How to ensure that a land object moving at great speed remains on land and not take off? Put some weight on it. But you couldn’t order an anvil to strap on the back of your car each time you decide to give it the beans. Enter: Physics. This is also why engineers at Ferrari, Lamborghini, and the likes are paid more than us. We’re talking about lightweight wings or spoilers at the rear of supercars that help generate downforce and keep them grounded at straight-line speeds and high-speed corners. With today’s tech, a wing as light as 9 kg can generate the downforce of an invisible elephant. You get this reference if you’ve heard Jeremy Clarkson’s lecture on downforce, if not, here’s how Ferrari, Ford, Zenvo, Koenigsegg, and Lamborghini do it.
Loosely translated to Ferrari The Ferrari, LaFerrari is one marvel when it comes to design and function. The black line that runs from the side through the rear of the car is not only a styling tribute to the Ferrari F50, it also splits the rear spoiler into two parts. The top part is fixed but the lower section slides out when more downforce is needed. This helps the LaFerrari incorporate an active spoiler to help it remain grounded at high speeds or while stopping while also maintaining a striking seamless design (which is quite a prerequisite to being a Ferrari).
The current-generation Ford GT boasts a design completely radical compared to its predecessors which weren’t exactly slow-looking cars, to begin with. This one has buttresses from the roof to the rear wheel that don’t just lend it a spaceship-like appeal but also provides downforce. The car’s active aerodynamics package includes a deployable rear wing which literally changes shape and also acts as an air brake.
The simple physics that comes into play on a corner is that centre of gravity shifts outward of the turn, leaning the car towards the outside of the corner and hence giving more grip to the outside wheels. So, the Danish engineers came up with an active spoiler that helps provide grip on the inside wheels. The spoiler on the TSR-S pivots on its mounting depending on the direction of the corner and provides downforce to level the car. Now that.. is clever.
First of all, you must know why is it called one to one. It is the insane power to weight ratio of 1,360 kg and 1,360 hp. So, a lightweight car with so much power needs a load of downforce so it does not take off. Enter the Formula 1-like wing that weighs just 9 kg and provides a downforce of 600 kg.
Of all the active and wacky spoilers and wings listed above, the one that takes the top spot is a suspiciously regular-looking wing on the Huracan Performante. A part of the Aerodynamica Lamborghini Attiva (ALA) system, the air is channeled into the wing but exits from the underside of it, which removes any drag that would otherwise have been created on a standard spoiler. The ALA system can be used as active aero under which it uses the wing’s air vents on only one side to create the magic as the Zenvo does without moving the wing.
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