Should you be concerned that the open corner vents of the front fascia of the new C8 Corvette could allow damage to the equipment behind them by flying rocks and other debris?
General Motors’ official word is no, but some owners are expressing their doubts.
“What people are seeing is cosmetic,” a GM spokesperson told Motor1.com this week. “We have determined that it does not degrade the performance of the vehicle.”
The large vents on each corner of the front bumper of the new Stingray allow airflow to reach the air conditioning condensers and engine radiators mounted behind them. Only a large honeycomb insert serves as protection.
We tend to believe that with the hundreds of thousands of miles of extensive testing done by General Motors during the development of the new Corvette, that if there was a performance problem with the design of these vents, other than appearance, the company would have discovered that already and fixed it.
Still, that hasn’t kept some Corvette owners from resorting to their own “solutions” to what they perceive as a problem. One person even used screens from a Home Depot gutter guard to protect his radiators from rocks and bugs.
John Elegant, co-founder of the midenginecorvetteforum.com, says he’s worried that such a homemade solution could cut down on heat exchanging capabilities, especially on a hot day, stop and go, track use, etc.
“A mid-engine needs complete cooling,” Elegant posted on his website, “and GM upped their standards for the C8 to ensure it has excellent capability in this area. We have to be careful not to jeopardize that with a garden variety solution.”
We would tend to agree with John that it’s not worth rushing to fix a problem that may not even exist, though posts on MidEngineCorvetteForum.com indicate that even the aftermarket is apparently working on solutions.
Bottom line for me as a C8 owner is to keep a watchful eye on the situation and make sure there isn’t a problem with overheating caused by rock damage. I’m pretty picky, but to me the vents themselves are so low to the ground that you would have to practically sit on the ground to notice any cosmetic damage. I’m much more concerned about flying rocks chipping the bumper, which is much more visible.
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