C7 Corvette to Use Active Aerodynamic System

In the early half of the year, General Motors has filed an application to patent the new innovative active aerodynamics system, which will be found in the next generation of C7 Corvette. Though pictures of prototypes have been leaked by various spy photographs, it is still unsure whether or not the system will arrive with the C7 Corvette ZR1 in 2018.

What does the active aerodynamics system patent entail?

Patents need a detailed account of the innovation. Thus, we already have details of the C7 Corvette active aerodynamics. Insiders say that aside from submitting the basic layout, General Motors has also tested some prototypes.

The patent, filed on the 23rd of March 2017, states that it is for a "vehicle ride-height determination" to control the vehicle's aerodynamics. The system will adjust the active aerodynamic components of the vehicle according to the changes of the body in relation to the wheels' center.

Elements involved in this technology include an adjustable spoiler, splitter, air dam, shutter, and diffuser. These elements will adjust according to what data is fed into the system. However, it is not yet clear whether all of these pieces will be used in the production application of the active aerodynamic system, or they will simply cover the bases with the patent.

The patent further specifies that the controller has a look-up table that can establish a correlation between the tire deflection and road wheel, and the body height of the vehicle. The height of the vehicle is cross-checked against its reference frame. The look-up table is used to determine the tire deflection.

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Moreover, the system features a program that can vary the adjustable aerodynamic-aid component's position. In other words, it can control the movement of the airflow in accordance with the vehicle's body.

How different is the new active aerodynamics system?

From the looks of the basic layout, it's clear that Corvette is taking the game to the next level. In contrast to regular active aerodynamics, GM's system attempts to compensate performance that is upset by suspension or overloaded tires. Regular active aero only adjusts the shutter and wing's position in accordance with the vehicle's speed or the brake and throttle. However, GM's system is a more sophisticated version of it.

What evidence do we have of the new active aerodynamics system?

A C7 Corvette ZR1 prototype has been spotted in Michigan. This prototype has smaller wings and a spoiler that's detached from the rear deck and is mounted on the top of the hatch's opening instead. However, previous prototypes, like the one spotted in Nurburgring, presented different designs, so it is unsure which one of them is closest to the final active aerodynamics system.

Final Thoughts

There are still a lot of unanswered questions regarding C7 Corvette's active aerodynamics system. What's clear as of the moment is that General Motors is planning to launch the new model with the new system in 2018. Since GM is extra careful with information about the patented system, it seems like we have to wait until then.