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C8 Design Considerations

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  • C8 Design Considerations

    Thank you HotRod for conducting this excellent interview with Kirk.

    For more, please visit HotRod at: https://www.hotrod.com/articles/1907...ion-interview/

    Originally posted by HotRod
    2020 Corvette Exterior Design Manager Kirk Bennion Interview

    Written by rbuter123 on July 29, 2019

    Click image for larger version

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    The design team produces thousands of sketches before finalizing the design of a new car. This sketch shows one of the approved drawings that shows the shape of the C8’s body panels. (Photo Courtesy of Chevrolet)

    Kirk Bennion has been working with the Corvette design studio since 1986. Kirk is an avid amateur race driver and understands the importance of how aerodynamics improve a Corvette’s track performance. He and his team were responsible for the exterior design of the C8 mid-engine Corvette. It is a radical departure from the previous C7 front engine architecture that it precedes. Team Vette caught up with him at the very successful C8 Reveal in Tustin, California.

    Vette: Congratulations on the exterior design of the C8 Corvette. The beautiful C7 was a hard act to follow. What was the biggest aerodynamic challenge you were faced with on this design?

    KB: We worked very hard to incorporate low drag and manipulate downforce into this car. All of these factors had a huge impact on the end result of this car. For example, getting the two heat exchangers in the front and two in the rear of the car to function properly created an aerodynamic challenge.

    Vette: What issues did you encounter locating the heat exchangers?

    KB: We had to make sure they were mounted in the proper locations in order to maximize their air flow and not disturb the overall design of the car. It took us an enormous amount of time to determine where to position them and shape the inlets to provide maximum cooling.

    Vette: How did you manage routing the plumbing from the front radiators to the engine?

    KB: The plumbing was not too bad, because we didn’t have any exhaust running down the center of the car. The center tunnel was free for us to route the plumbing to the engine.

    Vette: Tell us about the hydraulic front lift system?

    KB: This has been a constant request from our customers that started when we introduced the C6 Z06. Frontal curb damage has been a constant occurrence. The front cameras helped. However, getting the C8 as low as possible was our goal, but in addition we had to make the car user friendly. The hydraulic front lift system mitigates many of this issues.


    Vette: The C8 seems to have more definitive body lines than the previous C7. Why is that?

    KB: This car is very fast and aerodynamics play a big role in keeping this car stable at all speeds. It is easy to see the influence of aircraft design in the body shape. The body ridges help direct the air flow around the body and into the cooling inlets. Cooling and downforce help keep this vehicle stable. The development is part art using clay modeling and digital mathematical computer design. We started at the front of the car and found the highest wind velocity is at the center of the car. We did not want a bunch of air under the car because that creates lift so we used air dams to manage that flow. The car has a hybrid rear spoiler that helps the air exit the rear of the vehicle from the left and right side of the bumper. The C8 has fans tucked within the bodywork to help pump air into the engine compartment and then evacuate it under the car and through vents in the rear window and bumper.

    Vette: What do you like the most about the outside of the car?

    KB: We took all of the fat out of the car, the design is very taunt over the mechanicals underneath the panels. We left no stone unturned and constantly asked ourselves if we could be do something better and more unique than the previous car. However, we always wanted to make sure the car looked like a Corvette.
    Last edited by John; 07-31-2019, 12:36 AM.
    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
    Cool...thanks for posting up.

    Comment


    • #3
      After having read this, I have even more of an appreciation for the C8 design.

      Comment


      • #4
        Nice read. Looking forward to some of the hard numbers/specs coming out.
        2021 HTC on order with 2LT, front lift, msrc, npp, elb with two tone seats, and gray hash marks. September first delivery??
        Now 22. Thinking adding cf interior and deleting hash marks.
        Delivery? Who knows. ☹☹

        Comment


        • #5
          Seeing the car in the flesh, a main character line is the horizonal line that runs from the door-front to a point slightly pass the bottom of the scoop. A curved shelf.
          Last edited by SheepDog; 07-31-2019, 08:02 AM.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by steve8 View Post
            Nice read. Looking forward to some of the hard numbers/specs coming out.
            For sure. GM as Tadge explicitly told us, will have more information forthcoming. We know that we get pricing in exactly two weeks, but when will we be getting hard performance numbers??? I for one alsowant a press release on all the working and new features of the LT2
            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.

            Comment


            • #7
              I don't know how late in the design process that the sketch above represents, but if we had seen that years ago, I'd bet we would have said "no way it will look like that, GM would not be able to produce a car that cool". Well howaboutthat ... they did!!

              Comment


              • #8
                KB: We worked very hard to incorporate low drag and manipulate downforce into this car. All of these factors had a huge impact on the end result of this car. For example, getting the two heat exchangers in the front and two in the rear of the car to function properly created an aerodynamic challenge.
                FOUR heat exchangers? I believe the base has 2, and the Z51 has 3. So the 4th would be for.... the track pack?
                Delivered 5/29!: Scarlet Fever 2021 2LT HTC, Red Mist Metallic Tintcoat, two-tone Natural w/ suede inserts, Mag Ride, Performance Exhaust

                Gone but not forgotten: SunKissed, 2015 2LT, 7MT, Black over Daytona Sunrise Orange Metallic, Stingray convertible

                Proud member of the Old Dominion Corvette Club: https://www.olddominioncorvetteclub.org/

                Never grow up - It's a trap.

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                • #9
                  I really admire the skills and dedication of the entire Corvette team. I wish I knew them as personal friends.

                  Part of the reason I want to buy a C8 is to honor their work in a small way. Seeing the car in my garage every day would be an inspiration for me to see what human excellence is capable of.
                  Last edited by AbqVic; 07-31-2019, 01:00 PM.

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                  • #10
                    Great article, thanks for posting!

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by meyerweb View Post

                      FOUR heat exchangers? I believe the base has 2, and the Z51 has 3. So the 4th would be for.... the track pack?
                      ZO6. They design from the beginning with thermal management capacity for all the planned future engine variants.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by electroVette View Post

                        ZO6. They design from the beginning with thermal management capacity for all the planned future engine variants.
                        I would think the Z06 would get another in the center of the grill.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by TOMDOM69 View Post

                          I would think the Z06 would get another in the center of the grill.
                          I expect so, in addition to the four other heat exchangers. Possible two in the center, with one of the two horizontal like is done in the Camaro and ATS-V.

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                          • #14
                            Just when I was ready to give up on corporate bureaucracy.....what a ray of pure America..😎
                            3lt SOT...cf racing stripe,front lift.mag ride, z51,cf mirrors & spoiler,bright trident wheels,yellow calipers, yellow stitching black leather ,yellow belts,

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