Looking to boost airflow on the new Chevrolet Silverado family of trucks, the automaker’s engineers turned to their higher performance cars, the Camaro in particular.
The “flowtie,” first introduced on the front grill of the 2014 Camaro Z/28 and now standard on the 2018 Camaro ZL1, is the chrome outline of the traditional Chevrolet bowtie, but with the center removed. The unrestricted space allows for increased engine airflow to help improve performance.
“The is innovation in the design details and a great example is our Camaro Z/28-inspired Chevrolet flowtie,” says design manager Kevin O’Donnell. “Our engineers designed it to help win races by using airflow to lower coolant and oil temperatures on the race track.”
While performing aerodynamics testing on the Z/28, Chevy engineers noticed the bowtie on the grille was displacing air away from the radiator, which can impact engine cooling. Propulsions engineers Richard Quinn took a cut-off wheel to the bowtie’s gold fill, leaving the silver outline intact. After installing a prototype flowtie on the grille, tests revealed it allowed more air into the engine, which lowered engine fluid temperatures during extended track sessions.
The conventional cab Silverados are heavy-duty cycle trucks, and the designers needed a solution that allowed for maximum airflow with the truck’s pumped-up grille.
“The flowtie is an elegant solution,” says O’Donnell. “And it’s going to work on the Silverado exactly the way it does on the Camero.”