Chevrolet introduced its newest Corvette this July, the 2020 C8 Stingray, which has a spaceframe structure comprised of aluminum. The luxury sports car is the first Corvette with a mid-engine configuration, which positions the engine behind the driver. The C8’s new mid-engine set up provides a rear weight bias, meaning more power is directed towards the rear wheels where it’s most needed. The short straight steering system is 50% stiffer than most cars today, allowing for nearly instantaneous input from the driver to the chassis.
The second-generation design of the C8 body structure is a welded-aluminum spaceframe, which consists of stampings, extrusions, castings, and hydroformed tubes. In addition, suspension control arms are cast- and forged-aluminum as in previous models. The overall structural design reduces the number of required welds, making it relatively lightweight, while improving torsional rigidity.
Most notably, the new structure — which will be built at GM’s assembly plant in Bowling Green, Kentucky — includes six intricate die-cast aluminum assemblies. At the unveiling ceremony for the C8, Chevrolet lauded the aluminum body structure noting that the six largest castings in the car are high precision parts that have superior material properties and more design flexibility than traditional castings. They are used throughout the car to minimize the number of joints and provide for maximum stiffness and minimal mass.
“The aluminum castings are the key to making this the stiffest corvette in history, which in turn leads to great driving dynamics,” said Tadge Juechter, Corvette’s chief engineer.
The new Stingray features an LT2 fifth-generation aluminum small-block V8 engine. The aluminum block has an oiling and venting set up that supports a dry-sump lubrication system with one pressure and three scavenge pumps. An oil reservoir is mounted in the top left of the engine and the oil cooler’s capacity is 25% greater than its predecessor C7.