Page name: The Chassis [Logged in view] [RSS]
2005-02-24 16:00:22
Last author: Lord Asriel
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The Chassis

  Although the ZO6's 500-hp news was too much to contain, Corvette keepers did successfully hide the fact that the hot engine would be carried by a new aluminum spaceframe. In comparison with steel, aluminum has one-third the density and half the yield strength, substituting one for the other in a thoughtful manner can deliver substantial weight savings. In place of hydroformed and stamped pieces of steel, the ZO6's spaceframe is an amalgamation of hydroformed and extruded aluminum components, stamped panels, and a few castings (used to reinforce suspension mounting points). That alone trims 135 pounds, but chassis engineers went further by switching the aluminum front crossmember assembly to a magnesium casting. Magnesium is a third lighter than aluminum.

   Trimming weight wa costly but essential because of mass additions crucial to the ZO6's cause. Beyond the dry-sump oil system, extra pounds come with the new three-inch-diameter exhaust system, a lubricant-cooling circuit added to the differential, wheel rims that are wider by an inch in front and two inches in the rear, and wider-section 275/35ZR-18 front and 325/30ZR-19 rear Goodyear Eagle F1 run-flat tires. The brakes---one place where mass is desirable---are also larger. New monoblock front calipers squeeze six separate brake pads per wheel against cross-drilled and radially vented rotors that are 0.6 inch larger in diameter than in a C6 with the optional Z51 performance package. At the rear, there are four pads per wheel and 0.4-inch-larger rotors.

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