Spoilers and ducts, and side skirts, oh my!
New patent filings show the Chevy Corvette could soon receive several different types of active aerodynamics. This isn’t the first time patent filings hinted at such technology coming to Corvette. Last year, filings showed GM patenting active aerodynamics linked to the car’s ride height. The new filings, discovered by CorvetteBlogger.com, show much more of what could be in store for the current Corvette and beyond.
The three filings all deal with a different active aerodynamic system – ducts, spoilers, and side skirts. All three are designed to manipulate the air traveling around the vehicle so the car can go faster, generate more downforce, or handle better.
The active ducts GM filed a patent for are fully-enclosed systems designed to generate downforce when the vehicle is moving. The filing says the ducts can be placed both on top – like a mid-engined Corvette could use – and on the bottom of the car, helping move air from one part of the vehicle to where it’s needed. The patent also notes the use of a venturi to help accelerate the air is possible.
Active side skirts are like regular side skirts but movable. On a regular vehicle, they help direct air around the rear wheels to reduce drag. On the Corvette, GM’s patent says its active side skirts will extend and contract toward or away from the road. The larger the skid-skirt area, the lower the drag on the vehicle, according to the automaker.
The final bit of active aero tech is the spoiler. We’ve seen this technology before where the rear spoiler can move depending on the vehicle’s movements. GM’s patent shows a spoiler adjusting its height and angle, which would alter drag and downforce depending on the inputs the system monitors, such as speed and steering angle.
While the patent filings show these active aerodynamic bits on a current-generation Corvette, these could easily be engineered into the mid-engined Corvette we know is coming. The Corvette is known for being a performance star. The addition of active aerodynamics will help it better compete against supercars hundreds of thousands of dollars more expensive than itself.