The exhaust system on a sports car like the mid-engine 2020 Corvette Stingray is extremely important. Not only does it have to help the high-performance engine meet emissions standards, it must also sound good and have a lightweight construction.
General Motors employed American supplier Tenneco to develop the exhaust system for the 2020 Corvette Stingray. The sophisticated exhaust system features four electronic valves, allowing it to self-adjust based on the engine/drive mode. While exhaust valves are typically used for adjusting the exhaust noise, they are also crucial for emissions reasons, with Tenneco saying the valves in the Corvette system can actively vary exhaust backpressure in order to provide “the right balance of performance, sound characteristics and regulatory compliance.” Teams in both Michigan and Germany worked on the emissions system for the sports car.
The optional Performance Exhaust, available as an option on the 2020 Corvette and standard with the Z51 performance package, adds additional electronic valves in the exhaust for even greater acoustic differentiation, Tenneco also said.
There’s more to the 2020 Corvette exhaust than fancy electronic valves, though. Tenneco also employed an advanced, multi-layer heat shield in the exhaust system, which helps to prevent unwanted heat transfer to surrounding components. This is particularly important in a mid-engine vehicle like the new Corvette, where the hot exhaust and mufflers are in close proximity to the engine and transmission.
“Corvette’s mid-engine architecture required creative technical solutions to accommodate the packaging and thermal requirements of the emissions system,” said executive vice president of Tenneco, Patrick Guo. “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.”
Tenneco is an important piece of the mid-engine Corvette puzzle. The automotive supplier’s Powertrain Business Group also provides a number of powertrain components for the high-performance car’s LT2 V8 engine, including the pistons, piston rings, bearings, bushings, valve seats and valve guides.
While the aftermarket exhaust options for the C8 Corvette are currently limited, Borla has said it is working on a system for the mid-engine sports car that will offer a variety of exhaust sounds and tip styles. For many buyers, though, the stock Tenneco system will provide ample performance and sound for the duration of the Vette’s life.