Could the mid-engine Corvette get first dibs on these new aero technologies?

Patent filings are flying all over the place as automakers rush to protect their home-grown inventions. The latest company to do so is General Motors, which has secured patents for a number of active aerodynamic components that could soon find their way to the Chevrolet Corvette. All in all, GM was recently awarded three new patents involving adaptive aero technologies, specifically Active Side-Skirts, Active Spoilers, and Downforce Generating Ducts..

C8 Corvette Aerodynamics

2019 C8 Corvette to Feature Active Side Skirts, Spoilers, and Downforce Generating Ducts
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The Active Side Skirt system uses sensors that can detect the rotating speed of the wheel and the speed of the vehicle relative to the road surface.

The three individual patents that General Motors secured detail specific functions that of each system, including, well, how they work. The first of these patents is the active side skirts. All of us know where side skirts are typically found — the car’s body side, usually running between the front and rear wheels, just below the doors — and that they help reduce drag. GM’s new Active Side Skirts, though, take the functionality to a new level. According to its patents, the Active Side Skirt system uses sensors that can detect the rotating speed of the wheel and the speed of the vehicle relative to the road surface. A controller is then programmed to send specific commands to actuators, which, in turn, have the ability to extend or retract the side skirts depending on the circumstance. Or as the General describes it, “toward and away from the road surface.” In a nutshell, GM’s Active Side Skirts aren’t just permanent fixtures on the car; they can move now.

2019 C8 Corvette to Feature Active Side Skirts, Spoilers, and Downforce Generating Ducts
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The Active Spoiler system can also change the angle of the spoiler in order to manipulate the aerodynamic force generated

The next patent is for Active Spoilers. Granted, a lot of supercar brands already use spoilers that can be adjusted automatically and on-the-fly. General Motors’ version of this technology doesn’t deviate away from this tech but expands on it with a spoiler that’s connected to a gear and motor system, which in turn is responsible for configuring the specific height and angle the spoiler needs to be to maximize its functionality. The Active Spoiler system can also change the angle of the spoiler in order to manipulate the aerodynamic force generated by the component. And just like the Active Side Skirts, this tech will reportedly come with sensors that transmit information to the controller, which is ten responsible for adjusting the height and angle of the spoiler depending on existing road conditions.

2019 C8 Corvette to Feature Active Side Skirts, Spoilers, and Downforce Generating Ducts
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This patent could be of tremendous use on a mid-engine car — hello there, mid-engine Corvette!

Last but certainly not least are the Downforce Generating Ducts. This patent is pretty straightforward in the context that it relates completely to the core function of air ducts as components that help move air from one part of a car to another. In its patent, GM expands the functionality of these ducts by designing them as enclosed structures with an entry port that receives airflow and an exit port that exhausts the airflow from the duct. These two ports are designed to generate aerodynamic force on a vehicle’s body when the vehicle itself is moving. This patent could be of tremendous use on a mid-engine car — hello there, mid-engine Corvette! — where air cooling plays a more prominent role in the mechanical components of a car.

It’s still unclear as to what General Motors’ plans for these new active aero technologies. Patent images show the components integrated into the body of a C7 Chevrolet Corvette, so it’s safe to assume that the Chevrolet sports car is going to be one of the most important recipients of the new technologies. It just so happens, too, that Chevy is in the middle of developing a mid-engine Corvette that’s expected to be classified as a supercar. With all these clues on the table, would it be too early to assume that we’ll find these new active aero components on the mid-engined Corvette?

I’m not betting against it.

Further reading

2019 C8 Corvette to Feature Active Side Skirts, Spoilers, and Downforce Generating Ducts Exterior Spyshots
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Read our full review on the 2019 Chevrolet Corvette Zora.

2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Read our full review on the 2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1.

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Source: Corvette Blogger

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