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How Ducati influenced the 2020 Corvette's design - Roadshow

por Maybelle Magee (2020-01-30)


id="article-body" class="row" section="article-body"> Enlarge ImageThe new Corvette's mid-engined layout forced GM design to take the LT2 V8's appearance more seriously.

image.php?image=b1apple001.jpg&dl=1Nick Miotke/Roadshow Despite giving often scintillating performance, modern engines tend to be visually unremarkable lumps. Pop the hood on nearly any new car, and you'll be greeted by little more than a plastic shroud and a seemingly random nest of wires and hoses. The more you spend, the more automakers tend to dress up their engines, but most still look anonymous. By shifting the 2020 Chevy Corvette Stingray to a mid-engined architecture, General Motors knew it had to take more time and effort to spruce up the aesthetics of the C8's all-new small-block V8. After all, the LT2 wouldn't be hidden up front beneath a clamshell hood, it'd be on ready display in the rear window, as well as on view every time someone opened the rear trunk.

That's where Tom Peters and his team comes in. GM's soft-spoken exterior design director was passionate about making the 490-plus horsepower V8 look like a jewel, with the surrounding Corvette itself being the setting. According to Jordan Lee, GM's chief engineer of small-block engines, when Peters summoned the LT2 engine engineers to his studio, the design team's workspace was littered with images of exotic cars' engine bays, and they had even wheeled Ducati motorcycles into the studio in the quest for inspiration.

Enlarge ImageA Ducati 959 Panigale was among the C8 design team's inspirations.

Ducati "Engine beautification and under-hood beautification became a priority on this vehicle because it is unique," said Paul Arnone, senior creative designer, in a telephone interview with Roadshow. Should you cherished this article along with you want to receive details relating to maintenance and drain cleaning services. We have a full team of licensed technicians to assist you the best way possible and fix any plumbing job right the first time. generously check out our web page. "It's our first big, mid-engined Corvette coming out, and it was very important to General Motors. We just wanted every part of this vehicle to look designed." 

"We wanted to approach this from the aspect where we weren't covering our sins by putting a big, honking plastic cover over our engine, we wanted to scale back on the plastic and show more of the engine," said Guy Samuels, creative designer. "Our leadership referred to it [the LT2] as an 'honest design' so from a benchmark standpoint, we used Ducati motorcycles. Motorcycles are as honest as you can possibly get when you talk about mechanicals." A pair of Ducati Panigale models -- an 899 and a 959 -- were brought into the studio at different points in the design process.

GM designers not only benchmarked Ducati motorcycles, they had photos of Bugatti engines on hand, and they looked closely at Ferrari engine bays, too. "[We] looked at their under-hood componentry, their bolts, their paint, how they executed certain finishes on plastic," said Kirk Bennion, lead exterior designer. "We wanted to replicate that, or even do it better, because Ferrari has a high standard, and if we could at least achieve that level of quality in our fit and finish under-hood-wise, that would just elevate this product so much more."