• Aug 11th 2008 at 12:59PM
  • 42
The faster a car goes, the more downforce its various wings, spoilers and splitters can produce. There's always a trade-off though, as the byproduct of downforce is more drag, which reduces a car's top speed. Supercars like the Bugatti Veyron use active aerodynamics to produce the right amount of downforce for a specific situation like twisty road courses or high-speed runs, but cars like the Veyron are out of reach for most. Enter AeroMotions, a company that promises its rear wing assembly will provide the perfect amount of downforce at all times. The carbon fiber wing is split into two sections, each one moving independently of one another to offer just the right amount of traction. An on-board computer constantly monitors acceleration, braking and lateral acceleration so it can actively change the pitch of the wing's sections in real-time as the car is being driven, effectively giving more or less downforce to whichever side of the car needs it most. AeroMotions' wing is currently undergoing testing, and one of our readers happened to witness it in action in California and was impressed. If anyone's got video of the wing in action, we've got popcorn and are waiting. Thanks for the tip, Vince!

[Source: AeroMotions]


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 42 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      You've mentioned the Veyron, but what about the Porsche spoilers that deploy at speed? And the McLaren F1 had an adjustable spoiler before the Veyron. GM even had an adjustable spoiler on a performance concept Pontiac Sunfire in 2003.

      This tech is not exactly innovative, but this does seem to be the most complete version I've seen yet.

      How long until our wings have as many spoilers, flaps and ailerons as an aircraft?
        • 7 Years Ago
        @Farris
        Thanks. I forgot that one.

        While we're adding to the list. The OLD Mitsubishi 3000GT VR4 had an active spoiler too.
        • 7 Years Ago
        The elements on the McLaren F1, Veyron, Porsches, Sunfire and 3000GTs are actually wings, being elevated from the body surfaces of the vehicles. The Beetle element is a spoiler. I can not speak to the other vehicles because I have not seen them.

        Spoilers increase drag and (sometimes) reduce lift. There isn't any way of reduce drag while adding surface area, it's a physical impossibility.

        The aerodynamic elements on cars known as spoilers and wings serve the same purpose, to reduce lift (induce down force). This down force comes from the mechanical redirection of induced drag.

        A wing may be more effective because it can be elevated out of the turbulent airflow moving over the body of the car, but that doesn't change how it works from a spoiler.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Crap. After the word "from," there should be "99-04."
        • 7 Years Ago
        There is also the VW New Beetle from . The ones in "Turbo" trim had a spoiler that popped up above 93 mph at first, then they changed the software to bring that down to 45, IIRC.

        Also, I believe that the New Beetle was the first "real person" (as in not out of reach of the average Joe) car to have active aerodynamics, but I could be wrong.
        • 7 Years Ago
        All of those active spoilers were spoilers, not wings. This is a wing. Spoilers spoil airflow, reducing drag. Wings produce downforce. There is a difference.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Not to mention the Mitsubishi HSR II concept from 1989. It had two wings on the rear deck that acted independently depending on brake force and steering direction.

        http://wikicars.org/en/Mitsubishi_HSR_II
        • 7 Years Ago
        Vintage, sorry. Just like all engineering things, the answer is "it depends". A rear spoiler can decrease drag, decrease lift, do some combination of both, or increase drag while reducing lift. I suppose you could even increase lift while reducing drag if you did it right (wrong?). It all depends on the size and shape of the spoiler.

        Where Scott is definately wrong however is that adding surface area can never decrease drag. Adding surface area can definately decrease drag if the ending form has a lower Cd than what you began with. The Cd just has to go down by a greater percentage than the area went up.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Scott, nicely written, but wrong. Spoilers spoil the airflow, which REDUCES drag. Just like dimples on a golfball. Rear spoilers on passenger cars reduce the turbulence behind a vehicle, ultimately reducing the drag.

        Wings increase drag, but the tradeoff is they create more downforce.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Crap. I forgot about the Ford GT-90.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Apparently this wing is "undergoing testing" at an autocross. Um. Aerodynamic effects increase with the square of speed; autocross almost never sees speeds over 60mph. No harm in testing the computer control and mechanicals, of course, but I am highly skeptical that even a super uber mega wing would provide noticeable improvements at autocross speeds.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Take a look at A modified and B modified classes. A mod in particular has huge wings and generate lots of downforce. I have heard of A mod cars cornering at nearly 2G. FSAE racers have also been successfully using downforce for years. It all depends on the size and shape of the wing.

        The bigger question is where? SCCA rules expressly forbid active aero.
        • 7 Years Ago
        "The bigger question is where? SCCA rules expressly forbid active aero."

        They don't have to "forbid" them. Under SCCA rules, unless it is specifically listed in the rules as being an approved item or modification, it is illegal.

        As the Autox saying goes, "Unless they say you can... you can't"
      • 7 Years Ago
      i'm a little skeptical about this wing. while the idea of providing adjustable downforce is certainly a useful one, you'd have to wonder how the car would be setup for balance. f1 cars go through endless wind tunnel testing to ensure that their aerodynamics - and this applies to both active and static aerodynamics - react in the right way given the car's suspension settings.

      for example, if you set up the car for a particular ride height, with the shock settings to match, how will your car react when your wing is suddenly providing more downforce (and effectively pushing your car down more) halfway through a turn?

      their website says they were founded by engineers, so i'll give them the benefit of the doubt that they have answers to all these questions ... but i'd talk to them before slapping their wing on the car and expecting predictable results.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I think the idea is to provide a different amount of downforce to the inside and outside part of the car to maximize the grip of the tires. For example, providing more down force to the inside tires will maintain a neutral balance. It's a great idea.
      • 7 Years Ago
      The FIA has always had a safety related problem with non-rigid wings and with wings not fixed to the bodywork.

      In the late sixties Lotus pioneered wings, using some that were mounted directly to the suspension on long struts that put them up high in the airflow. They worked directly on the suspension but they were prone to breaking. When they did their parts became airborne, creating a hazard for other drivers and the car they came off of instantly lost it's grip. Given the tendency of these things to break under maximum load, that meant cars in high speed corners going from grip to no grip instantly. A number of drivers had some some very bad moments. Wings with moving parts were banned for the same reasons.

      I suspect that's why Mercedes wing was banned. Everyone team could no doubt duplicate it, but who could ever guarantee that a flexible wing wouldn't snap under load?
      • 7 Years Ago
      Bought 2. If 1 wing is good, then 2 must be better.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Hey, the 1990 VW Corrado had a rear spoiler that would pop up at a certain speed (I think it was 45?).
      996700
      • 7 Years Ago
      i can see this on the street now when it gets windy the cars rear wing starts flapping...should be good for the track though!
      • 7 Years Ago
      Didn't the Jim Hall and his Chaparral from the 60's have movable wings?

      Anyway, I will be putting one of those AeroMotions on my Honda Fit!
      • 7 Years Ago
      i am impressed! it's great idea
      • 7 Years Ago
      and to answer the comments above, active wings in f1 have been banned for a number of reasons (including safety, as mentioned above).

      it's too bad really, because f1 speeds with modern aerodynamic knowledge and active aerodynamics would be outrageous. it would really be something to watch.
      • 7 Years Ago
      i believe the guys that started this joint are engineers and business students out of MIT... and i remember them saying (and i was the one who spotted them in CA and tipped autoblog about this) that the wing has gone through wind tunnel testing itself.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Whatever happened to that rear wing Mercedes Benz tried out on its F1 car? The wing had some flexibility so as speeds increased (on the straights) it would flatten out and create less drag. Once you hit the twisteis and speeds were lower, the wing would curve to create greater downforce.

      No mechanical gizmos, no computers, no added weight or complexity. It was simple and so effective that the other constructors bitched enough to have the FIA ban its use after one race.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Aerodynamic elements aren't allowed to flex in F1 so it would hardly take manufacturer bitching to get it banned. McLaren have already had to add strutural support to the bridge elemenet on their front wing this season because it was deflecting illegaly; they built it too thin to support it's own downforce generating loads.
        • 7 Years Ago
        u dont know much about f1, do u?
    • Load More Comments
    Share This Photo X