How Did Chevy Reduce Vehicle Weight in the Corvette?

How can I reduce vehicle weight, but maintain safety and performance? How can I ensure my drivers will enjoy a smooth ride and precision handling?

Automotive engineers and vehicle manufacturers have asked such questions for well over a century. Nearly 40 years ago, General Motors' designers did, too, as they searched for ways to improve the Corvette's performance.

During the Corvette's early '80s redesign, they found an answer to both: composite spring technology.

Liteflex designed. Corvette approved.

Look fore and aft under any Chevrolet Corvette manufactured since 1981 and you’ll find transverse, composite leaf springs tucked neatly into its suspension.

Leaf springs on a performance vehicle?

You bet. And manufactured by Liteflex.

Our composite leaf springs are precisely engineered, crafted from high-tech glass and epoxy resins, then finely tuned. They allow automotive manufacturers to reduce vehicle weight and lower vehicle profiles, yet still deliver performance and strength akin to that of traditional steel leaf spring systems.

Reduce vehicle weight and beat the heat.

It delights automotive engineers to learn about another advantage that Liteflex composites can give them: excellent heat resistance.

Epoxy resin construction and unique, proprietary manufacturing processes make Liteflex's leaf springs more temperature resistant than any competing composite leaf springs we know to be on the market.

Our springs' tensile strength is 165°C (325°F) — superior to urethane's approximately 130°C (265°F) Tg, and to other, inferior composite materials' Tg.

"Although comfortable rides, weight savings and lower design profiles have been important contributors to the longevity of the Corvette application, heat resistance has also been a critical aspect,” noted Liteflex president John Prikkel.

“Despite sitting only inches above Corvette’s large, dual exhaust pipes, our composite springs remain unaffected and easily shrug off their radiant heat,” he said.

What about the driver experience?

Here, again, Liteflex springs excel.

Corvette drivers love the comfortable ride that our composite springs provide them. And they appreciate the stable cornering and instant feedback that keep them safer on the road.

Car and Driver fawned over the Corvette's Liteflex composite spring-enabled ride.

“The 'Vette soaks up imperfections," wrote reviewer David Beard, "thanks to friendly spring rates and the bandwidth of the magnetorheological dampers."

"It’s smooth – maybe too smooth – as the high levels of grip, composed chassis, and impeccable steering goad drivers into carrying speeds far greater than even our elastic definition of what is sane,” he observed. ("Route Masters," pg. 83)

 

The 'Vette soaks up imperfections like a ShamWow thanks to friendly spring rates...It’s smooth – maybe too smooth.

David Beard, Car and Driver

There's Liteflex's quality to consider, too.

Liteflex's composite springs are the proven, superior solution for your automotive suspension applications. We're proud of our zero ppm defect rate and that, as a result of it, we received GM's Supplier Quality Excellence Award for every year that it was given.

We start with a quality-focused staff. Then, we pay minute attention to our manufacturing processes. Lastly, we make it a point to track our products' performance in the field.

And, if you have an unmet design challenge, we can even help you engineer a new solution. Ready to learn more about how Liteflex can help you reduce vehicle weight and safeguard your drivers' experience?

Then click here. Let's talk performance.