General Motors looks to have patented an active aerodynamics system that takes into account body movements when making adjustments.
The concept of active aero is to adjust aerodynamic elements such as shutters or spoilers to deliver either lower drag or higher downforce. When done correctly, active aero can yield significant performance gains.
Normally, active aero systems take into account a vehicle’s speed when making adjustments. The system patented by GM goes a step further by also taking into account pitch, roll, ride height and even steering wheel position when calculating adjustments.
In the case of GM’s patent, filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office a year ago, the aerodynamic elements to be adjusted could be a spoiler, air dam, splitter, diffuser, or shutter. Various sensors such as ultrasonic and laser sensors could be used to detect the body movements.
As Motor1 explains, the system could monitor body roll during a turn and make adjustments to improve handling in that situation. A similar system features on the Pagani Huayra, where shutters and flaps can be individually adjusted to control downforce levels on either side of the supercar
While the patent uses a current C7 Chevrolet Corvette for illustrative purposes, the system isn’t necessary designed exclusively for that model. However, given the performance-oriented nature of the design, it stands to reason that GM would want to use such a system on a performance model like the Corvette. Perhaps we’ll see something like it on the upcoming C7 Corvette ZR1 or mid-engine C8 Corvette.