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Why C8 Has A Squircle Steering Wheel

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  • Why C8 Has A Squircle Steering Wheel

    Why will the ME Corvette have a squircle steering wheel?

    The Corvette ME’s square steering wheel with rounded corners was noticed a very long time ago. As we have heard, some are not pleased that next year’s C8 will have that shaped steering wheel.

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    Thanks to Wikiapedia: “A squircle is a shape intermediate between a square and a circle. There are at least two definitions of "squircle" in use, the most common of which is based on the superellipse. The word "squircle" is a portmanteau of the words "square" and "circle". Squircles have been applied in design and optics.”

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    Perhaps a squircle is just an “in” thing that GM is enamored with, that Corvette ME is just “copycatting” the Ferrari LaFerrari’s steering wheel.

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    Actually not, for the ME’s squircle is not an “image” thing, but IMO the squircle steering wheel is very a functional shape for the ME.

    Taking this one step at a time for the soon appearing ME Corvette:

    1) Its flat bottomed steering wheel: GM got tired of complaints from Corvette drivers, that getting in an out of the C6 was difficult for many, so starting with the C7, the bottom of the steering wheel became flat. Of course the growing size of Americans, coupled with the Corvette being low slung and thus harder to get into and out of than most vehicles, were major precipitants in the C7’s steering wheel having its flat bottom.

    2) Its flat topped steering wheel: One of the best advantages of a mid engine car is that without a motor up front, its hood can be angled down quicker and more steeper — to give one a fantastic view of the road right in front of the car and equally seeing a corner’s apex better/more easily as a result.

    Conversely, with the C8’s sharply dropping down hood, a typical C7 curved top steering wheel would literally be in the way of your downward/forward visibility. Hence, why the C8’s flat topped steering wheel gives the best forward, lower-angle visibility (for an enclosed steering wheel).

    3) Its curved sides: Looking at the part of the ME’s wheel we can see, its sides seems to not be flat as the sides a true squircle would be, but instead have more of an outward curve as it goes from its outer, downward corners to the outer, upward corners. In that regard, it also mimics the LaFerrari’s steering wheel side curvature (which also deviates from a true squircle. Why are the C8’s sides like the Ferrari’s? Again, not for mimicking reasons, but IMO for three functional reasons.

    A) Our hands are used to such a curvature; it is most comfortable to us;

    B) Curved sides are probably easiest to gradually turn a wheel, especially executing the many small wheel-turning movements we make most of the time; and,

    C) The “wider” the side curvature of a steering wheel is, the more open visibility there is behind the wheel, e.g., the wider the digital IP that cab be seen through the wheel without being blocked by the steering wheel’s rim itself.

    Might this last component factor also suggest that the IP behind the C8’s steering wheel could be fairly wide?

    Even more to the point, these reasons collectively confirm IMO, why the 2020 Corvette ME steering wheels is functionally and properly a squircle.
    Last edited by John; 04-08-2019, 01:36 PM.
    Excited owners of a 2015 Z06. Lifetime, annual contributors, and 20 year members of NCM. Our 2020 ME C8 Corvette is next.

  • #2
    Cool wheel is a smart move. Shut the naysayers down early on...

    Comment


    • #3
      Yeah, I thinks it's a nice change and I don't see any downsides.
      Current Vettes:
      '68 Lemans Blue 327/350 Convertible
      '91 Turquoise Convertible w/hardtop
      '14 Lime Rock Green 2LT Convertible, Black Top, Kalahari, 7-Speed, Performance Exhaust - Ordered on 4-1-2014, 2000 Status on 4-10-2014, TPW 5-12-2014, Built on 5-16-2014, Picked-up at dealership on 5-30-2014
      "Delta t = 23"

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      • #4
        I like the look and features you've mentioned.

        I'll add that the curved sides also allow your hand to follow a natural arch, maintaining the relative position on the sides. If it were say square, diamond, oblong or any other odd combination your hands would follow different paths based on the relative position your hand is placed on the steering wheel (can it be called a wheel if it's not round)?

        I could be explaining this all wrong, my mind is full of ideas I can't get out. I may be totally wrong on this too! I think of it this why... hold a square pan (anything square) and rotate it trying to hold it on a fixed center point. Now grab a plate (round one) and repeat the process. If you do get the square item to remain center its because you are having to adjust your hand/arm position to compensate for the unnatural arch. This is the simplest way I can explain what's in my head? I'm no engineer so the factual terms elude me, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn once!

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        • #5
          Squircle

          OK! New word of the day. Its legit. I also looked it up. The forum spell checker even marks it as a misspell. Makes sense that its a portmanteau of the words "square" and "circle". Somebody pronounce it for me so I can describe it to folks that ask about my C8.

          Its gonna be unique and great!


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          • #6
            Think and say “circle,” but preceded it with the SQ sound.

            To think that folks only thought we were car enthusiasts, their failing to realize that we really joined the forum to improve our vocabulary, word recognition, and pronunciation skills.
            Excited owners of a 2015 Z06. Lifetime, annual contributors, and 20 year members of NCM. Our 2020 ME C8 Corvette is next.

            Comment


            • #7
              My Uncle had a 1961 Fury with one Click image for larger version

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              • #8
                Originally posted by John View Post
                Think and say “circle,” but preceded it with the SQ sound.
                I can't do that. Say it again.


                Comment


                • #9
                  Skwurkel. Try that

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Shrike6 View Post
                    Skwurkel. Try that
                    I can say that. Sounds good.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Of course, my Uncle’s Fury didn’t have a mannetino, but it had sparkles in the clear parts.
                      I’m guessing that won’t be an option. Maybe that’s the delay...
                      Last edited by Shrike6; 03-15-2019, 04:06 PM.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Shrike6 View Post
                        Skwurkel. Try that
                        Phonetic Spelling for the win!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Ripper View Post
                          Phonetic Spelling for the win!
                          Squirrel Kill?
                          Current Vettes:
                          '68 Lemans Blue 327/350 Convertible
                          '91 Turquoise Convertible w/hardtop
                          '14 Lime Rock Green 2LT Convertible, Black Top, Kalahari, 7-Speed, Performance Exhaust - Ordered on 4-1-2014, 2000 Status on 4-10-2014, TPW 5-12-2014, Built on 5-16-2014, Picked-up at dealership on 5-30-2014
                          "Delta t = 23"

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Boomer View Post

                            I can say that. Sounds good.
                            OK, now try this: Schuylkill
                            SunKissed, my 2015 2LT, 7MT, Black over Daytona Sunrise Orange Metallic, Stingray convertible (One of about 40)

                            Purchased 5/2/2015,
                            >31,000+ miles

                            Proud member of the Old Dominion Corvette Club. Check us out http://www.olddominioncorvetteclub.org

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by meyerweb View Post

                              OK, now try this: Schuylkill
                              Ahhh, one of the rivers near me. This one is easy and appropriate... Sku kill.

                              Comment

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