By on March 24, 2017

Chevrolet Corvette Active Aero Patent, Image Source: USPTO

General Motors has filed a patent application for an innovative active aerodynamics system that may find its way into forthcoming C7 Corvette variant.

The application is for a “vehicle ride-height determination,” system that will adjust the vehicle’s active aerodynamic components “based on changes to the body relative to the center of the wheels.” It will also account for tire deflection, adjusting the active aero based on the load applied to the tires.

The controller is programmed with a look-up table establishing a correlation between the detected height of the vehicle body relative to the road wheel and the deflection of the tire, and wherein the controller is configured to determine the deflection of the tire using the look-up table.

A variety of active aero pieces are outlined in the patent drawings, including a front splitter, hood vents, a rear wing and grille shutters. It’s not clear if all these will be used in the potential production application of the system, or if GM is simply covering the bases with the patent and outlining every applicable component.

GM’s system differs from regular active aero in that it will attempt to compensate for any performance left on the table by the suspension becoming upset or the tires receiving too much load. Many other active aero systems will only adjust the position of the wings and shutters based on the speed of the vehicle or based on the application of the throttle and brake, but this version is much more sophisticated.

A pair of C7 Corvette ZR1 prototypes were recently filmed pounding around Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, but we couldn’t spot any active aero pieces upon viewing the video. It’s possible Chevy is playing its cards close to its chest and purposely hiding the active aero system on the ZR1, or perhaps we won’t see it in a production application for quite some time. GM sure isn’t letting any more info slip out, with head of communications for Chevy performance cars Ron Kiino telling GMInsideNews there’s “no comment” from the automaker at this time.

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7 Comments on “Chevrolet Corvette May Get Active Aerodynamics System, Patents Reveal...”

  • avatar

    Active Aero – Cool – Like a 1991 3000GT VR4

  • avatar

    Hey look! It’s a modern K.I.T.T.!

  • avatar

    Is there any reason to do this on the present C7? Even with the Zo6, would this offer more track speed? Perhaps. Even though some time could be picked up I fail to see the business case for it. However, with the upcoming C8 and the (I believe) modern Cadillac “XLR” there might be value to be had as a halo tool.

  • avatar

    Amazing technology that brings amazing performance on the track, but for road use we are long past the point of relevance. How many people take their Vette (or other performance car) past .7g, do the 0-60 run in less than 7-8 seconds, or exceed 100 mph on the street? I’m guessing virtually none, and Vettes could pull those numbers or better 60 years ago on skinny tires, zero aero aids, and $4,000 sticker prices.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    This technology will be exclusive to the Corvette for the 1st 5-6 years. In year 6 this technology will appear on the Camaro with the Corvette engine and that Camaro will cost as much a base Corvette. None of this technology will appear anywhere but on Corvettes and the one special Camaro. It won’t appear on, or in, GM products besides these two vehicles. Meanwhile, they’ll do fist bumps in Bowling Green and brag about how they make “world class” products. GM shouldn’t keep their best technology for the Corvette, they should share as much as possible throughout the whole company.

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