Nerd’s Eye View: Chevrolet Corvette C7.R

by Khiem Dinh

Khiem Dinh is an engineer for Honeywell Turbo Technologies at the time of this writing.  All statements and opinions expressed by Khiem Dinh are solely those of Khiem Dinh and not reflective of Honeywell Turbo Technologies.

The production car and race car share significant technologies. The C7 design is a massive leap forward in performance compared to its predecessor the C6. The new aluminum frame of the C7 is vastly stiffer than the previous C6 and this has translated into the C7.R race car as well. Direct injection from the production engine also makes its way onto the race car with the benefit being improved fuel economy. Even the aerodynamics of the production Z06 and the C7.R race car were modeled concurrently.


One significant area where the Z06 and C7.R differ is in their engines. There’s been a shift in the racing world where the cars have gotten so fast due to improvements in aerodynamics, tires, and suspension, that the only way to keep the cars at reasonable speeds is to reduce their power output. So, the C7.R gets a naturally aspirated 5.5L engine burning E85 compared to the production Z06 which gets a 625hp, supercharged 6.2L. Even with the smaller displacement, the C7.R race engine breathes through a pair of restrictors. The restrictors are fed by the ducts on either side of the radiator. The radiator is angled forward so as to facilitate the airflow out of the vented hood. The hood has a central duct occupying the empty space behind the radiator with the duct mating up to the back of the radiator. Also grabbing air from the front of the car are the brake ducts. The ducts feed both the front and rear of the rotor!
The C7.R is wide and low. On each side of the central radiator air opening are the inlets for the engine intake and brake ducts. The front splitter meets the front bodywork at a nice and vertical surface which should generate large amounts of downforce.
This angle gives a view of how the brake duct and air intake for the engine attach to the front bumper.
I am pretty sure that little carbon fiber bridge helps bring ducted air over to the other side of the brake caliper. As an observation related to organization, notice how the brake pads are numbered along with a directional arrow to indicate the proper installation orientation.
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Tuesday, May 27, 2014 7:45 AM
I love Nerd's Eye View! Good stuff, as always.
Mark Zimmerman
Mark Zimmermanlink
Tuesday, May 27, 2014 8:19 AM
Great article. I love the detail shots.
CID Vicious
CID Viciouslink
Tuesday, May 27, 2014 9:47 AM

fap fap

Fap Fap Fap


UNNNNHHHH...wake me for dinner....
Tuesday, May 27, 2014 11:24 AM
Home run article. I'm sure you could do a part 2 on this one.
Dusty Duster
Dusty Dusterlink
Tuesday, May 27, 2014 11:51 AM
What kind of transmission is in that thing? Is it paddle-shifted? I can't quite make out a gear selector.
Tuesday, May 27, 2014 3:59 PM
SM, we only showed what we were allowed to show. Teams gotta keep their secrets :)

Dusty, paddle shifted Xtrac tranny.
Wednesday, May 28, 2014 9:22 AM
So how does the rear view camera work? I saw the screen in the driver compartment but it looked like it was handling mostly text based items. Does that function as the rear view during racing?
Wednesday, May 28, 2014 2:22 PM
Quick correction, the "rear radiator" is actually the A/C condensor. The radiator is front mounted in the C7.Rs.
Wednesday, May 28, 2014 2:33 PM
Protodad, the text on the camera is probably just some startup scripts or a splash screen. The screen looks like a backup camera with some really fancy real-time overlays. The unit is a multi-function camera and radar display that actively tracks the cars behind, their class, and their closing speed. So yes, very sophisticated rear view.
Wednesday, May 28, 2014 5:05 PM
Steve-o is bang on, the rear rad is for the AC system. Not sure about the one in the cockpit, maybe for the cool suit or drink system...

Also, piloti tubes have been used on many GT cars, probably most obviously would be the Prodrive Ferrari GT cars, though you do see them on others like the SRT Viper, on occasion for the Porsches
Wednesday, May 28, 2014 7:54 PM
Definition of car porn.
Tuesday, June 03, 2014 12:18 AM
Correction: Pitot tubes have been in use previously in GT class. Probably the most famous example is the Prodrive Ferrari 550-GTS from the early 2000s.

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