3D Printing

Chevrolet's IMSA, NASCAR wins today are thanks to 3D-printed parts

Chase Elliot, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, celebrates after winning the NASCAR Cup Series Bank of America ROVAL 400 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on October 11, 2020 in Concord, North Carolina.

Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images

Chase Elliot drives the No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE for Hendrick Motorsports. Antonio Garcia and Jordan Taylor drive Chevrolet Corvette C8.Rs in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. Their wins this weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway were, at least in part, to the 3D printing technology that General Motors has been innovating over the last few years.

This season, the Corvette C8.R, IndyCar, NASCAR Camaro and Silverado race teams have accumulated more than 80,000 miles of competition in vehicles built with 3D-printed parts.

"Chevrolet has a long history of technology transfer between our motorsports and production teams, and this is a perfect example of our approach," said Jim Campbell, GM U.S. vice president of Performance and Motorsports. "GM's 3D-printing capability speeds up our learning cycles and, in turn, these racetrack experiences help our additive manufacturing team move one step closer to using 3D-printed parts in production vehicles."

Earlier this year, two Corvette race cars, both C8.Rs, debuted at the Rolex 24 at Daytona, each equipped with 75 3D-printed parts. Among those parts are an oil tank, tank inlet and cap, air conditioning driver cooling box and integrated hydration system, power steering pump bracket and headlight assemblies. Since then, the C8.Rs have accumulated nearly 8,000 miles of competition in seven races.

The Chevrolet IndyCar V6 exhaust system is 3D printed, which has allowed the company to eliminate failure points and increase design freedom while reducing costs. Chevrolet IndyCar engines have run over 60,000 miles since the season kicked off at Genesys 300 at Texas Motor Speedway in June.

The Silverado off-road race truck debuted at the Best in the Desert Method Race Wheels Laughlin Desert Classic in October 2019. The Silverado competes in the 1200 Stock class, which limits changes to suspension, underbody and installation of race-safety equipment. The truck's rear damper shield is made of carbon-fiber reinforced plastic protects the rear dampers. It's made in-house by General Motors. Since its debut, the Silverado race truck has accumulated 900 miles of competition in six races.

Chevrolet engineers have optimized the aerodynamic performance of their NASCAR model using full-scale wind-tunnel testing. Oover 500 3D-printed prototype parts were used in testing to develop the ZL1 1LE body, which is new for this year. The Camaro ZL1 1LE is equipped with a 3D-printed gear cooling duct, which has accumulated nearly 18,500 miles of competition in 27 races.

"By utilizing 3D-printed parts, Chevrolet Motorsports is demonstrating the many benefits of additive manufacturing, including manufacturing efficiencies, mass reduction, parts consolidation, creativity and cost savings," said Audley Brown, GM director, Materials Engineering, Additive Design and Manufacturing. "3D-printed parts can offer equal strength and durability to cast or milled components, which is critical for product development and design."

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New driver assist technology is coming to the Lexus lineup later this year.

Photo courtesy of Lexus

New Lexus Teammate driver assistance technology will debut on the 2022 Lexus LS 500h later this year. Its availability is constrained to all-wheel drive models.

The technology was developed based on the Mobility Teammate Concept. This automated driving concept is unique to Toyota sough to enhance communication between drivers and cars, "enabling them to reach out to each other for mutual assistance". The concept sees cars and humans interacting and partnering rather than having automation take over for drivers. This approach allows drivers to enjoy the experience of driving but allowing the vehicle to take over some functions of driver's duties at times. In this way, the tech works as both guardian and chauffeur.

2022 Lexus The company's flagship sedan will get the technology first.Photo courtesy of Lexus

2022 Lexus LS 500h

On the 2022 Lexus 500h, Lexus Teammate will offer two functions: Advanced Drive and Advanced Park.

Advanced Drive is design to "accurately detect driving conditions to plan and execute acceleration, braking, and steering commands to maintain the vehicle within the lane, follow other vehicles, change lanes, navigate certain interchanges and traffic jams and overtake slower vehicles." It's a Level 2 functionality that "allows for driving on limited-access highways with partial hands-free, eyes-on-the-road operation".

This description makes it sound a lot like the suite of lane keeping, lane centering, and adaptive cruise control technology that Hyundai offers rather than true Level 3 technology that General Motors's Super Cruise delivers.

Lexus will show operation of the technology on a screen with information displayed like this.Photo courtesy of Lexus

Advanced Park operates similar to how the Genesis GV80's hands-free parking assist technology works. The Lexus tech automatically controls steering, acceleration, braking, and gear changes with parallel parking or backing into a parking space. It uses a combination of 360-degree sensing technologies and a bird's eye view display to perform the task while allowing the driver to monitor progress.

"We are very proud of Lexus Teammate, which is the culmination of five years of close collaboration between our technical centers in Japan and the US. We conducted simultaneous development and rigorous testing in both markets with the goal of achieving industry-leading advanced driver assistance functionality," says Derek Caveney, executive engineer at Toyota Motor North America's Integrated Vehicle Systems team.

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The 2021 Lamborghini Urus has six drive modes for on- and off-road driving.

Photo courtesy of Lamborghini Automobili

The Lamborghini Urus is a whole lot of race car packed into one SUV. It's dynamic and engaging and immensely practical, but not very fuel efficient. It can conquer city streets, trails, ice, and tracks. The Urus may be more car than you realize.

That starts under the hood where the Urus packs at 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 engine that puts out 640 horsepower and 626 pound-feet of torque. That propels the two-row SUV from zero to 62 mph in 3.6 seconds. Its top speed is 190 mph.

Lamborghini engineers have developed six different driving modes plus EGO, a fully customizable drive experience, for the Urus. Drivers are able to select the way their vehicle's rigidity with selections enabling everything from sporty and aggressive riding to a comfortable cruise, steering, and traction.

2021 Lamborghini Urus

Photo courtesy of Lamborghini Automobili

Anima in Italian means "soul" but in Lamborghini speak, the word is short for Adaptive Network Intelligent Management. Using the Anima selector in the center console to the left side of the electronic shifter of the Urus, drivers can select from Strada, Sport, Corsa, Sabbia, Terra, and Neve drive modes. Three of the modes are for on-road driving and three are for off-road experiences.

Lamborghini Urus drive modes: Neve

This mode is designed for winter weather driving conditions. Slick, slippery, and snowy conditions that require extra traction tech are this mode's speciality.

Lamborghini Urus drive modes: Sabbia

2021 Lamborghini Urus

Photo courtesy of Lamborghini Automobili

When you're heading off-road and require more ground clearance, the Sabbia drive mode is here to help. It's especially effective on sand dunes like those in Nazarè, Portugal, where the above picture was taken.

Lamborghini Urus drive modes: Sport

There's comfortable cruising and then there's an engaging drive in the country.This drive mode is for the latter. It is ready and eager for the Urus to traverse uphills, downhills, and turns, giving the driver the agility they need to tackle the terrain.

Lamborghini Urus drive modes: Corsa

2021 Lamborghini Urus

Photo courtesy of Lamborghini Automobili

The Lamborghini Urus is track-ready in Corsa mode. The drive mode is the most performance oriented of the bunch. It works to minimize roll to deliver a thoroughly engaging drive experience.

Lamborghini Urus drive modes: Strada

Use your Lamborghini as a daily runaround? The Lamborghini Urus has a drive mode for that. Strada ups the comfort factor of the ride and enhances the height of the Urus at speed.

Lamborghini Urus drive modes: Terra

2021 Lamborghini Urus

Photo courtesy of Lamborghini Automobili

When drivers are ready to turn off-road, it's time to turn on the Terra drive mode. Drivers looking to spend more time on the trail will want to switch up their performance tires for something more substantial.

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