Asked to name the biggest challenge faced throughout the eighth generation 2020 Chevrolet Corvette development, Juechter does not hesitate to cite the temperature regulation system. With the engine and radiator up front, cooling air entering the nose sweeps throughout the heat exchangers, over the hot exhaust manifolds, out the fender wells and side gills, or under the vehicle. That’s straightforward, he explained. The solution for the mid engine Stingray we validated at 100 degrees F with a professional driver at the wheel is considerably more involved. There are two radiators in front and a 3rd positioned in the left side scoop, which also routes fresh intake air to the engine.
Airflow has to bend sharply toward the car’s centerline before sweeping past the exhaust headers. Then it slams into our huge rear trunk wall. Since there is no room for ductwork, we fitted large air outlet vents, aided by electric fans, in the back corners of the car to cool the powertrain during sweltering traffic conditions, he said. In addition, the cantilevered glass hatch has open mail slot, at its final edge to vent the hot air. The DCT’s substantial cooling needs are satisfied using a refrigerant lubricant heat exchanger mounted atop the transaxle and a dedicated flow loop, Juechter added.
Like the seven generation Chevrolet Corvette, the new the eighth generation 2020 Chevrolet Corvette’s structure is welded aluminium spaceframe built at GM’s Bowling Green, Kentucky, assembly plant. This second generation design consists of stampings, extrusions, castings, hydroformed pipes and six intricate die molded aluminium assemblies aimed at improving torsional rigidity while reducing the number of welds. Known as the Bedford Six, these structural nodes are made at a GM Powertrain plant in Bedford, Indiana. Thanks to its robust 12 inch tall center tunnel, the new spaceframe is relatively light and claimed to be ten percent stiffer than before to provide a firm base for steering, suspension and powertrain components.
Without the need for tall, wide rocker sections to provide the desired structural integrity, the C8’s ingress and egress are exemplary.
Suspension control arms are cast- and forged aluminium as before. Instead of the fiberglass monoleaf springs long used in Corvettes, C8 has conventional coil springs surrounding the damper at each wheel location. GM’s optional Magnetic Ride Control, which senses wheel movement and automatically adjusts the dampers using BWI’s magneto rheologic technology, has been retuned for improved ride and handling. No Corvette has ever felt so comfortable, nimble, and stable, Juechter exclaimed. We are confident our clients will admire the strides we have achieved in ride quality. And now that the car’s gravity center is quite close to the occupants hip points, the feeling during acceleration and braking is analogous to riding in the center, in place of the ends, of a teeter totter. There is virtually no sense of pitch movement in the cockpit.
Moving the engine rearward also cleared a course for a straighter, stiffer connection in between the steering wheel and the electrically-assisted rack-and-pinion gear. Less weight on the front wheels made it possible for speeding up the guiding ratio from 16.25:1 to 15.7:1 to sharpen agility. Michelin will continue as Corvette’s sole tire provider. Requirement tires are Pilot Sport ALS (all season) radials while Pilot Sport FOUR (summer) rubber is consisted of with the optional Z51 efficiency package.
The 20-in. (508-mm) diameter rear wheels are an inch wider than before, while rear tire section width has actually been increased by 20 mm (0.8-in.) in keeping with the increased rear-axle loading. Brembo will continue supplying the four-piston set caliper, vented-rotor brake elements however no longer delivers corner modules to the Bowling Green factory. The brake booster is electrically powered.
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