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Key technologies for Corvette?

 
Old 12-17-2008, 03:45 PM
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christopher04z06
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Default Key technologies for Corvette?

What key technologies do you think GM should focus on for the Corvette. It's concerning we may see a delayed C7 when the competition is offering so much technology right now.

1st - I see Porsche, Audi, BMW, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Subaru, Lambo, and more offering AWD to get the power down. Advanced torque transfer systems F-B, L-R. Should Corvette get this? Will it always be RWD even if its competitor Porsche offers AWD?

2nd - Followup really. Should it go mid-engine like Ferrari, Lotus, and others to get the power down?

3rd - If it stays RWD, will we see Magnetic Dampers and advanced algorithms at least "mitigate" the issues getting power down? Will these come down from ZR1 to lesser vette's?

4th - When will Corvette get a DSG tranny. I see Porsche now has it like Nissan. Not manual, but shifts really fast.

5th - What about Turbo's? Again, many of Corvette's competitors offer them. Will this enable a move to smaller displacement? What's the efficiency gain from the new supercharger technology like in the ZR1? Would this improve higher Altitude performance.

6th - Rev matching. Do Corvette owners want this? The 370Z technology is interesting. Not everybody is good at toe-heel and it helps novices out on real roads.

7th - More advances in light weight materials. Corvette is really good here already. Corvette is very balanced too. What's the ROI on more.

8th - Start/stop for improved city mileage? Important? Would it be worth GM using their belt/alt technology on a Vette? How about something like Mazda's system to stop engine at a spot then ignite.

9th - Direct injection? Porche is just now offering on the 911. Anybody heard about dates for this on LS enginers? This could improve economy.

Or is the Vette destined to always be well balanced, light-weight, RWD, V8 N/A platform but w/o some of the new technologies, more of an old-school sports car?
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Old 12-18-2008, 08:18 AM
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Originally Posted by christopher04z06 View Post
What key technologies do you think GM should focus on for the Corvette. It's concerning we may see a delayed C7 when the competition is offering so much technology right now.

1st - I see Porsche, Audi, BMW, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Subaru, Lambo, and more offering AWD to get the power down. Advanced torque transfer systems F-B, L-R. Should Corvette get this? Will it always be RWD even if its competitor Porsche offers AWD?

2nd - Followup really. Should it go mid-engine like Ferrari, Lotus, and others to get the power down?

3rd - If it stays RWD, will we see Magnetic Dampers and advanced algorithms at least "mitigate" the issues getting power down? Will these come down from ZR1 to lesser vette's?

4th - When will Corvette get a DSG tranny. I see Porsche now has it like Nissan. Not manual, but shifts really fast.

5th - What about Turbo's? Again, many of Corvette's competitors offer them. Will this enable a move to smaller displacement? What's the efficiency gain from the new supercharger technology like in the ZR1? Would this improve higher Altitude performance.

6th - Rev matching. Do Corvette owners want this? The 370Z technology is interesting. Not everybody is good at toe-heel and it helps novices out on real roads.

7th - More advances in light weight materials. Corvette is really good here already. Corvette is very balanced too. What's the ROI on more.

8th - Start/stop for improved city mileage? Important? Would it be worth GM using their belt/alt technology on a Vette? How about something like Mazda's system to stop engine at a spot then ignite.

9th - Direct injection? Porche is just now offering on the 911. Anybody heard about dates for this on LS enginers? This could improve economy.

Or is the Vette destined to always be well balanced, light-weight, RWD, V8 N/A platform but w/o some of the new technologies, more of an old-school sports car?
here's what I'd like to see which is very doable, if GM can survive keep in mind the corvette is a very low volume flag ship car that even while profitable, is a "poor mans" sports car not an exotic, and many of these technologies are typically only in very expensive cars, here goes

small displacement twin turbo direct injection. this is feasible with current parts. take the ecotec parts, engineer the block, crank, and build a small displacement, high reving, low friction TT v8, keep it very compact and light, mount it very low in the chassis.

ZR1 drivetrain and suspension, but on a smaller scale. keep the frame, brakes, and make the body much lighter.

AWD & DSG. DSG should be the priority here, AWD is great, but if you "ramp up" the torq, RWD will hook up ok and allow the lighter weight which pays benefits in fuel economy, handling, braking ect. AWD is great, but requires a major redesign.

exotic materials and "minamalist" approach. make the car 2800 or less lbs with less creature comfort and "gizmos" to make the car simple and more affordable. I'd rather see very light wheels, CF brakes, and very sticky tires than NAV, heavy uncomfortable seats, ect.... keep the active handling, but make the components lighter. "add lightness" is key here as you can make a great power to weight which is what it's all about!

mid engine >>> nice but not worth it! if you want a mid engine car, get a lotus. nothing wrong with that approach, GM might consider "outsourcing" the chassis and just engineer a better drivetrain and body on the lotus chassis, that's not a bad approach either.

corvette will survive, but the new c7 is likely quite a ways off and will be "evolutionary" rather than exotic. give me that DOHC TT V8 that revs to the moon and a beautifully styled car (sorry not a big fan of the c4, c5, c6 style) and I'll be happy. DSG is a major priority for me as well
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Old 12-19-2008, 11:15 AM
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First of all, there is absolutely no advantage in "efficiency" going to smaller displacement TT motors. Porsche and many other Japanese models have proven that time and again. They get no better mileage than a Corvette and most are worse. Secondly there is no advantage in size or weight to a TT motor. The LS motors are already the state of the art as far as power to weight and size goes. Direct injection will definitely help here but it helps NA engines just as much as it does TT or SC engines. So if anything, Porsche, BMW and all the others should take a lesson from GM on engine building, instead of the other way around. The LS motors are already mounted as low as possible in the chassis. That's how they fit so much power under such a low hood line. If you want high revs and no torque, by a Japanese car. V8 power and torque is why many people buy Corvettes.

AWD is great for getting the power down but the added weight is a big penalty. You guys contradict yourselves by wanting AWD but then demand low weight, where once again, GM leads the pack with the lightest vehicles out of the bunch. Mid engine certainly has some advantages but it seems funny to me that the best performing models from Porsche, Lambo and Ferrari are RWD. A 911TT is no match for a GT2 or even a GT3RS. The top of the line Ferrari 599 is not only RWD but it's a front engine. Including their newest model, the California. They seem to be trying to get away from the mid engine designs. Less exotic, more functional.

On that note, a mid engine car will always "appear" to be more "exotic" than any front engine car. By the definition of the word itself, exotic is "foreign" and/or "rare". A domestic front engine car will never appear exotic to some one in this country, no matter how it is styled. Nothing "rare" or "foreign" about front engine cars here. Especially one that gets 30,000 copies made per year.

I agree on some kind of DSG tranny technologies. As far as a no frills performance package, you can always buy a Katech Club Sport Z06. Reduced weight and no frills.
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Old 12-19-2008, 11:35 PM
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Some good points robvuk.

There are a couple of other advantages to a mid-engine design specific to Corvette. Displacement on Demand and Variable Valve Timing are some things I'd love to see on the Vette to help with coming CAFE issues but according to the Powertrain folks there's a vibration in the torque tube at certain RPMs they can't beat. So along with the handling and weight advantages of a mid-engine, we'd see some stability added to the driveline just through reduced mass.

It would change the entire character of the car though and GM has not had great luck with it's last couple of mid engines - the Corvair and the Fiero. If they are going to do it on the halo car for the Company, they better get it right.

I'd like to see the Magnetic Selective Ride become simple and cheap enough to be the default suspension for the entire line with different tour and sport programming for a base F55, Z51, Z06 and Z1.
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Old 12-20-2008, 09:15 AM
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Default The features are already on the L99

"Camaro SS buyers who wish not shift their own tranny will get the only truly new engine in the Camaro lineup: the L99. This mill's similarities with the other Camaro V-8 are extensive: for example, its block, cylinder heads, crankshaft, and connecting rods-along with the intake manifold and throttle body-are all shared with the LS3. That said, there are some exciting additions that make the L99 best thought of as a "higher-tech" LS3; namely, Active Fuel Management and Variable Valve Timing.
Under light-load conditions, the lifters on four of the cylinders deactivate and cease transmitting the cam lobe profiles to their valves, meaning the valves on those cylinders stay closed, reducing pumping losses (obviously, fuel is also cut to those cylinders). They do this upon receiving an oil pressure signal from the so-called Lifter Oil Manifold Assembly seen here, used in lieu of a valley cover. This is actually a unit from a truck engine, but the L99's will be very similar. --->

"For the L99, we tried to put in some technology to maximize as much fuel economy as we could out of the vehicle," John Rydzewski told GMHTP. "This is really a nice package to do that because we didn't really have anything like an LS3 [in terms of power] that was AFM-equipped. AFM works great when you have a lot of power in a lighter-weight vehicle. In a truck, it has only so much effectiveness."

Why only the automatic? Couldn't engineers incorporate this technology into manual-equipped cars as well? "When switching from 8- to 4-cylinder mode (or vice versa), there are some transitions that you have to deal with," explains Rydzewski. "Typically, a good way to do this is by using a torque converter. The ability to control the slip of the torque converter [via the torque converter clutch] is a big enabler in getting good transitions. The whole thought behind having AFM is, you don't want to have interruptions; you want it as seamless as possible." Nevertheless, we were told AFM could be implemented on a manual, and that GM actually is looking into it. But because a manual transmission's clutch is a straight coupling (and one that is hydraulically actuated only by the driver), it is not as adept at damping the slight drivetrain vibrations that occur during AFM activation/deactivation. "
"This brings us to the L99's other feature that sets it apart from the LS3: Variable Valve Timing (or more appropriately, "dual-equal cam phasing"-intake and exhaust valve timing cannot be altered independently). Though it's been in use for a few years on Gen IV truck engines, the L99 represents the first appearance of VVT in a car application.""The system therefore allows a best-of-both-worlds approach to output by eliminating the compromise between low-end torque and top-end horsepower inherent in fixed cam timing. This is true regardless of whether you're talking about part- or full-throttle operation. There are other benefits to VVT as well: for example, it allows a smoother idle (via fully advanced valve timing events), and in addition to its own role in increasing fuel economy, it also allows the AFM system to function over a broader operating range."

From GM High Tech Performance.
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Old 12-21-2008, 11:55 PM
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I feel compelled to point out, again, that the Corvette IS a mid-engined car. The engine is just mounted ahead of the driver.
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Old 01-15-2009, 03:48 PM
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Apparently DOD (or AFM) causes an akward exhaust note as well, not something a Corvette owner would like to hear.

On the other hand, Variable Valve Timing, 3-Valve heads and Direct Injection could all play roles in increasing power output as well as fuel consumption. Most importantly, though, is that all of these can be incorporated into the same size package as the current GM smallblock making it extremely compact and lightweight (power "dense") and still capable of offering the low hoodline that has come to define the C5/6 Corvette.

(OK, the 3-Valve heads are slightly wider and marginally taller, but they are FAR more compact than OHC designs.)

AWD is not going to happen in the Corvette. With the transmission in the rear of the car it would mean transfering FULL torque (Engine torque X transmission gear ratio) back to the front of the vehicle and having gear reduction differential(s) at the front of the car to distribut this to the front wheels. No room, too much weight, etc. etc.

The only way I see AWD making it into the 'Vette is with electric "assist" motors powering the front wheels, while retaining the front engine RWD configuration it has now, and that would only be for fuel economy. Since the 'Vette is such a small contributor to the GM fleet economy numbers, I doubt you'll see any drastic moves like this for fuel efficiency... no Hybrid 'Vettes anytime soon.
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