Beauty is said to be only skin deep, but in the case of the 2020 Corvette, that’s not necessarily the case, as this video with a Chevrolet engineer illustrates.
In the four-minute video posted by cnet.com on its Roadshow program, Josh Holder, program engineering manager for Team Corvette, shows enthusiasts a few of the thoughtful and performance-enhancing features hidden underneath the skin of the mid-engine Corvette.
Using a retractable hardtop convertible, Holder points out that this car has the D84 option that changes the nacelles and roof panel to carbon flash in place of the standard body color. The D86 option, he says, features only carbon flash nacelles. “So again, another example of where we like to let customers choose and customize their car as they would wish,” he says.
Holder also explains that the bottom two-thirds of the boomerang-shaped side inlets help cool the engine compartment by funneling air into the compartment and then out through the tonneau and rear fascia.
Moving under the rear of the car, which has been raised into the air on a lift, Holder points to one of the actuators that opens and closes a valve on the tailpipe with the performance exhaust system standard on the Z51 and optional on the base Stingray. “When that valve is open, exhaust flows freely through the muffler,” he says, “basically straight through the muffler … frees up a little extra engine horsepower. That’s why we can say the LT2 has 495 horsepower (with the NPP system, up from the base 490), but most importantly it provides an awesome sound.”
Owners who plan to track their Z51 Stingrays will appreciate another nice feature of the C8, a rear brake duct that, when coupled with the installation of an elbow duct connected to the bottom of the lower control arm, helps to cool the rear brake rotors by funneling air moving underneath the car onto the rotors. This feature is intended only for racing and competition events, not normal driving.
Another feature that doesn’t help performance but definitely makes life easier for hands-on owners, Holder says, is the cut-outs that allow easy access to the oil filter and oil drain plug without having to remove any of the panels under the car.
Holder also noted how flat the bottom of the C8 is, an intentional move to keep air moving freely under the car, helping reduce drag and lift and increase downforce. “We spend a lot of time making sure the car is as flat as possible,” he says.
Along those lines, he points to the row of bolts holding a carbon-reinforced close-out panel that seals up the large central tunnel section, which is the backbone of the efficient, lightweight aluminum structure common to both coupe and convertible, to help react torsion and bending loads.
Lastly, Holder points to the front-lift actuator, a hydraulic piston that moves the spring seat up and down on the shock, raising the front end about two inches at the fascia to allow the car to clear obstacles in the way and help preserve the front spoiler. Furthermore, the system’s GPS also has the ability to store up to 1,000 locations so the next time the car is at that point, the front end automatically goes up.
[VIDEO] Kirk Bennion and Josh Holder Answer Questions about the 2020 Corvette at the Petersen Auto Museum
What You Need to Know About Adjustable Ride Height, Magnetic Ride, and the E60 Front Lift System
[VIDEO] The Corvette Team Presents the 2020 Corvette Stingray at Corvettes at Carlisle