GM Wind Tunnel Testing The LMR/GM C6 Corvette Aero Drag Package
Wind resistance is a cruel mistress – when trying to set top speed records, just throwing more and more horsepower at the problem isn’t good enough, because the energy required goes up exponentially with speed. Plus, there’s the non-trivial issue of stability to contend with, too. The 6th Gen Corvette body design benefits from General Motors’ mind-boggling resources, including aerodynamic development in their full-scale wind tunnel in Warren, Michigan. Though it’s sleek, it was never really intended to see the far side of 200 MPH, and there are several ‘standing mile’ competitors routinely pushing past that mark.
One such team is Late Model Racecraft, and according to Corvette Forum, LMR made the 24-hour trek to take part in wind tunnel testing the LMR/General Motors Aero drag package for the C6 Corvette. During the testing process the guys from LMR were able to work alongside Thomas Froling, Lead Aero Engineer for the current C6 and Z06 models. Thanks to the collaborative experience the team at LMR gained a well rounded understanding of the intricacies in reducing drag (which is a critical issue when taking on events such as standing mile competitions). LMR’s blue C6 set a record for the fastest Corvette at the most recent Texas Mile competition producing a terminal speed of 231 MPH.
Obviously the guys at LMR are incredibly knowledgeable, as evidenced by their record setting cars, but they were impressed by the minute details that can affect drag. With the goal of lowering the drag coefficient of the vehicle while enhancing high speed stability, one full day was dedicated to setting up car for the testing procedure; this involved bringing the car into the “prep room” where the car was scaled and all of the required sensors were attached. While in the “prep room” the LMR crew was treated to a glimpse of the 2014 Camaro and heavily camouflaged 1/3 scale model of the C7 Corvette – of course no cameras were allowed at this location (think Area 51 for Bowtie lovers). Much like the details of the upcoming Camaro and C7, the guys from LMR were sworn to secrecy on the details of the testing process, but it is hard to take your eyes from the screen during the High Tech Corvette’s video of the wind tunnel testing.