We learned in March that GM was working on a system of adaptive aerodynamics for the Corvette, going so far as to submit a patent application for the technology. While our belief has been that this is a feature expected on the C8 mid-engine, the patent drawings did detail the system on a C7 model.
A fellow Corvette enthusiast who wishes to remain anonymous got behind a smaller wing Corvette ZR1 prototype in the Detroit area and snapped these photos from behind before the driver dived into a subdivision. These photos show that instead of the usual mounting of the spoiler directly to the rear deck, the struts actually appear to be mounted through openings in the top of the hatch.
If this ZR1 Coupe prototype is equipped with the adaptive aerodynamic system, we can assume those struts are connected to an adjustable element that could increase or trim downforce based on the ride height of the car:
Those struts are definitely mounted in those openings as the photos show. If that isn’t an adaptive aerodynamic spoiler on the rear, then why the over-engineering for the mounting when it can simply mounted to the top of the rear hatch?
Check out the big wing Corvette ZR1 spotted recently on the Nurburgring. From our friends at MotorAuthority, click the photo for a larger pic and look at the mounting points on the deck lid. It appears that the big wing spoiler is mounted directly to the top of the rear hatch:
The patent application filed on March 27th shows a system consisting of a front and rear spoiler that features a computer controlled modules and sensors that determine the ride height of the car and adjust to control the movement of airflow over the car. The description of Adaptive Aerodynamics from the patent application:
A system is configured to control aerodynamics of a vehicle. The vehicle includes a vehicle body having a front end facing an ambient airflow when the vehicle is in motion relative to a road surface. The system includes an adjustable aerodynamic-aid element mounted to the vehicle body. The system also includes a mechanism configured to vary a position of the adjustable aerodynamic-aid element relative to the vehicle body and thereby control movement of the airflow. The system additionally includes a sensor configured to detect a height of the vehicle body relative to a predetermined reference frame and a controller configured to receive a signal from the sensor indicative of the detected vehicle body height. The controller is also configured to determine a ride-height of the vehicle using the detected vehicle body height and to regulate the mechanism in response to the determined ride-height to control aerodynamics of the vehicle.
Patent Application Details Adaptive Aerodynamics Plans for C7 Corvette
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