GM filed 2 aero-related patents for a mid-engine hybrid supercar


2020 Chevrolet Corvette (C8) spy shots - Image via S. Baldauf/SB-Medien

2020 Chevrolet Corvette (C8) spy shots - Image via S. Baldauf/SB-Medien

General Motors has filed yet again for more patents regarding active aerodynamics, and this time they're clearly for a mid-engined car. The automaker has filed two new patents surrounding control systems for active aerodynamic systems, and one lends itself to a hybrid system.

The two new patents, first discovered by Jalopnik, follow patents from the past year detailing an active aero system for the Corvette. While the previous filing dealt with the system itself, these new patents mention systems that would control the aero. The first patent is called "aerodynamic actuator control systems and methods." 

2020 Chevrolet Corvette (C8) spy shots - Image via S. Baldauf/SB-Medien

2020 Chevrolet Corvette (C8) spy shots - Image via S. Baldauf/SB-Medien

Images and language detail how various modules in the vehicle would collect data from sensors to work the aero system and determine the appropriate amount of downforce needed. Each of the named modules would communicate with the engine control module and the aero system itself, but there's one module that piques our interest. The patent lists a hybrid control module as one of many interacting with the engine control module, and also includes an electric motor.

This particular system could make its way to the rumored mid-engine C8 Corvette, which is tipped to include a hybrid variant in the future. In May, new information suggested the C8 Corvette would one day sport a hybrid system with an electric motor at the front to provide all-wheel drive and potentially 1,000 horsepower. The hybrid system would be married to a 5.5-liter twin-turbocharged V-8, an engine also rumored to be offered sans hybrid system in some form.

2020 Chevrolet Corvette (C8) spy shots - Image via S. Baldauf/SB-Medien

2020 Chevrolet Corvette (C8) spy shots - Image via S. Baldauf/SB-Medien

The second patent also deals with how the active aero system would be controlled, but it's the first time GM has used a mid-engine sketch for any of its aero patents. Previously, patent images featured the C7 Corvette when detailing how the system would work. GM's patented system doesn't just look at vehicle speed to adjust aero, but also pitch, roll, ride height and even steering wheel position to calculate adjustments.

While automakers regularly file to protect systems with a patent, the sheer number of active aero patents makes it highly likely the mid-engine C8 Corvette will include a similar system.

 
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