Automotive supplier Graepel has started production for the new high-performance 2023 Corvette Z06. It is considered an icon of the US auto industry.
Yes, we can: Very satisfied with the result, Mark Zumdohme, CEO of Graepel North America, sets down the finished exhaust grille. Serial production of five different grilles has recently started for the upcoming version of the Corvette. It's yet another win for the German, who in 2006 set up Graepel's US plant in Nebraska. In 2019 he was able to secure General Motors as a customer with ventilation grille designs supplied for the Corvette Stringray, the radically new mid-engine Corvette.
Aero-tuning at the rear
"Now it's all about the new Corvette Z06, the more powerful high performance version," exclaims Zumdohme. "A real rocket!" On the engine side, the two-seater sports car is equipped with a newly designed powertrain. It delivers 670 horsepower, pushing the speedster, which is available in coupe and convertible versions, from 0 to 100 km/h in 2.6 seconds. One, two. A hundred! The Stingray "only" had 495 horsepower and didn't redline at an incredible 8,600 rpm.
The requirements on the material in the entire drivetrain are correspondingly demanding: Airflow, temperature, vibration, etc. In cooperation with the Americans, Graepel has designed special ventilation grilles for the rear end that achieve a high open area. The components are grouped around the four powerful exhaust tips, which are arranged in the center. Project manager Michael Hugenberg says: "We suggested stainless steel with our highly efficient hexagonal perforation." The perforation is designed based on the honeycomb: a bionic element that allows excellent force distribution with high structural strength and low component weight. "It has our entire DNA in it." With 130 years of experience in materials, Graepel is one of the oldest suppliers in the industry.
Hexagonal perforation in sheet metal
The „All-New 2023 Corvette Z06“ is expected to be available this summer, however GM has not announced the exact date yet. Unfortunately, most motorists can only dream of a car like this. However, there is one silver lining: When a Corvette Z06 accelerates past you on the road, you get a great view of the back of this supercar, featuring Graepel’s masterpieces.
Caption: New 2023 Corvette Z06: Deliveries are scheduled to start this year (Photo: General Motors / Chevrolet)
Caption: German supplier Graepel, which contributes the aerodynamic components surrounding the exhaust system, is jointly responsible for the sleek rear section (Photo: General Motors / Chevrolet)