Designing the 7th Generation Corvette

The seventh generation Corvette is far more than a styling exercise. It was conceived as a true sports car from the beginning, taking into account all of the technical and aerodynamic attributes necessary to make it perform as well as it looks. But what exactly did the designers do to achieve that goal?

The C7 Corvette’s exterior design manager Kirk Bennion says that the old adage ‘form follows function’ was fine tuned to “beautiful form follows performance driven function” in the creation of the new car’s design, adding that designers worked tirelessly to find a new way to express that combination.

While the car’s roofline sits 12.5mm lower than its predecessor, it is 12.5mm wider in order to improve handling. Designers also worked in close collaboration with aerodynamic engineers to get the plan view shape of the corner optimized for air flow and direct air through the radiator and out of the vanes on the hood.

“You can’t do a Corvette without good collaboration” says John Bednardchik, the new Corvette’s aerodynamic engineer. Every aspect of the exterior design had to be tuned for optimum performance and from a functional perspective.

Exterior design director Tom Peters also cites the differentiation between pure art and design, stating that “design has a serious function driven aspect” which had to be met in order to achieve peak performance. “It can’t just be pure styling,” he says, “every millimeter on this car is intentional and done with purpose.”

Watch the video to hear more about what went into the design of the new Corvette Stingray.


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