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Kirl Bennion’s Comments About Aero & Design

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  • Kirl Bennion’s Comments About Aero & Design

    Kirk Bennion, Corvette Exterior Design Manager, was interviewed five years ago about the C7’s then recently revealed design. Here is what he said.

    Does his design and performance parameters then foretell us anything about the ME’s design?

    What Kirk Bennion Told Us: Aero & Design
    Foretelling the ME’s design? I recently watched a C7 GM-produced, April, 2013 C7 video, specifically listening to a comment by Kirk Bennion, Corvette Exterior Design Manager. Kirk has been with GM design since 1986, and in it, he listed his key “design parameters” about how he sees and performs Corvette design.

    While the below conversation was about the C7, more than a little will translate forward to the ME. As one specific, when I talked with Kirk at the BASH, just the two of us surrounded by 1 GS, 1 SR, and 1 Z06, my pointing to each of the them around us, I first thanked him for all C7’s being a bold/ exciting design, and then said, “ I am not asking for any response from you in return, but I/WE hope that the next generation Corvette will be this bold.” He smiled his typical wry smile and said, “at some time there will be a next generation Corvette, and it will not be boring.”

    Kirk, despite his 32 years within GM design is not an old world, traditional car designer, but a very highly skilled Corvette high speed driver, in fact hired by NCM and other tracks/program to teach HPDE (high performance driving event) classes. Additionally, Kirk is also skilled and knowledgeable in aerodynamics, personally spending over hundred hours in the wind tunnel fine tuning the C7’s design, and most recently, spending more than a week in GM’s moving ground plane wind tunnel helping to develop the ZR1’s advanced aero components. And IMO, he has a fantastic sense of design!

    Here were Kirk and the C7’s design team five overriding design parameters as they then approached the C7:

    Originally posted by CorvetteBlogger

    * Change the Upper (top of the car) and give it something new, different and compelling.

    * Give the front a more serious look. Not angry, but serious.

    * Side coves to be more expressive, more bold.

    * Being a new generation, we wanted a new type of sculpture you haven’t seen before.

    * The rear must be a game changer with its unique light signature to show off the LED technology.
    Additionally, in a December, 2013 GM teaser, C7 video, Kirk noted, and here his high speed driving expertise comes to play, his belief and practice that:

    “Beautiful form follows performance driven function.”

    Thank you Corvetteblogger!

    What do you think were/are GM’s major design themes for the ME? Any of the above “carry over?”
    Last edited by John; 07-18-2018, 03:10 PM.
    GBA Black; HTO Twilight/Tension interior; Z51 & Mag Ride; E60 lift; 5VM visible carbon fiber package; 5ZZ high wing; FA5 interior vis CF; ZZ3 engine appearance; 3LT; Q8T Spectra Gray Tridents; J6N Edge Red Calipers; SNG Edge Red Hashmarks; VQK Splash Guards; RCC Edge Red engine cover; VJR illuminated sill plates. Lifetime, annual contributors, and 23 year members of National Corvette Museum. Home is the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

  • #2
    I think all of the criteria would apply; if not by default (when changing to an ME platform), than by a purposeful effort.

    For the Corvette, moving to an ME layout will likely create a "game changer" to the rear (if not more); as it relates to function and form.

    I'm hoping that they also set/achieve a goal of innovation in the ME arena. Perhaps this ends up being something related to price point and/or functionality or performance (i.e. lowest price to comparable MEs, storage/capacity, power/weight, #s produced/sold, etc).

    But back to your question John, I see all of the themes carrying over to the ME initiative... exciting times right around the corner!