IVM Automotive demonstrates its complete vehicle competence: the C12 Coupé – a sports car developed and built by IVM Automotive on the basis of a Chevrolet Corvette with Callaway engine – is shown in Geneva and later manufactured in a small run.
The company in Germany that Callaway partnered with to build the C12's
Here is an overview of the process and the IVM role.
Note: This is my rendering of the story and some of the "facts" may be slightly different...critt99
One must remember that Callaway Cars and Callaway Competition are relatively small manufactures in the automotive industry. The staff required to design, develop and produce a prototype for a major automotive manufacturer is many time larger as well as their budgets. Having recently designed and produced the C7 and the C7R completely in house, the Callaway staff was keenly aware of the requirements needed to produce a road going prototype. To combat and overcome the limitations of a small operation, Callaway Cars brings in three major innovators in digital engineering, CAD and prototype engineering. With a full-scale concept model of the C12, the challenge was to now design a mechanical package that would allow the maximum contact patch on the road, larger brakes for increased horsepower and new design body panels of carbon fiber on the stock C5 Corvette chassis. The C5 chassis was the chassis of choice for many reasons. First of all, the torsional rigidity of the hydro-formed frame rails were well documented and the power plant for the C12 would most likely be a LS1. Not to mention, the proven high performance linage and the historic affiliation of Callaway’s and Corvettes were sure to have an impact.
With Pro/Engineer software by Parametric Technology Corporation (Waltham, Mass.) during the month of November 1997, chassis components and mounting points were digitally created to check for fit and interference problems before the actual prototype components were produced. Callaway: “ for each component we did not have to build, we saved several weeks”. During the month of December 1997, PTC applied final changes to the scale model to reflect the design data and the model was laser scanned and data sent to Canada’s Lepage Design (Montreal, Canada). With designer Duetchman, the final shape of the C12 is perfected and given the “go-code”.
In the last week of December 1997, the first completed data files for the final shape and component design of the C12 prototype arrive at IVM. IVM Automotive/ Engineering located in Munich, Germany, is a company specializing in turning a customers idea into a three-dimensional solid reality. Using the latest CADCAM design technology, simulation and calculation software, and the IVM Automotive group was able to produce the first Callaway C12 body panels from molds within two short days. Then from January until February 1998 the process of mold fabrication and body panel manufacturing takes place. Meanwhile at Callaway Competition in Germany, the fabrication of small components and suspension prototyping occurs. With the body panel fabrication complete and the chassis modifications being made, the month of February is spent fitting together thousands of parts to create the masterpiece the will debut on March 3rd 1998 at the Geneva International Motor Show. No, there was no pressure at Callaway Cars! However, I would imagine that most passers-by would really have no grasp with what speed and innovation brought this beautiful creation to stimulate their eyes.
Cool info Mike. I looked up Lepage Design, and although I didn't find a homepage, I found this story about the C12. I don't have time to read it (at this very moment) but I thought I'd pass it on so others (and I) can read it later. http://www.autofieldguide.com/articles/059902.html