Always keeping on top of lightweight technology, the Chevrolet Corvette has come from fiberglass to carbon fiber over it’s 60 year life span.
The weight of the Vette has actually stayed almost the same, adding only 50 lbs. since its inception. The modern Corvette weighs in at 3,199 lbs., and makes 505 hp from it’s 7.0L LS7 V8. Netting a 6.33:1 power-to-weight ratio, the Vette beats out the Aston Martin DBS, Porsche 911 Turbo S and the Nissan GT-R in that category.
Back in 1953, Corvettes were produced with a composite fiber-glass body and the car has kept the same design philosophy ever since. Originally, the body was made from fiber glass, but in 1973 it changed to sheet-molded composite: another form of stronger and lighter fiber glass. Adding more plastic and resin to the sheet-molded composite helped the Corvette shed weight over the next 24 years until 1996 when it was redesigned. The 1997 Corvette was longer and wider than the ’96, but it still managed to drop 100 pounds thanks to a lightweight aluminum cylinder block, aluminum heads and a composite intake manifold, among other things.
The 2001-04 Vette then introduced carbon fiber and the weight savings were substantial. The modern Corvette uses lightweight carbon fiber in the hood, fenders and floor panels, as well incorporating carbon ceramic brake rotors, all for the sake of weight loss. Over it’s lifespan, the Vette has gained over 200 hp, and only 50 lbs.