We seem to know everything about the new eighth-generation Chevrolet Corvette, except how it drives.
Although, one point that made us stop and think is the fact that Chevy will debut E-boost brakes, essentially GM-speak for brake-by-wire.
The aim of the E-boost system is to give the driver behind the twin-spoke steering wheel consistent feel and the ability to tailor pedal response depending on the drive mode selected. General Motors says that E-boost provides a “more precise and tuneable” experience.
Read: Brake-by-wire explained
As reported by Autoblog, each of the modes will correspond with a specific driving dynamic. Tour is aimed at comfort and daily use, Sport offers a more aggressive feel, while Track focuses on smoothness and pedal progression at the limit with extra modulation for trail braking on corner entry.
Brake-by-wire technology isn’t revolutionary; it has been used before in myriad hybrid applications, however, it is quite unique for a performance car. As opposed to throttle-by-wire, the traditional mechanical and hydraulic systems are replaced with electromechanical actuators and sensors. In layman’s terms, when you push the brake pedal a computer deals with the signal, which in turn translates how much pressure is to be transferred to the calipers using old-fashioned brake fluid.
According to Autoblog, the system is more compact and saves weight over the well-used throttle-by-wire system. It does this by combining the vacuum booster and pump, master cylinder and the electronic brake control module into the one unit.
The fact brake-by-wire has been used on hybrids points to the fact the GM might have other ideas for the Stingray in the future. However, Alfa Romeo has been using brake-by-wire for its hot Q versions of the Giulia and Stelvio. Mercedes-Benz is one of the pioneers of the tech with its Sensotronic Brake Control (SBC) featuring in the R230 SL-Class in 2001.
The actual Corvette brakes themselves include the E-boost-assisted discs (321mm front, 339mm rear) with Brembo four-piston/two-piece front calipers and four-piston/monobloc rear calipers. Step up to the Z51 Performance Package and the discs increase to 345mm and 350mm front to rear with Brembo four-piston monobloc calipers all-round.
Adding to the stopping power are grippy Michelin Pilot Sport tyres – the Z51 pack ups the ante to Michelin Pilot Sport 4S hoops – in 245/35 ZR19 (front) and 305/30 ZR20 (rear) sizes.
It will be interesting to see how natural the electronic system work in reality – particularly in Track mode where sensing brake fade is crucial. Overall feel has been one of GM’s key objectives with the switch to brake-by-wire.