Nerd’s Eye View: SEMA 2013 – Part I



C7 corvette cutaway

Speaking of beefy things, this is a cutaway of the new C7 Vette chassis. What you’re looking at is a brace that goes between the front spar of the chassis and the A-piller/door frame area. Based on the effectiveness of the fender brace I used on Project S2000, I bet this brace on the C7 chassis does quite a bit to stiffen it up. Behind it is the mounting for the steering wheel and pedals. The angled thing is the mounting for the clutch pedal assembly to the steering/pedals box mounting thingy.

C7 corvette chassis

Here is the view of the steering/pedal mounting box thing. A common issue on older cars is flex in the brake system. The brake pedal is often mounted to a flexy sheet metal firewall as is the master cylinder. With all the flexing going on, it reduces brake feel and the ability to properly modulate. Well, that’s not an issue on the C7 Vette! All of the brake pedal and master cylinder components appear to be mounted to this very robust looking mounting box.

Corvette cutaway

Here is a closer look up the upper control arm of the front suspension. The camber can be adjusted by using washers. The transverse spring common to Vettes can be seen below.

c7 corvette sema 2013

The rear suspension bits have a lot of adjustments. The rear transverse spring and anti-roll bar are also visible.

c7 corvette

The radiator is angled to help aid the airflow through the radiator and out the hood vent. From a manufacturing viewpoint, it appears the front end consists of extruded aluminum sections welded to another section which I believe is cast. The chassis uses a mix of aluminum components that were stamped, hydroformed, cast, or extruded.

c7 corvette exhaust tunnel

This is the central transmission tunnel. The exhaust is tucked up in there and something thermally protected from the heat. I’d guess that’s the driveshaft hiding under the insulation. The aluminum is a few layers thick where the shifter is mounted probably contributing to improved shift action.

This is the awesome stuff you can do when designed from the beginning. The vent in the upper rear fender feeds air through the duct to an oil cooler which also has a fan on it.

That’s a snippet of the cool car stuff I saw at SEMA this year. I love the fact that real race vehicles are on display. It’s nice how the OEMs bring out some of their newest go-fast parts. The C7 Corvette is very impressive in the flesh having watched it being wrung out on the little test track GM had setup outside. Stay tuned, we'll have Part II up covering some of the car parts on display coming up soon.

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