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Could This Patent Explain The C8 Corvette's Delay?

Patent / Comments

Either way, this sounds like a snazzy feature.

After what seemed like endless speculation, we finally believed the mid-engined Corvette would be revealed at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show in January. However, not only will the Vette be absent from Detroit, new reports indicate that we won't see the car until the summer at a private GM event. The car was reportedly delayed by six months due to an electrical issue that was discovered during final testing. According to the report, the electrical system simply couldn't handle the load and GM needed time to re-engineer the system and find new suppliers.

No one has been able to pinpoint what the electrical issue was but a recent GM patent with the US Patent and Trademark Office may provide a clue. The patent was discovered by MidEngineCorvetteForum and details electric-operated doors. Like a Rolls-Royce, the doors featured in the patent can open and close using electricity. They also feature a rotary actuator, which can apply torque based on control signals.

Basically, if the door senses it is on an incline or is being hit by wind, it can adjust appropriately. It may be too early to speculate but such a system could draw a significant amount of electricity, so perhaps this feature is what delayed the mid-engine Vette by six months.

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The patent drawing itself shows what appears to be the current Corvette, not a mid-engined model. One explanation could be that the drawing was simply meant as a placeholder as to not spoil anything about the mid-engine car. The patent itself was also filed back in June 2017 (but published this week), so perhaps GM didn't even know what the mid-engine car would look like back then to include it in the drawing.

One final possibility is that this feature could be spared for an upcoming luxury model from GM. It does seem a bit strange to include power-operating doors on a sports car because they would simply add weight and complexity. But it's a theory nonetheless.