We don’t even know for sure if General Motors is really going to bring Zora’s dream of a mid-engine Corvette to life in 2019.
But evidence continues to mount that GM is definitely thinking outside the box with its future powerplants.
Indeed, gminsidenews.com reported this week that GM has earned a patent for an internal combustion engine with elevated compression ratio and multi-stage boosting, after 18 months of review by the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
“It gives us an interesting look at how GM engineers plan to continue producing obscene performance cars like the Corvette ZR1 and Camaro ZL1 1LE in a world of increasingly stringent emission regulations,” gminsidenews writes.
While the illustrations show a four-cylinder engine mounted longitudinally, GM claims that its thinking would also work for engines with more cylinders, perhaps the six or eight that might eventually power a powerful C8 mid-engine Corvette.
Without getting too far down in the weeds, the patent is for a propulsion system that uses a high compression internal combustion engine with a low-flow supercharger used in conjunction with a high-flow turbocharger. Here’s the part that’s really exciting as revealed in the patent document – those superchargers would be linked to “one or more electric motor/generators, none of which are shown.”
The patent reveals new thinking on twincharging and the application of boost pressure, with GM noting that the supercharger could be driven by the crankshaft or a dedicated electric motor, with the blower’s speed controlled by a continuously variable transmission (CVT) that would manage the supercharger free from engine RPM.
Says gminsidenews: “Meaning the CVT could keep the supercharger pegged at peak boost if necessary, or spooled for low RPM acceleration before the turbocharger clicks on above 3,000 RPM, when enough high-flow exhaust would be available to feed the impeller. The multi-boosted system could be capable of operating sequentially or in tandem based on what the vehicle’s ECU wants, which will, in turn, depend on if it’s been programmed for performance or economy.
If you’d like to read more about this new system, go to gminsidenews.com.
While we don’t know if this new system will be used in a mid-engine C8 Corvette, the patent clearly shows that GM has new ideas in the works. Let’s hope their secretive creativity ultimately leads to what could become the most exciting generation of Corvettes ever.
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