For those who are not in the know, ever wonder why racers from NASCAR to F1 to the little racetrack by your house keep yawing at the wheel left and right repeatedly behind the pacecar? It is to keep the tires warm. A typical high-performance street tire gets maximum grip at temperatures above 115 degrees F. The new Corvette is so sophisticated, it keeps tabs on the tire temperature as well as the tire pressure and sends both sets of information back to the ECU so the Electronic Stability Control can monitor it. This is the first system to use tire tread temperature to fine tune the chassis.
I could keep waxing on it, but I am going to turn it over to Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Dan Neil in his review in The Wall Street Journal. You may know him better from the Adam Carolla’s The Car Show. Although the TV show was short-lived, it was nice to have someone on staff with some writing ability. From the Journal:
“Code, you want code? In order to better calibrate the behavior of the various adaptive driving modes (weather, eco, tour, sport and track)—modulating no less than 12 vehicle systems including the electric steering and magnetic adaptive dampers—the Stingray Z51′s 19- and 20-inch wheels (front/rear) are fitted with tiny temperature sensors, because warm tires behave differently than cold tires. But because these sensing thermocouples heat up more slowly than the air inside the tires, their signals go through a special temperature-estimating algorithm before they are processed by the driving-mode head office.”