The mid-engined 2020 Corvette Stingray has a lot of eye-catching details to recommend it, but for the parts geeks out there, taking a peak under its stylish hindquarters reveals a sophisticated exhaust system that deserves better than to be hidden away.
Supplied by Tenneco’s Clean Air and Powertrain Business Groups, the complete cold-end exhaust system, as well as a range of components for the eighth generation sportscar’s Small Block V-8 LT2 engine, are enabled by advanced exhaust and powertrain technologies.
“Corvette’s mid-engine architecture required creative technical solutions to accommodate the packaging and thermal requirements of the emissions system,” said Patrick Guo, Executive Vice President, Tenneco and President, Clean Air. “We partnered with GM, combining our experience in system integration with Corvette’s engineering team to deliver technologies that help to enable a more efficient, high-performance vehicle with reduced emissions.”
Sophisticated emissions systems for high-performance vehicles often incorporate active valves that can vary system backpressure in order to provide the right balance of performance, sound characteristics and regulatory compliance. The Corvette’s emissions system features up to four electronic valves supplied by Tenneco. The standard exhaust unit is equipped with two newly developed valves with enhanced heat resistance designed to work in concert with the vehicle’s Active Fuel Management system to support the engine’s cylinder deactivation function for optimum efficiency and lower emissions. These valves open and close to control the Corvette’s exhaust sound as it switches between the two engine modes. The optional performance exhaust incorporates two additional electronic valves at the rear that provide greater acoustic differentiation, helping to create the vehicle’s signature sound.
Tenneco developed a series of thermal solutions that enable the Corvette’s emissions system to more effectively manage the high temperatures that result from the mid-engine vehicle architecture. Solutions include the use of advanced, multi-layer heat shields designed to prevent unwanted heat transfer to surrounding components as well as a new valve arrangement with decoupled design that reduces heat impact on the valve´s electronics.
“This innovative valve arrangement, with the actuator decoupled from the valve body, is a significant step forward in actuated valve design and, when combined with our latest developments in valve materials, enables use on mid-engine and other architectures with extremely high exhaust temperatures,” explained Dmitri Konson, Vice President Global Engineering, Tenneco Clean Air.
The Corvette’s emissions system was a global effort led by the company’s Grass Lake, Mich. and Edenkoben, Germany, product and engineering teams. It is produced at Tenneco Clean Air’s manufacturing facility in Smithville, Tennessee.
Tenneco’s Powertrain Business Group also supplies a range of engine components for the iconic high-performance vehicle´s Small Block V-8 LT2 including pistons, piston rings, bearings, bushings, valve seats, valve guides, and systems protection products.