Track testing the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette and its new Performance Data Recorder
Track days are an increasingly common way for automotive enthusiasts to see what their machines can do without risking their licenses on the street. Also increasingly common? GoPro cameras stuck on windshields, fenders, and anywhere else that might provide the most dramatic footage of pilots aggressively driving in circles. Other companies, like VBOX, take that footage and add GPS telemetry, laying speed and track position over the footage.
Now, Chevrolet is making that sort of fun a factory option. Buyers of the 2015 Corvette will be able to tick a box and request what's being called the Performance Data Recorder. It adds a 720p camera situated just behind the top of the windshield and an SD card reader to the glove box. Pop in your card, enable the PDR from the in-dash touchscreen, and away you go.
As you drive, the car records footage to the card and monitors information being fed from the car's many and myriad sensors. It has full access to all the data points the Corvette has to offer, including GPS, accelerometer, steering position, throttle and brake application, and of course speed and engine RPM. All of this is translated into a video overlay and also embedded as metadata in the video itself.
You can directly upload the video to share it if you wish, or edit it in any program you like, but those who take this seriously will want to download the free Cosworth Toolbox application. (Windows only for now.) This loads all that data and gives a suite of lovely charts and graphs, letting you see exactly how you drove on any given lap and making it easy to compare to other laps.
Cosworth engineers even let slip that the system is recording much more information than is being displayed, including tire pressure and temperature, which might be displayed in a later update to the application.
Again, this will be an option on 2015 Corvettes, meaning those who splurged on a 2014 model are out of luck. As of now Chevrolet isn't quoting a price for the feature, but we can't imagine any hardcore track fiend wanting to do without it.