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What exactly is the composite material used in our body panels?

Is the C7 the first generation of Vette to use this material?
 

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What exactly is the composite material used in our body panels?
Sheet molding compound (SMC)

Is the C7 the first generation of Vette to use this material?
Nope, although it has been improved.

"The Stingray’s body panels are fabricated using a new Sheet Molded Compound material that is both lighter and constructed to tighter tolerances. One of the drivers for this change was the C7’s carbon-fiber top and hood. Because carbon fiber has less thermal expansion than traditional fiberglass, it maintains its shape better and yields tighter tolerances. Essentially, the decision to use carbon fiber on the base car—a Corvette first—raised the bar on the rest of the body structure, forcing Chevy to come up with improved SMC. As a result, the Stingray’s body is 37 pounds lighter than its predecessor’s—despite the fact that the car is one inch wider and 2.4 inches longer—and will be assembled with body gaps of 3 mm or less, making for much-improved fit and finish." C7 Corvette - A Clean Slate Design
 
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Corvette has had composite panels from the beginning, though in 1953 the body panels were almost entirely fiberglass and resin. The percentage of actual fiberglass keeps has been further reduced and reduced throughout Corvette's history.

The percentage of fiberglass, compared to the entire composite panel, was 24.8% for the C6, yet is now reduced to 20.8% in the C7.

Here is why/how this seemingly small change has resulted in a better looking, more aerodynamic, more fuel efficient C7.

http://www.stingrayforums.com/forum/stingray-corvette-news/615-c7-body-panel-gaps-40-narrower.html
 
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