Through the office of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, better known as the USPTO, we’ve seen that GM engineers are thoroughly exploring active aerodynamics for vehicles based on a number of patent applications submitted over the last couple of years.
The trend started back in March 2017 with the patent application for “Vehicle Ride-Height Determination for Control of Vehicle Aerodynamics“. That was followed up in August 2018 with the approval of new patents for Active Side Skirts, Spoilers and Downforce Generating Ducts“. In September 2018 GM also won approval for a patent titled “Aerodynamic Actuator Control Systems and Methods” with graphics featuring a vehicle with the engine behind the seats.
Now we have another one to add to the list, thanks to our friend Jeremy Welborn who sent us this patent application that was filed on August 8, 2017, and published on February 14, 2019 for “Active Aerodynamic Body Panel for an Automotive Vehicle”. Once again, the application features diagrams of a C7 Corvette body with panels near the front side quarter panel vents that open and close based on ride characteristics.
The application clearly states that the side panels “move differentially, having an inside stored position and an outer deployed one, capable of moving separately on one side of the car versus the other side of the car”. The application also states that it “would provide for a system and method for improving turning and braking of an automotive vehicle via body-acting forces.”
The diagram below shows the panels represented as #20 and #22 with the actuators #24 and #26. The drivers side panel is deployed and the air coming off the side fenders is disrupted:
Click here to view the GM Patent for Active Aerodynamic Body Panel for an Automotive Vehicle.
A member of the MidEngineCorvetteForum.com likens this patent to a system of active aerodynamic panels found on the Pagani Huayra. While the system on the Pagani is more for creating downforce, you can get the gist of how panels on the side of a vehicle could also affect turning and braking as the patent application discusses.
New GM Patents Leak Active Aero and Hybrid Details on the C8 Mid-Engine Corvette
GM Has New Patents Approved for Active Side Skirts, Spoilers and Downforce Generating Ducts
Patent Application Details Adaptive Aerodynamics Plans for C7 Corvette