Tom Peters and Kirk Bennion spoke to a packed house at the 2013 NCM Bash about designing the exterior of the new 7th generation Corvette.
Tom started the seminar by talking about the inspiration of the C7 Corvette’s design, which he says comes from the YF-22 fighter jet. But Peters also talks about the individual designers and how their passion helped push the design to the next level. We get a run through of both the Coupe and the Convertible design and then Peters wraps up his portion by talking about how we are now in the 21st century and Corvette needs to be there.
Kirk Bennion then takes over and we get an in-depth talk about the process of designing the new Corvette. It started first with a global sketch roundup where over 300 designs were submitted from designers at GM’s design studios around the world. Once the sketches were reviewed, five themes were selected and scale models were created. Those models were tested in the wind tunnel to see if they conformed to the design goals.
Once the previaling theme emerged, full size clay models were sculpted. Bennion shows photos during the process including several photos of the clay designs outside on the design patio which he says is the size of a football field. They actually have an RV with large windows that they get in and drive around the designs to see the car from all angles.
The full size models spent a lot time in the wind tunnel. Kirk talks about the design challenges with measuring the computational flow dynamics which they used to monitor the airflow through the new front facing radiator which exits the air over the top of the car instead of underneath it. Other challenges included the measuring of the air through the transmission and differential cooling vents.
In one of the more interesting moments, Kirk showed this Stingray driving video and talks about how during the filming, he was the driver of the Stingray out at Milford and the photographers gave him instructions to come in “hot” on one of the corners. Bennion says “Alright, I like hot. Hot’s fun”. So once he got the go signal, he describes coming around a big right hand sweeper in 4th gear at 7,000 rpms doing about 140 mph and he comes within a foot of the camera as instructed. The photographers asked if he cold do it again, but this time, “less hot”.
Following the seminar, Tom Peters and Kirk Bennion took questions from the audience.
Watch the C7 Corvette Stingray Exterior Design Seminar from the 2013 NCM Bash.
If you liked this video from the 2013 NCM Bash and want to learn more about the 2014 Corvette Stingray, check out these other videos from the NCM Bash:
[VIDEO] The Corvette Racing Seminar at the 2013 NCM Bash
[VIDEO] The C7 Corvette Interior Design Seminar at the 2013 NCM Bash
[VIDEO] The 2014 Corvette Stingrays Leave the National Corvette Museum
[VIDEO] The C7 Corvette Chassis Development Seminar from the 2013 NCM Bash
[VIDEO] The 2014 Corvette Stingray Seminar from the NCM Bash