Appears in Print as: ‘Part 2: Beauty, speed, luxury — 2020 Corvette ‘
Earlier this year, the first installment of eighth-generation Chevrolet Corvette sports cars (C8s) from General Motors Co. (GM, Detroit, Mich., U.S.) came rolling off GM’s Bowling Green, Ky., U.S. assembly line. Described as the “fastest, most powerful entry Corvette” in the model’s 67-year history, it’s also the most composites-intensive Corvette, and the first to feature a mid-engine configuration. Not only is the 2020 Corvette Stingray beautiful and fast, but it’s tricked out with a host of luxury features. However, don’t let good looks and fast track times fool you: there’s plenty of composites innovation on this car. CW’s two-part coverage of composites use in this vehicle began in the July 2020 issue. This is part 2.
Body structure: part B
The new Corvette features not one but two trunks that, combined, hold 12.6 cubic-feet/0.36 cubic meters of cargo. Both trunks are produced in 42 wt-% chopped fiberglass/vinyl ester-unsaturated polyester (VE-UP) resin, but use different processes driven by geometry and mechanical requirements. The front trunk (frunk) is compression molded 0.95-specific gravity (SG) “float” sheet molding compound (SMC), while the rear trunk is formed via the proprietary PRiME (Prepositioned Reinforcement ensuring Manufacturing Excellence) process, a liquid compression molding (LCM) variant. The float SMC and the PRiME process were developed by processor Molded Fiber Glass Co. (MFG, Ashtabula, Ohio, U.S.). MFG produced all structural SMC and LCM’d parts on the car.
“Although both spaces are characterized by shallow-draft, long-draw walls, the frunk is smaller than the rear trunk, and could be compression molded,” explains Chris Basela, Corvette body structure lead engineer. “The rear trunk needed higher mechanical performance and was a tough geometry to fill with an SMC charge. Because the PRiME process lets us change fiber length, we could use longer pre-positioned reinforcement in our preform. Flowing the resin [not the glass] proved the best approach.”
The 2020 Corvette is the first car to use body-structure cavities (integral to the body frame) for air-induction ductwork (above), which is fed by multiple primary cooling paths (below). The car’s naturally aspirated V8 engine needs a lot of air, so it was important to ensure good, unimpeded airflow to keep the engine cool. Source (both images) | General Motors Co.
Clever engineering and a new material were key to cooling the C8’s engine. Multiple primary cooling paths (rear inlets behind each door, front wheelhouse vents, and outboard cooling inlets) feed highly complex induction ducts that funnel air through the vehicle and across the engine, before ejection through aluminum-mesh vents and SMC appliqués on either side of the glass partition that showcases the Corvette engine. The appliqués are made with MFG’s float (0.95-SG) SMC (chopped glass/UP-VE resin). Low in volatile-organic compounds (VOCs), the material reduces emissions and eliminates the need for resonators on rear-induction ducts, while reducing cost and mass (2.4 kilograms) versus alternative technologies.
The massive, customer-visible rear surround frame — 64 by 69 by 24 inches (163 by 175 by 61 centimeters) — that surrounds the rear-half of the passenger compartment is compression molded in toughened 1.2-SG SMC. This hybrid-reinforced material features carbon fiber at 15% fiber-volume fraction (FVF) and glass fiber at 30% FVF, with a low-VOC UP resin, formulated to withstand engine-bay heat. The frame forms the dimensional foundation for all rear exterior and interior panels, yet flexible design enables it to be used for multiple model variants. Thanks to significant parts consolidation, secondary attachments were eliminated, increasing interior package space, reducing noise/vibration/harshness (NVH), providing better body structure and sealing performance, improving rear-hatch visibility and reducing mass (15%) and cost versus the outgoing frame. “Given the size of this part, which is almost 6 by 6 feet tall and 2 feet deep, we actually had to make the material flow uphill in the mold, so we were all a little worried on that first shot,” Basela recalls.
The very-large, customer-visible rear surround frame provides the dimensional foundation for all rear exterior and interior panels. Each half of the mold in which the part is formed weighs ~35,000 pounds/15,900 kilograms and was produced by Century Tool, a division of Tooling Tech Group (Fenton, Mich., U.S.). The compression press itself has 2,800 tonnes clamping pressure and a platen that measures 108 by 68 inches (274 by 173 centimeters). Despite its size, cycle time is
Equally interesting is the bulkhead (mid-window frame), which was custom-formulated by MFG to resolve high heat and noise challenges, since this portion of the cabin sits directly over the V8 engine. Fiberglass reinforcement combined with beryllium graphite filler in low-VOC VE-UP resin deadens sound transmission into the passenger compartment so effectively that it eliminated the need for secondary sound-deadening countermeasures. That, in turn, reduced costs, increased interior package space and passenger comfort, and improved body sealing and NVH. “With a specific gravity of 2.2, this is the first composite part I’ve ever been asked to add mass to rather than take it out,” laughs Basela.
Closures and trim
Exterior body panels are all bonded (inner/outer), painted, toughened 1.2-SG SMC (22-28% FVF fiberglass/UP resin, depending on component) from Continental Structural Plastics (CSP), a Teijin Group company (Auburn Hills, Mich., U.S.). By bolting on composite closures, GM achieves the C8’s aggressive styling, aerodynamics and functional cooling integration, with cost-effective lightweighting on multiple model variants using common parts. All body panels are painted inline on a “skuk system” in vehicle position, using Bowling Green’s innovative robotic wet-sanding process.
Rear service doors are molded from toughened SMC and feature a high-temperature, foam-in-place silicone gasket that provides a durable seal with excellent compression-set resistance while handling long-term exposure to engine-bay heat. Another composite — heat- and abrasion-resistant aluminized aramid fabric — is used as a heat shield to provide extra thermal protection on door interiors. | SPE Automotive Div.
Another innovation involves use of a one-part, thixotropic silicone elastomeric foam gasket applied to the back side of SMC service doors, which are located in the rear trunk (one on coupés, two on convertibles), and permit customer access to the air-filter system. Owing to proximity to the engine bay, the high-performance foam-in-place
(FIP) elastomer (Silastic 3-8186 from Dow, Inc., Midland, Mich., U.S.) was specified to survive continuous-use temperatures up to 392°F/200°C while providing a durable seal with excellent compression-set resistance, even after repeated open/close cycles. GM reports that most other die-cut foams and gaskets would either have melted or broken down under continuous exposure to such temperatures. After dispensing, the applied gasket is heat-treated at 167°F/75°C for 10 minutes to expand the foam, eliminating die-cutting cost and waste. The doors themselves are toughened SMC (42% FVF glass in a VE-UP matrix). Heat shields, produced by Gentex Corp. (Carbondale, Pa., U.S.) using heat- and abrasion-resistant aluminized Kevlar aramid fabrics (fiber from DuPont de Nemours, Inc., Wilmington, Del., U.S.), provide door interiors with extra thermal protection.
The new mid-engine 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray from General Motors Co. is said to be the fastest, most powerful entry-level Corvette in the model’s 67-year history. It’s also the most composites-intensive, with a host of innovative technology. | General Motors Co.
GM also used its second-generation, fully automated precision wheel-balance system on the C8. Developed with The 3M Co. (St. Paul, Minn., U.S.) and ESYS Automation (Auburn Hills, Mich., U.S.), the high-density (5.8-SG) composite wheel weights with tailored magnetic properties replaced traditional stamped metallic weights in painted steel, zinc or lead that have specific mass and must be hand-applied to wheels.
The new system uses large spools of extruded tape with adhesive backing that contain 67% by volume post-industrial, corrosion-resistant, fully recyclable steel alloy in a fluoropolymer base. The automated system examines each wheel, then cuts and applies custom-weight tape segments in smaller, more precise increments to improve ride and reduce tire wear. It also reduces assembly time and cost, simplifies inventory, eliminates scrap and labor and is offered in more colors than metal weights.
Coupé roofs are available in three trim levels: painted, low-density toughened SMC (from CSP); clear, hard-coated polycarbonate (PC); and clear-coated/exposed-weave carbon fiber composite with painted edges (from deBotech Inc., Mooresville, N.C.). CSP also supplies several Class A, toughened 1.2-SG SMC panels for convertible-model retractable-roof systems.
Additional Corvette beauty shots. Source | General Motors Co.
Other exterior trim panels include painted thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) front fascia upper and lower, the latter with integrated ducts to direct air to brakes (Z51 package only) and outboard heat exchangers. Outer grille and brake cooling vents are painted acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS).
The upper rear fascia is molded-in-color (MIC) TPO, but the lower rear fascia assembly is Class A painted, 1.2-SG SMC (glass/UP resin), owing to the part’s close proximity to hot exhaust tips. SMC’s excellent mechanical performance enabled GM to design an unsupported short rear overhang and use larger spacings between attachments without sagging. SMC also spreads loads efficiently over a larger area during low-speed rear crashes than thermoplastics. Brackets and rear parking-assist sensors are bonded to the SMC. This is said to be the first time SMC bumper fascias have been used on high-volume vehicles.
Rear-hatch appliqués feature painted PC/ABS for the upper panel, SMC with aluminum mesh for side vents and an SMC lower appliqué to accommodate thermal loading directly over the engine. These SMC panels are produced by LyondellBasell’s Quantum Composites Inc. (Bay City, Mich., U.S.). Door-handle release switches are PC/ABS, while the rear air-intake vent is SMC. The base car sports a blowmolded, painted ABS spoiler and the rear air-exit grille is injection molded painted ABS. A-pillar and header appliqués are painted ABS, as are exterior side-view mirror caps and radiator inlet grilles. Depending on the option package, a toughened SMC front underwing and either a blowmolded TPO or carbon fiber composite front splitter/diffuser — clear-coated/visible-weave carbon/epoxy produced by deBotech using prepreg from Solvay Composite Materials (Alpharetta, Ga., U.S.) — contribute additional aerodynamic stability. A rear diffuser in toughened SMC mates to the SMC lower rear fascia in Class A painted SMC from MFG.
The premium carbon fiber trim package features various clear-coated/visible weave carbon fiber accents inside and out, including mirror caps, front grille insert, front splitter, accessory wing, engine-compartment covers, interior door switch plates, rocker moldings, instrument-panel cluster bezel, door-handle covers, quarter appliqués and ride-control plate. These components are produced by deBotech, SMI Composites LLC (Comer, Ga., U.S.) and Plasan Carbon Composites (Wixom, Mich., U.S.).
The Corvette is not only fast and beautiful but contains a host of creature comforts. For composites aficionados, the premium carbon-trim upgrade adds numerous clear-coated/visible-weave carbon fiber composite accents to exterior and interior surfaces, such as the ride-control plate shown here. | General Motors Co.
The 2020 Corvette has already won many prestigious industry awards, including 2020 MotorTrend Car of the Year, 2020 Automotive News PACE (Premier Automotive supplier Contributions to Excellence) Partnership Award, and several awards from the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE), including 2019 Vehicle Engineering Team Award. “Although the new Stingray’s mid-engine architecture has dominated headlines, no matter where the engine is — in front of or behind the driver — for eight generations, Corvettes have always advanced the state of the art in automotive materials technology,” adds Tadge Juechter, executive chief engineer-Global Corvette. “Advancing technology is at the heart of what we do.”
The mid-engine C8 Corvette’s clean-sheet redesign resulted in just a couple of parts carried over from the C7 generation, but there is enough “baseball and apple pie” in the sports car to keep it in the Top 10 of the 2020 American Made Index as compiled by Cars.com.
Chevrolet landed two vehicles on the 2020 List with the Corvette coming in at a very appropriate 8th place and it was joined by the Colorado that landed in 10th place. They were the only two GM vehicles to make the list.
The American Made Index, or AMI, “is an independent annual list that ranks the new vehicles that contribute most to the U.S. economy based on criteria ranging from U.S. factory jobs and manufacturing plants to parts sourcing.” Manufacturers are required by law to annually report the percentage of US and Canadian parts and that information appears on the window sticker of all new vehicles sold in the USA.
The AMI studied 91 vehicles and the ranking looks at four key factors:
- Origins of the engine and transmission
- Origin of parts in the car (as reported by the American Automobile Labeling Act)
- Final assembly location
- U.S. manufacturing workforce relative to production footprint
The were some new additions to the list for 2020 with the Ford Ranger leap-frogging the Jeep Cherokee to #1 while Tesla landed three vehicles on the list.
Cars.com says that 70% of shoppers consider a car’s impact on the US economy a significant or deciding factor in their vehicle choice and the COVID-19 pandemic has increased the desire of Americans to “buy local.” The survey found that nearly 40% of consumers report they are more likely to buy an American-made car due to the current health and economic crisis, while just 4% said they were less likely. A whopping 26% said it was “unpatriotic” to buy a non-American-made car, compared to just 18% in 2019.
“This marks the 15th year we have released the American-Made Index, and for the first time, we are ranking a full, comprehensive list of qualifying American-made cars available in the U.S. Of some 350 cars on the market for 2020, 91 models qualified for our index,” said Kelsey Mays, Cars.com’s senior consumer affairs and vehicle evaluations editor. “The auto industry is highly globalized, but these 91 models bring jobs to America and investments to our local communities — a growing concern for Americans in the current climate.”
GM notified Chevrolet dealers that 2020 Corvette production will resume May 26th and run through October. The start of regular production of the 2021 model year will begin on November 2nd.
The Bowling Green Corvette Assembly Plant will start off running only one shift in order to insure the safety of its workers and give its parts suppliers the chance to ramp up production at their own facilities
Last month GM stated that all 2020 Corvette orders that are currently in the system and at a 3000 or higher status, would be built. Two weeks after the start of regular production on May 36th, a cross-functional team will meet to develop an officially revised plan for 2020 vs 2021 allocation and build schedule.
This is great news since many customers who have placed orders for a 2020 Corvette, have been left in limbo wondering what would happen to their order.
2020 Corvette Convertible Production
Production of the 2020 Corvette convertible was expected to begin the first week of April, but that was before the factory shut down in late March. It was originally assumed that Chevrolet would push all 2020 Corvette convertible orders to the 2021 model year, however that won’t be the case. Customers will be happy to know that 2020 Corvette convertible production has been pushed back to July 20th.
As of right now, there are NO current constraints and all colors and option combinations are available.
Not all heroes wear capes – some of them wear masks.
The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has created a critical shortage of face masks across the world, meaning these heroes are on the front lines of the crisis without the protection they need to keep themselves, their families and the people they serve safe.
With the help of engineers, designers, buyers and people in manufacturing, we were able to convert our Warren, Michigan facility to produce masks in less than seven days.
This facility is projected to produce up to 50,000 masks per day, or approximately 1.5 million each month. Below is a behind-the-scenes look at the facility and mask production process.
1. Source raw materials
We worked with automotive suppliers to develop the three layers of fabric in the masks. These companies typically provide GM with sound-deadening insulation found in doors, headliners and trunks, but they quickly altered their production processes to help manufacture these desperately needed masks.
2 Fold, weld, and cut
The custom-made “mask maker” automatically sandwiches the filter material and metal nose piece between an inner and outer layer of fabric. It then folds the pleats, welds the layers together, and cuts each mask accordingly.
3. Cut and attach the ear loops
Employees then cut ear loops from elastic straps and attach them to the mask using sonic welders. Often used in many automotive applications, these sonic welders use ultra-fast vibrations to “melt” the two materials together, without using heat. Ear loops are then checked to ensure size and secure attachment to the mask.
Masks are loaded into a sterilization cabinet that is filled with high levels of ozone for 20 minutes to sanitize the masks.
From there, packages of 10 masks are bagged, sealed and prepped for delivery! While the GM team has identified a process for mass-producing masks in a short amount of time, we are continuously looking for improvements to speed up production. For example, during the first week the team manually labeled and sealed bags in two separate stations; now the team has sourced machines that save significant time by labeling and sealing bags in one station.
With six figures separating their prices, are these mid-engine sports cars even comparable? Yes.
Alexander StoklosaWriterWilliam WalkerPhotographerMar 31, 2020
The new-for-2020 Chevrolet Corvette C8 can seemingly drive on water, its holy combination of exoticism and affordability winning praise and awards across the automotive spectrum. We named it a 2020 Automobile All-Star. Is there nothing the first-ever mid-engine Corvette can’t do?
Curious to test the new Chevy sports car’s limits, we put it up against another mid-engine supercar that we found lying around during our 2020 All-Stars testing: The 2020 Lamborghini Huracan Evo. Absurd? Perhaps. The duo’s base prices are separated by $124,039, and the Italian has a 141-hp advantage (136, if you count the extra five ponies the Corvette’s sports exhaust unlocks), two additional cylinders, and an extra driven axle. Surely, the Huracan will make meatballs out of the Vette, right?
So long as you suspend the obvious observation—that someone shopping for the Huracan definitely wouldn’t step foot in a dealership that also sells white bread stuff like the Equinox and Spark, and no would-be Corvette buyer is cross-shopping a new Lamborghini—this comparison is a lot closer than you might expect. Mostly, that’s because the Corvette punches way above its weight, and not due to any specific deficiency on the Lambo’s part.
Power And Acceleration? Yes.
Both the Corvette and Huracan are powered by naturally aspirated engines. The Chevy uses a 6.2-liter pushrod V-8 engine, an all-American masterpiece producing 490 horsepower and 465 lb-ft of torque in base form. Bump those figures by five each when the optional performance exhaust—fitted to our test car—is selected. That 495 horsepower and 470 lb-ft are sent to the rear wheels via an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transaxle and an electronic limited-slip differential.
Lamborghini fits the Huracan with a 5.2-liter V-10, which produces 631 horsepower way up at 8,000 rpm (the Vette’s horsepower peak hits at 6,450, and its redline is similarly lower) and 442 lb-ft of torque at a high 6,500 rpm (the Corvette’s torque peak lands at 5,150). A seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission distributes engine torque to the front and rear axles via all-wheel drive.
Surprisingly, the Corvette streaks to 60 mph in 2.8 seconds (as tested by our friends at MotorTrend), matching the estimated figure for the Huracan Evo. The European boasts a higher top speed of 202 mph, whereas the Corvette tops out at 184 to 194 mph, depending on equipment. Since there are basically no places in America for owners to probe those speeds, the Lambo’s lead here is negligible. What counts is that the C8 can hang with the Lamborghini in straight-line speed—with less power (but greater torque) and without all-wheel drive. Oh, and for less than a third of the price. Take your pick on which engine sounds better—the Vette’s classic American soundtrack or the Lamborghini’s exotic V-10 wail, but know that the Huracan’s engine power seems to hit harder, likely a consequence of the drama-free all-wheel-drive traction it enjoys.
Handling And Drivability
Chevrolet has long tuned the Corvette for everyday use (well, at least the regular-grade Vettes), and the C8 delivers a downright supple ride. Our test car came with the adaptive suspension, which, left in its default Tour mode, soaked up bumps smoothly and quietly. The Lamborghini is more bucking bull, with a firm, unyielding suspension and a tendency to allow bump impacts to reverberate through the structure and cause cabin booming.
At the track, both mid-engine sports cars are capable, despite their vastly different personalities. The Lamborghini leverages its gobs of mechanical grip, all-wheel drive, and utterly stable-feeling chassis to simply go wherever the driver points the nose. For all the intensity in the V-10’s noise and the driver’s low seating position up near the front axle, the Huracan Evo is remarkably approachable when driven quickly. That isn’t to say it is boring—the experience is visceral, and you can coax the Lambo into giggly oversteer with an aggressive throttle foot, but the experience never feels a hair’s width away from a big, expensive, ego-bruising “oops” moment.
The Corvette also is forgiving when driven hard, though its driver-selectable chassis and powertrain modes seem to afford it greater behavior bandwidth than the Huracan. Flipping the Vette from Tour mode to its Track setting and dialing back the Performance Traction Management (PTM) to its more permissive stability-control thresholds wakes the C8 up considerably, though it also comes with a needlessly heavier (and artificial) steering weighting. Most drivers preferred the quicker-feeling, lighter Sport steering setting.
Details aside, the Corvette can be pushed comfortably to its limits, never delivering any snappiness or edge. The chassis seems tuned to initially dole out moderate understeer near its grip limit, but skilled drivers can easily transition past this safety net with heavier throttle inputs, revealing the Corvette’s balanced setup. Perhaps GM’s chassis-tuning mavens—some of the best in the business—built in the slight push to keep Corvette buyers uninitiated to mid-engine handling behaviors from backing their new C8s into guardrails.
We take greater issue with the Chevy’s brake pedal, which operates with a somewhat spongy weirdness (it artificially shifts its response depending on the drive mode). Never did we feel as if the Vette’s stopping power was in question—only that it was difficult to understand; the Lambo’s stoppers operated more linearly and predictably, with far better feel.
Looks And Prestige
Buying a Lamborghini isn’t solely about taking home an exotic car—you’re buying into a lifestyle, one in which you’ll be stopped often by passers-by looking to snap photos, or challenged to drag race by folks in Dodge Challengers with those stupid yellow lower-bumper pre-delivery protector caps still fitted. Everyone will assume you’re wealthy and eager for attention. But you already knew that. How does the Corvette compare?
Until now, the Vette has been a pretty common thing. General Motors considers it a volume sales model, so previous iterations weren’t rare. And we can’t ignore front-engine Corvettes’ street image as chrome-wheeled, automatic-transmission golf shuttles for old men. Forget all that.
The C8 attracts Lamborghini levels of attention, a phenomenon unlikely to subside no matter how many GM builds. Americans are intimately familiar with the Corvette, less so with this new wedge-shaped, exotic-looking version, so we encountered plenty of curious onlookers in California and especially Michigan with our test vehicles. Just like its performance, the long, pointy 2020 Corvette’s visual wattage zaps well beyond its attainable pricing.
Chevrolet also finally fixed the Corvette’s previously subpar interior, bringing it not merely in line with the sports car’s $60,000 base price, but to some plateau slightly beyond—knowing full well it’ll lose money on the less-expensive models as a result. Porsche’s been doing this for years with the 911, acknowledging that the same basic interior has to be acceptable both in the entry-level model and in those 911 variants costing twice as much. The Corvette’s cabin materials seem downright appropriate at our test car’s $80,000-some list price. Those nicer plastics and leather are stitched and tightly fitted to form truly original shapes and adventurous styling elements, such as the long, thin row of climate controls bifurcating the interior and the squared-off two-spoke steering wheel.
And, so, we end this non sequitur on familiar turf: The Corvette is a screaming deal, delivering the looks and performance of a more expensive vehicle. In the past, that’s been enough to occasionally pick off a Porsche in a head-on comparison—but is it enough to vanquish a Lamborghini? As we mentioned up front, there will be almost no overlap between C8 and Huracan Evo buyers, so the question is basically abstract. Dissociated from reality and buyer prejudice, however, yes, the Corvette rises to the Lamborghini’s occasion while delivering better everyday livability. And, remember, this is the base 2020 Corvette C8. Just wait until Chevy delivers the high-performance Z06, the hybrid, and the rumored 900-hp ZR1 hybrid. What will the Corvette usurp then?
|2020 Chevrolet Corvette Specifications|
|PRICE||$59,995 (base)/$83,825 (as tested)|
|ENGINE||6.2L OHV 16-valve V-8/490-495 hp @ 6,450 rpm, 465-470 lb-ft @ 5,150 rpm (higher figures due to performance exhaust)|
|TRANSMISSION||8-speed dual-clutch automatic|
|2020 Lamborghini Huracan Evo Specifications|
|PRICE||$184,034 (base)/$235,084 (as-tested)|
|ENGINE||5.2L DOHC 40-valve V-10/631 hp @ 8,000 rpm, 442 lb-ft @ 6,500 rpm|
|TRANSMISSION||7-speed dual-clutch automatic|
The Corvette C8.R #4 driven by Oliver Gavin, Tommy Milner, and Marcel Fässler at the Daytona Roar Before the 24 at Daytona International Speedway. The C8.R is Corvette’s first mid-engine race car.
The Corvette C8.R #4 driven by Oliver Gavin, Tommy Milner, and Marcel Fässler at the Daytona Roar Before the 24 at Daytona International Speedway. The C8.R is Corvette’s first mid-engine race car.
The #3 Corvette C8.R driven by Antonio Garcia, Jordan Taylor and Nicky Catsburg at Daytona’s Roar Before the 24. The C8.R uses a 5.5-liter flat-plane crank engine different than the 6.2-liter push-rod engine that will be in the first production C8.
Chevy debuted the Corvette C8.R with the #3 and #4 cars. The race car gets lights in the lower fascia corners – where the production car has oil coolers. The #3 C8.R driven by Antonio Garcia, Jordan Taylor and Nicky Catsburg at Daytona’s Roar Before the 24.
At the Daytona Roar Before the 24 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, the #4 Corvette C8.R driven by Oliver Gavin, Tommy Milner, and Marcel Fässler set fast time of the ‘Vettes – the time was just a tenth of a second off the fastest Ferrari.
The Corvette race car is lighter with more down-force (see the big wing) than the 3,647-pound production C8. The #3 Corvette C8.R driven by Antonio Garcia, Jordan Taylor and Nicky Catsburg at Daytona’s Roar Before the 24.
The Roar Before the 24 was the Corvette C8.R’s first outing in the IMSA Weathertech Series. The C8.R #4 driven by Oliver Gavin, Tommy Milner, and Marcel Fässler.
The #3 Corvette C8.R driven by Antonio Garcia, Jordan Taylor and Nicky Catsburg negotiates the infield turns at Daytona’s Roar Before the 24. The C8.R hits speeds of 170 mph ion the oval.
It’s been a bit of a rollercoaster since Chevrolet first starting accepting orders in September for the 2020 Corvette Stingray Coupe.
After the first order consensus in September, Chevrolet scheduled the first wave of retail production to begin in early December. But then came the nearly 6-week long UAW strike which shut everything down. As the strike was ongoing, the Target Production Weeks (TPW) for those early builds were pushed back into mid-to-late January.
Once the strike ended, we were hoping for some positive news about the TPWs as they all disappeared from the GM Order System late last week. But then they came back and we are finding out that retail production of the 2020 Corvettes will most likely start on February 3rd.
We do not have official confirmation on this, but that’s what we are hearing from our dealers as well as customers with current TPWs. I have seen a TPW posted on the Corvette Forum that indicated a 1/27 start and that could also be possible depending on when Chevrolet does a run of CTF cars for marketing and other purposes.
Chevrolet does have a graduated roll-out planned for the C8 Corvette which we’ve also talked about previously. Originally the plan was to build 2LT and 3LT cars first (with certain options and colors) and then begin to add additional colors and options until all models, colors and options were available. The 1LTs were originally scheduled to begin 10 weeks after the start of production but included in that original 10 week period was the two-week Christmas/New Years shutdown, and so we estimate the 1LTs will most likely start in early April.
And then that brings us to the Convertibles which were originally supposed to start in February. Our best guess is that the start of production for the Convertible Stingrays would also begin sometime in mid-to-late April or even early May as well.
During the strike, the order consensus for October which was supposed to cover weeks 3-5 of production was canceled. The next order consensus for the 2020 Corvettes will pick back up this month. When that happens, we’ll have a constraint report to bring everyone back up to date.
A plug-and-play electric motor for cars makes it easier than ever to upgrade your vintage ride
Anyone who’s owned a vintage car can tell you—and boy, will they tell you—how much time, money, and maintenance is required to keep their baby running. And don’t forget the gasoline, garage oil puddles, or tailpipe pollution involved.
A California startup may have the answer: A plug-and-play innovative motor to convert that finicky old gas-guzzler into an electric car. Eric Hutchison and Brock Winberg first gained attention by rescuing a moldering, V-8-powered 1978 Ferrari 308—you may know it as the model that “Magnum: P.I.” drove on TV—and transforming it into an electric marvel. Now, the co-founders of Electric GT have developed a DIY, electric “crate motor” that will let traditional gearheads or EV fans do the same.
“A lot of guys go out for a weekend in a classic car that’s 40 or 50 years old, but they get a ride home with AAA; it ends up being a one-way trip,” Hutchison says. “Here, you’re taking out 95 percent of the maintenance, which is the biggest problem with classic cars. So this is for enthusiasts who love their cars, but want a fun, reliable car that’s good for 100 or 125 miles on a weekend drive.”
Like a traditional crate motor sold by Chevy, Ford, or another manufacturer—typically a factory V-8 that owners swap into muscle cars or hot rods—the Electric Crate Motor slots neatly below the hood of a project car. Dual electric motors, a DC power converter, computer controls, and cooling gear are cleverly packaged in a “black box” that actually looks like a gasoline engine with V-shaped cylinder banks.
The company will offer two crate motors, the strongest generating just under 180 kilowatts (240 horsepower) and 460 newton-meters (340 pound-feet) of instant electric torque. That’s well shy of, say, a Porsche Taycan Turbo, with 500 kW (670 horses) and 848 Nm (626 pound-feet); but still plenty to make many vintage cars hustle faster than they ever did with a gasoline engine.
Photo: Electric GTElectric GT’s Crate Motor can convert any classic car into an electric vehicle.
Battery cells from the secondary market, typically salvaged from low-mileage Teslas, are repackaged to safely mate with various car chassis, from vintage Toyota FJ Cruisers, to Fiat Spyders and Porsches. A familiar SAE J1772 plug connector, the same used by most new EVs, allows either Level 1 or Level 2 charging, with DC fast charging as an option. Wiring harnesses are designed with simple, standard plug connectors, allowing even an enterprising home mechanic to convert a car, with instruction manuals and personal tech support from Electric GT.
“We’ve taken out all the brain work of having to be an expert in batteries or electrical management,” Winberg says. “We’re putting the system out there for shops or customers to use, and then we coach and support.”
Here’s potentially the best part for certain auto enthusiasts: The EGT system is specifically designed to work exclusively with manual-transmission cars. A billet-aluminum adapter plate links the electric motors’ output to a conventional clutch assembly—which the partners recommend beefing up a bit to handle the jolt of electric torque.
“Just don’t buy the cheapest clutch you can find at Autozone, and you’ll be fine,” Hutchison says.
Typical automatic transmissions are too fragile to deal with that surge of juice, so owners with automatic cars—a category that includes some muscle-car or drag-racing enthusiasts—are out of luck.
Once underway, these transmogrified EVs will cruise effortlessly in second or third gear, with virtually no shifting required. (Stick-shift fans may miss that interaction, but definitely not when they’re slogging through heavy traffic).
Depressing the clutch pedal also initiates regenerative braking; that familiar feature of EVs that uses the electric motor as a generator to recapture kinetic energy and return it to the battery in electric form. A pressure sensor on the car’s traditional, mechanical brakes allows programmable blending of regenerative and mechanical braking. Pricing isn’t set for the DIY Electric Crate Motors and their various accessories, but the partners hope to nail that down in the next few months.
At Electric GT’s facility in Chatsworth, Calif., the team is wrapping up their own build of a 1970 Toyota FJ Cruiser, one of many vintage 4x4s that have appreciated like mad in recent years. Another project car, an orange 1982 Fiat Spyder convertible—shorn of its underachieving Italian engine—will soon be humming in the Caribbean, its owner assured that he’s not despoiling the seaside environment.
Ultimately, that’s the point: Internal-combustion engines are increasingly seen as a dirty dead-end, and (most) governments and regulators around the world would love to drive the last nail into their coffin. Yet what are owners to do with vintage gasoline cars—beautiful, fun, some worth millions of dollars—that they’re determined to keep driving? With an electric heart transplant, these cars can have a clean(er) bill of health. And owners never have to say a tearful goodbye.
Source: Lawrence Ulrich. Spectrum
Every year the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky throws a party to celebrate all things Corvette. The event usually consists of enthusiasts and some appearances by General Motors executives, but not much news is made there. But this year’s annual get-together marked the NCM’s 25th anniversary, and GM decided to celebrate with an unprecedented behind-the-scenes look at the development of the mid-engine 2020 C8 Corvette.
That included a presentation by Kirk Bennion, head of exterior design for Corvette. In his slide show Bennion revealed that Chevrolet already had a full-size clay model of the mid-engine Corvette mocked up when the company was preparing to launch the last-generation C7 Corvette. Yup, that’s right—Chevy knew the Corvette was going mid-engine in 2013, six full years before the car would be unveiled in production form.
Bennion’s presentation went on to show six of the roughly 12 scale models that Chevy created to hone the C8’s exterior appearance. Those dozen or so models eventually were whittled down and made into three full-size clay models. Elements of those mock-ups eventually went on to create the C8 Corvette that was unveiled in July.
The video is an interesting look behind the curtain at the C8’s development, but it’s not the first we’ve heard of some of the mid-engine Corvette’s early design concepts. In August, former Chevrolet Performance Exterior Design Director Tom Peters revealed that a split-window design was considered for the C8 in a nod to the iconic 1963 Corvette. However, that idea was eventually binned, although hints of a split window design actually ended up in the final styling of the 2020 Corvette.
Excerpt from USA Today….
“The Corvette has existed in a category all its own as an American car,” said Hagerty CEO McKeel Hagerty. “It’s a pretty magical story through and through. It’s very evident they’re about to do it again
“The ‘Vette, a Chevrolet model assembled in Bowling Green, Kentucky, is getting one of its biggest changes yet: The engine is shifting from underneath the hood to the middle of the car, making it a “mid-engine” car much like some of Europe’s speediest vehicles. That change is aimed at making the vehicle even faster and better able to navigate sharp turns.
How powerful is the 2020 Corvette?: Rumor is it was warping the frame in tests
But expect eye-popping numbers for the loaded editions, including a possible ZR1 supercar.
Rumors were flying earlier this year that GM had to delay the new Corvette because it was so powerful that its frame was warping in track tests. Industry observers have speculated that the high-flying version could achieve an astounding 1,000 horsepower.
The extra-powerful edition is sounding like an “unbelievable performer and fire-breathing monster,” Hagerty said.
Read Full Article @ debotech
Set a reminder for July 18 at 10:30 p.m. EDT to see Chevy’s mid-engined sports car for real, live from Orange County, California.
The mid-engined Corvette is the sports car that American driving enthusiasts have been waiting for for decades, and it’s almost here. We’re just as excited as you are and we’re lucky enough to be attending the reveal of the 2020 C8 Corvette in Orange County, California on Thursday, July 18.
Fortunately, Chevrolet is providing an easy place for anyone to live-stream the reveal via its media and consumer websites. Bookmark these now and set yourself a calendar reminder for 10:30 p.m. EDT (7:30 p.m. PDT) on July 18.
2019 PERFORMANCE CAR OF THE YEAR THE MOST POTENT LINEUP IN THE HISTORY OF PCOTY FIGHTS IT OUT FOR THE CROWN.
It’s fitting, because the engine is a tornado and a half, more center stage in its home than any mill here. The ZR1’s 6.2-liter pushrod V8 uses the same basic construction as the one in the Z06, but it’s strapped to a supercharger with a whopping 52 percent more displacement. The blower looks like weaponized luggage and helps produce a linear fire hose of grunt, enough to spit the rear tires loose at highway speed. Like the Pista, the car fights for traction, but it also seems more encouraging and calm about its insanity. All capped by that devil-whoop exhaust note and a suspension tune that never prompts occasional moments of personal clenching. (This means you, Z06.)
To read full article:
Keep a close eye on the USA Bobsled and Skeleton Team at the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea this February – you might be surprised to learn their sleek bobsleds and skeleton sleds are made right here in North Carolina by Mooresville-based deBotech Inc.
To read full article: debotech.com/news/North-Carolina-Bobsled-Maker-Goes-for-the-Gold/67709
The pack leader is finally here, launched in Sebring Orange to make sure you notice all the significant upgrades that no doubt make it the fastest street car GM has ever made. This is the 2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1. In terms of design, the ZR1 comes with a completely new front that’s basically one giant air intake, as well as the wider body, and lots of optional exposed carbon bits, including the hood, the quarter panel inserts, the side rockers, the front splitter, the rear wing and the removable top.
Ultimate carbon-fiber package for Grand Sport, Z06 salutes 65 years of Corvette.
Limited to 650 vehicles globally, and available on Grand Sport 3LT and Z063LZ trims, the Carbon 65E Edition features visible carbon fiber exterior elements.
Please visit deBotech Inc. News to read article and also find full link from Chevrolet.
Bill Cook, aka, Biker Bill is a new member of the deBotech team and veteran of the United States Armed Services. Bill joined our team roughly 3 months ago as our Maintenance/Handy Man. A friend had mentioned this great guy that was retired but wanted a job because he was used to working. After meeting him, it was evident that he embodied the hard-working ethics that I admire, respect and want to spread to the younger generation. He came to work the other day proudly flying the US red, white & blue in honor and memory of SSG Adam Lynn Dikemyer, Tomb Sentinel #528. It’s guys like this that make me proud to be an American & the reason I will forever stand for our National Anthem!
Hans and Jamye, Owners of deBotech, Inc., raffled off $500 at their company Christmas celebration. Employees received a raffle ticket for every non-perishable food item they brought in which was later donated to the Mooresville Soup Kitchen. The deBotech employees were amazing and several of them brought in over 100 items each to donate. We were able to collect over 375 lbs. of food which we took to our local Mooresville Soup Kitchen to help those in need during this Christmas Season. We are thankful that we are able to help and wish everyone a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
The 9th Annual North Carolina Motorsports Industry Awards Gala was held January 21, 2015 at the Embassy Suites in Concord, NC. Each year the NCMA recognizes North Carolina companies that have positively affected the motorsports community within the state.
This year the Association recognized many diverse companies and the Industry Award Recipients were deBotech, Inc., Charlotte Motor Speedway STEM Program, Richard & Judy Childress – Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma, Safer Racer Tour and GoPro Motorplex.
In addition, the Achievement in Motorsports Tribute Award recognizes a person whose contributions to racing have made an immeasurable impact on motorsports in North Carolina. This year the NCMA recognized NASCAR President Mike Helton. Previous recipients were Benny Parsons, Richard Petty, Richard Childress, Dale Earnhardt, Junior Johnson, O. Bruton Smith and H.A. Humpy Wheeler.
Michael Waltrip presented deBotech’s Industry Award to Hans deBot, the President/CEO of the company. Hans sincerely expressed his appreciation for the recognition from the NCMA and Motorsports Industry. He described the positive impact that motorsports has had on deBotech and his desire to continue to make better, faster, stronger products for the Motorsports and Racing Industries. Hans and his wife, Jamye deBot, founded deBotech, Inc. in 1998 and have grown the company into an organization that serves many diverse industries. Hans closed his remarks by stating how humbled and honored he was to accept this prestigious award for deBotech.
Honored to be featured in the NC State Alumni Magazine…
Check it out @ http://www.debotech.com/news/Lightweight-Contender/62005
2014 has been an exciting and challenging year for deBotech, Inc. and I would like to thank all of our customers for presenting those challenges and giving us the opportunities. The deBotech team strives each and everyday to meet our customers’ needs and quality expectations no matter the challenges and I would like to thank each of them for their tireless work and dedication.
We are looking forward to the challenges of 2015. May you and yours have a blessed Holiday Season and Happy New Year.
Mooresville Christmas Parade
There was a chill in the air at the 70th annual Mooresville Christmas parade, with patrons bundled up as the participants walked, rolled, danced and drove down Main Street. Kicking off at 3:30 p.m., hundreds of residents from Mooresville and Iredell County lined the streets to watch grand marshal Hans deBot lead the parade, followed by floats, marching bands, dance troupes and popular characters like Elsa from “Frozen,” Winnie the Pooh, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and of course, Santa himself.
Hans is asked many times…What are the benefits of Carbon Fiber? His answers are simple, carbon fiber provides solutions to most any application. Whether it is reducing weight and adding strength for a racing application, protection for our soldiers on land or by sea, or just making an exotic automobile a bit more exotic. Put simply when carbon fiber is built right like at deBotech it is plain BAD ASS!!!!!!! Check it out below.
New Z06 is the most aerodynamic Corvette ever…by Detroit Steel
It seems we’re learning something every week that makes us love the 2015 Z06 even more as the car revs up for its road debut early next year.
It’s the most capable, most track-worthy, highest-performing Corvette – you’ve probably heard it all by now.
However, the latest bit of news centers on the new Z06 being one of the most aerodynamically engineered vehicles on the market. Add that Z07 package to the mix, and the car holds the distinction of having the most aerodynamic downforce ever measured on a production car.