Chevrolet Debuts Lightweight ‘Smart Material’ on Corvette GM

From its fiberglass body in 1953 to its aluminum chassis for 2014, Chevrolet Corvette has a six-decade track record for introducing lightweight materials that improve vehicle performance. With the 2014 Corvette’s aluminum frame weighing in 99 pounds lighter than its predecessor, that trend continues.
In addition, the redesigned seventh-generation sports car is the first vehicle to use a General Motors’-developed lightweight shape memory alloy wire in place of a heavier motorized actuator to open and close the hatch vent that releases air from the trunk. This allows the trunk lid to close more easily than on the previous models where trapped air could make the lid harder to close.
Considering there are about 200 motorized movable parts on the typical vehicle that could be replaced with lightweight smart materials, GM is looking at significant mass reduction going forward.