Design Enhancement of the Rear Composite Structure for the 2005 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe and Z06 2005-01-0467
This paper describes the design and development of the rear compartment structure of the sixth generation Corvette, C6, which starts in the 2005 model year. The improved design integrates the rear compartment packaging to address issues seen on fifth generation Corvette, C5.
The molded composite fiberglass reinforced, tub and surround panels are similar to the C5. These large panels are modified to fit the new styling theme of the C6, while also addressing the packaging requirements of the updated underbody structure and exhaust system.
New composite side support brackets and cross car reinforcement combine to address several desired improvements. These side support brackets are designed to package the rear audio speakers, electrical modules, wiring and cable routing while also addressing build variation and localized stiffness improvement. The side brackets support the surround panel increasing the manufacturing control of the surround panel. This provides a more precisely located quarter panel mounting surface enabling high quality surface flushness between the quarter panels and the rear hatch.
While many benefits are realized with the innovative design of the C6 rear compartment, this paper is focused on the improved structural performance with respect to noise and vibration. Through attention to detailed design, led by complicated finite element modeling and predictions, the rear compartment structure was improved. The results are improved noise and vibration performance from improved low frequency structural vibration to reduced higher frequency noise transmitted through the rear compartment.