2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray: Engineering and Design
Car Pro | July 24, 2019
The newly unveiled 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray is unlike any Corvette that’s come before it. Not just because of its the first-ever mid-engine ‘Vette, but also for its futuristic, exotic proportions. Chevy says the new C8’s design centered around the mid-engine and was inspired both by racing and aeronautics.
“As America’s most iconic performance nameplate, redesigning the Corvette Stingray from the ground up presented the team a historic opportunity, something Chevrolet designers have desired for over 60 years,” said Michael Simcoe, vice president of Global Design, General Motors. “It is now the best of America, a new arrival in the mid-engine sports car class. We know Corvette can stand tall with the best the world has to offer.”
Chevy says premium materials and attention to detail were critical in designing every component of the Stingray. The mid-engine was so much the focal point, it sits like a jewel in a showcase, visible through the large rear hatch window.
True to its aeronautical and racing roots, Chevy says the 2020 Stingray’s canopy-forward stance was inspired by F22s, F35s and other modern fighter jets and Formula One racing. While taking a new design direction, Chevy didn’t forget the ‘Vettes that came before. Classic Corvette signatures adapted to the Stingray include the Corvette’s distinctive face, a classic horizontal crease, aggressive front fenders and familiar positioning of the dual-element headlamps.
Some additional design highlights include:
Low profile headlamps designed around all-new projectors.
Completely hidden door, hood and hatch releases do not disrupt the sculpted design.
Large side air intakes for engine cooling and aerodynamic performance.
A-pillar shape that communicates speed and assists in visibility.
Large rear hatch that showcases the engine with seven air vents.
Quad exhaust tips located on the vehicle’s outboard ends.
Dual-element LED taillamps with animated turn signals.
And yes, the design includes a removable targa top.
The Stingray can be had in 12 exterior colors: Torch Red, Arctic White, Black, Blade Silver Metallic, Shadow Gray, Ceramic Matrix Gray, Long Beach Red, Elkhart Lake Blue and Sebring Orange. Three new colors are Rapid Blue, Zeus Bronze and Accelerate Yellow.
For more on the C8’s interior design and cabin themes click here.
The Corvette’s structure is built around its backbone, which Chevy calls the center tunnel. Chevy says this enables a light, stiff structure to serve as the foundation for the suspension system to perform at its best. By removing unwanted body compliance, Corvette says drivers will experience outstanding lateral grip capabilities. Engineers also say it gives the Corvette a solid, connected-to-the-road feel with minimal vibrations at high speeds or on long road trips.
“Our mission was to develop a new type of sports car, combining the successful attributes of Corvette with the performance and driving experience of mid-engine supercars,” said Tadge Juechter, Corvette executive chief engineer.
The tunnel-dominant approach offers many advantages, including:
Improved torsional rigidity with a solid, connected feel on both the road and track.
Outstanding ingress/egress for a mid-engine vehicle. Unlike some competitors, there’s no need for oversized rocker panels to bear structural and load weights, making it easier to enter and exit the vehicle.
Excellent stability due to a low center of gravity and outstanding handling.
Preservation of Corvette’s beloved standard removable roof panel, which can easily be stored in the rear trunk.
A front storage compartment that can fit an airline-spec carry-on and a laptop bag.
Availability in both left- and right-hand-drive variants — a first for Corvette.
Smart packaging with improved cabin comfort, including an additional inch of rearward seat travel and almost double the reclining angle.
The all-new Corvette Stingray is built with mixed-materials, enabling key features such as:
A strong, stiff and lightweight main structure of six high-pressure diecast aluminum parts, also known as the Bedford Six, which are manufactured at GM Powertrain in Bedford, Indiana. These minimize the number of joints within the vehicle, making a stiffer structure that aids in handling and track cornering.
Industry-first carbon fiber curved rear bumper beam for weight reduction.
Front and rear trunk tubs and dashboard molded from ultra-lightweight “float” derived from fiberglass and a proprietary resin. The material is so light that it can actually float in water. It works with other fiberglass and carbon fiber variants to lower mass and reduce noise and vibration.