Hydroformed Frame Rails for 2014 Corvette
In addition to coming up with a design that simply screams style and sophistication (yes, as contrary as that may sound) and a 6.2-liter V8 that produces 455 hp in its standard version and 460 hp with a performance exhaust system, the engineers who worked on the development of the 2014 Chevrolet Stingray worked to assure that the vehicle is light yet stiff.
One of the ways they accomplished this is through the use of hydroformed aluminum frame rails that, according to the rail supplier, Vari-Form (www.vari-form.com), reduces weight by 99 lb. compared with the steel rails used in the C6 ‘Vette, and provides a 57% increase in stiffness.
The rails are being produced in the company’s manufacturing facility in Strathroy, Ontario, Canada.
The vehicle’s frame has left and right hydroformed aluminum tube center sections that are fitted with pairs of connecting nodes and front/rear crush zones.
Vari-Form president Stephen Dow said, “We tailor the hydroformed aluminum components with the gauge, form and strength needed to help GM realize significant weight advantages, optimal 50/50 front-rear weight balance, world-class power-to-weight ratio, and increased fuel efficiency.”
The 2014 Chevy Corvette uses hydroformed aluminum frame rails to keep weight low and structural stiffness high.