Feb 13 2013, 1:07pm CST | by Shane McGlaun
I'll grant you the fact that the parts we are talking about is rather boring being a basic trunk vent that allows air to escape out the back of the 2014 Corvette stingray with the trunk lid is closed. However, what's so cool about it is that Chevrolet didn't use some sort of actuator and motor system, it used something called a Smart Material.
This particular Smart Material is a shape memory alloy wire designed to react to heat thereby opening the trunk event. When the owner of the Chevrolet opens the trunk, an electrical current passes through the special wire and it changes shape. As the wire changes shape, it opens the vent allowing air to escape as the trunk lid is closed.
After the trunk is closed the electrical charge is removed from the wire and it returns to its original shape, closing the vent. Chevrolet says that about 200 motorized and movable parts can be found in your typical automobile and moving to this sort of smart material could help save weight.
Shane is a self described car aficionado. He loves muscle cars, but also knows how green cars work. He has years of experience in testing cars and writes about cars with deeply felt emotions.
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