The Corvette, undeniably, has its own distinct sound. The sixth-generation Chevrolet Camaro may share the 6.2-liter LT1 V8 and 6.2-liter LT4 V8, but the Corvette’s rambunctious bark is all its own. There’s a lead man behind all of the noise, and his name is Charlie Rusher, lead noise and vibration engineer for Chevrolet.
The New York Times recently interviewed Rusher to understand how he does his job and why he’s so adamant on getting tones just right. Foremost, he echoes our opener: a Corvette needs to sound like a Corvette. “There’s a 65-year heritage behind the way these performance cars sound, so we take the work very seriously. I’m the composer of a symphony, in a way,” he said.
Rusher said all three Corvette variants actually sound slightly different. The C7 Corvette Stingray is most tame, the C7 Corvette Grand Sport kicks the noise level up a bit, and the C7 Corvette Z06 wails a “powerful, aggressive sound.”
A day’s work includes adjusting pipes in the exhaust system and balancing it between the engine output. Rusher places microphones all over the car to record the noise digitally and it’s adjusted from there. He ensures the noise is sufficient inside and outside the car.
Every time you hear the unmistakable burble of a Corvette, you can thank Rusher.