GM patents active aero, possibly for C8 Corvette ZR1

General Motors has filed a patent application for active aerodynamics, a feature we’d expect to see on future high-performance variants of the C8 Corvette.

First spotted by CarBuzz, the document in question was published by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on Jan. 9, but it was originally filed Aug. 6, 2021. It discusses keying active aerodynamic elements such as front and rear spoilers to an electronic limited-slip differential, adjusting aero as needed to maintain traction.

2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06

Sensors would continuously measure vehicle stability and the angle of attack of the spoilers, which corresponds to how much downforce they are able to generate at a given speed. If it detects instability at the front or rear angles, the system can adjust the angle of the spoilers to help generate more downforce and thus increase traction.

As CarBuzz notes, active aerodynamic elements were used on the Pagani Huayra, which has four individually controlled flaps that can raise or lower to adjust the aerodynamic load on different parts of the car. Lamborghini’s ALA system reroutes airflow through channels in a car’s spoilers to adjust downforce. But such tech has never appeared on a Corvette road car.

2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06

2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06

Chevy is also developing new Corvette variants that could make good use of active aero. C8 Corvette ZR1 prototypes have already been spotted testing at Germany’s Nürburgring racetrack ahead of what is likely a 2025-model-year introduction. One rung up from the current Corvette Z06, the C8 ZR1 is expected to use a twin-turbocharged version of that car’s 5.5-liter V-8, potentially pushing output from the naturally aspirated version’s 670 hp to around 850 hp.

The ZR1 may not be the ultimate C8 Corvette, though. Chevy is also rumored to be working on an all-wheel drive hybrid called the Corvette Zora in honor of early Corvette chief engineer Zora Arkus-Duntov. The rumors point to a powertrain combining the ZR1’s twin-turbo V-8 with the front-axle electric motor from the Corvette E-Ray for a total output potentially cresting 1,000 hp.

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