typical car which could benefit from this one. The smart materials can change shape, stiffness or strength which means that they activate something. This can be done by applying stress, magnetic force, voltage or heat.
2. A rear weight bias is used for the first time in a Corvette
There seems to be a slight rear weight bias in the new car. It seems like there will be 50.6% of the weight on the back with 49.4% on the front. Although the C6.R was slightly heavier at the back, this is a first for a production model corvette.
3. It takes just tenths of a second for the electronic limited-slip differential to go from open to full lock.
The eLSD comes as standard with the Z51 package option and it using a hydraulic clutch that can vary the amount that it is engaged. This includes a capability to go from open to full lock in just tenths of a second. This is integrated in to the stability control and the performance traction management systems working out the differential using an algorithm that uses the steering input, throttle position and vehicle speed as factors.
4. Some of the Corvette options will allow the cars to have a differential heat exchanger or rear mounted transmission.
All of the vehicles would be expected to have multiple heat exchangers that fit in this market segment. However, the C7 differs in the fact that they are rear mounted. His means that the weight is more towards the back and this not only reduces the weight somewhat but also cuts out some plumbing compared to the C6. On the driver’s side there is a rear fender and the vent there moves air over the transmission heat exchanger. The vent on the other side moves the air over the eLSD cooler and they both push the hot air out through the tail lamp vents and lower rear fascia outlets.
5. The transmission tunnel has Aerogels insulation developed by NASA
The centre tunnel in the C6 gets pretty hot and with the C7 having a tighter space for its exhaust, it could be even more of a problem. In order to make sure that this does not become a big problem, an insulation called Aerogel, which was developed by NASA for use in space suits is being used. This is an extremely light material which is made up of almost all air, so no weighty gel needs to be used. It is 39 times better at insulating than fibreglass. It has a 10mm layer of it on the tunnel sides as well as 5mm on the top to prevent the heat coming out.
6. The target price is $50k
The C7 was always going to have a target base price of $50k. Although this may change, it is an impressive figure as there is a lot of tech included. There must have been some cost cutting somewhere else to get such a good price for the vehicle.
7. It is a 30mpg supercar
The C7 has had a highway estimate of 29 mpg but with its Eco mode selected it could get to 30mpg as the small block V8 cylinders deactivations system is activated. GM says that the efficiency is helped by an advanced combustion process, variable valve timing, direct injection and active fuel management. The engine has 10 million hours of computational analysis put in to it and the combustion engine 6 million hours – so some serious work went in to that.
8. There are no cross drilled rotors
The c7 has Brembo brakes as well new discs vented by shallow grooved to replace the cross drilled rotors. The drilled units were cracking when race teams tested them and so not only do they get around this but also have a better feel.
9. The shoes are pretty special
Michelin has been chosen to supply the tyres for the C7 and worked for 36 months with them to get the best options. The base car and Z51 package differ. The tyres are a cross between their two best the PS2 and PS Cup. They are manufactured using the process that is used to make Le Mans and ALMS racers tyres and many of the rubbers used are similar too.
10. There are asymmetrical sidewalls on the tyres
Michelin has developed the tyres so that they have asymmetrical sidewalls like they did for the ZR1. The inside walls are 3mm thick and they are stiffer which should help them be more comfortable and better staying power on the corners. They also have 150 constituents in the tread compound.