Posted: 10/12/12 03:05 PM
Kinda interesting, but only half of the story. The jist of the story in this month's issue is that a rear wing can help the front end of a FF do all the important work of propelling, stopping and turning the car.
OK, I get that. But the greater story is how the air passing over and UNDER the car effects traction. Yes, the air moving UNDER the car is as important as the air that passes OVER the car. Lesson learned from Ross Brawn's Formula One season of 2008 when his cars achieved superiority over the rest of the field with their revolutionary double diffusers under the the tail end of the race cars demonstrates how important the greasy side of the car is in an aerodynamic sense.
My weapon of choice is a 1st Gen CRX that sees lots of Autocross and "Open Track" in Southern California (more details about me and the car here: http://crxcommunity.com/featured/February2009/)
The three most significant aero mods to my car is a deeper from air dam (AKA "lip), a Mugen style rear spoiler that achieves the "Gurney Flap" effect and a rear diffuser. The deep air dam prevents as much air as possible from passing under the car, the rear diffuser hurries what air that does pass under the car out from underneath in such a manner as to create a small (very, very small) amount of negative pressure under the car to actually suck it down onto the road surface. Finally, the "Gurney Flap" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gurney_flap) creates a small eddy of turbulence at the far end of the car to effectively "lengthen" the car to avoid the Kamm Effect (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kammback).
A front splitter is also an effective aero tool that increases the effeciency of the front air dam. My experience is that real world obstacles (driveways, speed bumps, etc.) precludes the use of a splitter on my car whcih also sees some nice-weather street usage.
While the typical engine/suspension/brake/tire discussions are interesting and informative, I would love to see more informed discussion of aero tools that enthusiasts can take advantage of to move their car through this soupy think atmosphere we slog through every day.