While the very first cars were assembled by hand, using tools that could be mastered by a Roman Centurion with a few minutes worth of coaching, today automobiles are far too complicated to build without robotic aid. Even the simplest components, like body panels or transmission tunnels, are now made from multiple parts that must be manufactured to exact specifications, lest the whole thing be thrown off.
The new 2014 Chevy Corvette Stingray is one of the most advanced automobiles out there right now, from its all-aluminum chassis to the 455 horsepower LT1 V8 engine. GM released this neat animation showing how the body of the car comes together, from a bunch of individual pieces into a single unit dedicated to speed and performance.
The animation starts with the assembly of the aluminum chassis, which GM says sheds 99 pounds over the outgoing steel frame. Weight loss was a big goal of the Corvette team, as was structural rigidity, and there seems to be some components of the 2014 Corvette integrated solely to stiffen the chassis. After all, how many C7s will be tuned for racing duty?
After that comes the substructure, including interior panels and a map of the wiring harness, before the rest of the Corvette’s body panels fly into place. It shows at once how complicated and surprisingly simple the Corvette C7’s design is; a focus on simplicity no doubt helped Corvette engineers keep weight off and their performance goals in sight.
It’s a cool look beneath the skin of the highly-anticipated Corvette Stingray, without having to tear one apart.