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2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray: Designing Everyday Supercars

nicad 14/05/2022 161

The special "skeleton" lowers the center of gravity of the 2020 Corvette Stingray. Chevrolet Corvette Stingray 2020 : concevoir des supercars de tous les jours

The spine helps make the Corvette more versatile for everyday driving.

Chevy employed a materials manufacturing strategy known as the "Bedford Six".

The arrival of the mid-engine Corvette Stingray for 2020 is a huge deal. By moving the engine in its place, GM has finally entered the global premium supercar scene. And they did it in a way befitting one of the biggest and oldest manufacturers on the planet. In a way, the fact that it took so long is quite confusing. GM is incredibly resource rich. And not just development money, although they have a ton of it. They have test facilities, computer farms, and building upon building full of smart engineers who would love to get off the line and show the world what "Yankee Ingenuity" means.

And indeed, GM has shown everyone how it's done, from the proverbial blank sheet of paper to the final starting MSRP of $60,000.

2020 Chevy Corvette Stingray: Essential Basics

It's the little things

< p>Mixed Materials Strategy

2020 Chevy Corvette Stingray: Ride & Road holding

Z51 Performance Package

Corvette Visualizer

National visit Chevrolet Corvette Stingray 2020 : concevoir des supercars de tous les jours

Gallery 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

2020 Chevy Corvette Stingray: Essential Basics

The structure of the 2020 Corvette is built around its backbone: the central tunnel. This is not a particularly new idea. Colin Chapman designed a bunch of Lotuses (and even the DeLorean) around a central backbone design. It creates a light and rigid structure as the basis for everything else in the car. The engine and transaxle sit solidly in the middle of the spine, and the suspension system hangs down at the ends. The stiffness allows the suspension to work as it should and not be weighed down by chassis flex. GM says that by "removing unwanted body conformance," the new Corvette provides better lateral grip while reducing vibration at higher speeds or on long road trips.

The spine design makes it easier to get in and out of a mid-engine vehicle too. There's no need for rocker panels and giant sills to handle structural loads, making it easier to get in and out of the vehicle; unlike, say, what you find on a Lambo. Since the spine lowers the center of gravity, stability should be excellent and handling exceptional.

The 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray benefits from GM's new digital vehicle platform. The electronic architecture minimizes wiring and enables faster transmission of signals between vehicle systems. The platform also offers live updates. Photo: Chevy.

It's the little things

The beloved Corvette roof panel (standard) even benefits from the new mid-engine design. As before, you can store it in the rear trunk. Peasy easy! Speaking of storage, up front there's a (frunk?) trunk that can hold airline-spec carry-on luggage and a laptop bag. The other trunk in the back holds two fully loaded golf bags. In other words, the 2020 Chevy Corvette Stingray is even somewhat practical.

The spine structure, combined with smart packaging, improves cabin comfort. It gives you an extra inch of rearward seat travel and nearly double the recline angle. The patriotic icing on the cake is that the Stingray will be available in both left-hand and right-hand drive variants, a first for Corvette.

Mixed materials strategy

Technical kudos and cool engineering abound throughout the new Corvette Stingray. GM's "mixed materials strategy," something they used for the new Silverado, is found in key areas here as well. For example, the main structure of the 2020 Corvette consists of six die-cast aluminum parts, known as the Bedford Six. These six items come from GM Powertrain in Bedford, Indiana. The goal here is to minimize the number of joints in the vehicle, which makes the structure more rigid. This, in turn, increases handling and cornering capabilities, while reducing vibration, noise and harshness. Chevrolet Corvette Stingray 2020 : concevoir des supercars de tous les jours

Other interesting parts include the curved carbon fiber rear bumper beam, an industry first according to GM. The front and rear trunk trays and dash are molded from ultra-light "float" casting, which GM says is derived from fiberglass and a proprietary resin. Bowling Green geeks call it a "float" because it's light enough to float on water. They use it with other fiberglass and carbon fiber components to reduce the mass of the 2020 Corvette Stingray.

2020 Chevy Corvette Stingray. Chevrolet photo.

2020 Chevy Corvette Stingray: Ride & Handling

Gone are the days when the brutal power of a Corvette engine had to compensate for handling flaws. Oh sure, that beastly potential is still there, delightfully, but thanks to the mid-engine layout, you can now have all the cake and road handling you want. Putting the engine block in the middle allows for shorter, straighter and stiffer steering; couple that with an updated electronic steering system, and inputs for the driver should feel instantaneous. The new seating position puts the car's center of gravity near the inside of the driver's hip, so it feels like the thing is literally spinning around you.

Believe me, I've driven cars like this before. Your perception of the vehicle's handling and responsiveness is breathtaking.

Other ride and handling upgrades include a revised steering ratio from 16.25:1 to 15.7:1 and new eBoost brakes. Michelin all-season tires can veer close to 1G (for an all-season tire!), which GM says is a first. There's a super cool and useful front suspension lift that gives you more ground clearance to the tune of +40mm at the front bumper. Push a button and breathe, 2.8 seconds later you're protected from ruts, potholes, steep driveways and speed bumps. And check this out: the suspension lift works automatically via GPS to memorize up to 1,000 locations in advance.

Interior layout of the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray. Photo: Chevrolet.

Z51 Performance Package

Yes, there will be a Z51 Performance Package. Oh wait, didn't you realize everything I was talking about was for the base model? Indeed it is. It just gets better and better from here, my young Padawan.

The Z51 Performance Pack brings a bunch of goodies to an already great party: performance suspension with manually adjustable threaded spring seats; larger brake discs with Z51 logos on the calipers; better cooling and specific axle ratio; new front brake cooling intakes and a performance exhaust. There is also an electronic limited-slip differential built into the transaxle for better torque modulation. The front splitter and two-piece open rear spoiler give you a combined downforce of 400 lbs. Chevrolet Corvette Stingray 2020 : concevoir des supercars de tous les jours

And finally, GM's Magnetic Ride Control 4.0 trick is available. In short, this thing is a beast!

2020 Chevy Corvette Stingray on an open road. Photo: Chevy.

Corvette Visualizer

Production of the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray begins at Bowling Green Assembly later this year. Additional pricing and packaging information will be available closer to launch. When it hits the market, the new Stingray will be offered in 12 exterior colors; offer six interior color schemes and seat belt colors, with two optional stitch packages. If you just can't wait, a new digital tool, the Corvette Visualizer, lets you design your dream mid-engine Vette down to the smallest detail.

Nationwide Tour

The 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray will embark on a nationwide dealership tour leading up to its on-sale date. Corvette specialists, along with the vehicle and many other exhibits, will stop at more than 125 dealerships nationwide, as well as at major consumer events.

Tony Borroz has spent his whole life racing vintage cars and sports cars. He is the author of Bricks & Bones: The Endearing Legacy and Nitty-Gritty Phenomenon of The Indy 500, available in paperback or Kindle. Follow his work on Twitter: @TonyBorroz.

Gallery 2020 Chevy Corvette Stingray

Pictures & Source: Chevrolet.

The 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray is the mid-engine Vette fans have been waiting for. What follows is an in-depth understanding of how cars are designed.


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