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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Lately I have been seeing a lot of misinformation on this forum about wings and there purpose on a vehicle. I think most people will agree that wings and heavy ground effects serve little purpose on a daily driver. But, when it comes to track cars, wings are very effective, even on FWD cars. So please people, everytime you see a wing on a car, please stop saying it's rice. :wavey:

I found this since I suck at writing....
Claim: A front wheel drive car cannot benefit from using a rear-mounted wing to create downforce.

Status: False.

Many people assume the purpose of a wing is to give the driving wheels more traction under acceleration. If this were the case, a rear-mounted wing would have no purpose whatsoever on a front wheel drive car. After all, it's not going to smoke the rear tires when you floor it.

The truth is that many winged race cars cannot generate enough power to smoke the tires at speeds where their wings are effective. In reality, the wings are there to help generate force for cornering, not acceleration. Most compact cars on the market today can benefit from considerably more grip before they are in any danger of overturning.

Some have argued that front wheel drive cars still do not need rear downforce because they are prone to understeer. However, as many experienced racers will tell you, this certainly is not true of all front wheel drive cars under all circumstances. I used to autocross a Ford Probe GT where the rear tires would lose traction if I stepped on the brakes - or sometimes just lifted my foot off the throttle - while turning hard. And a bit of rear downforce can help make sure your car keeps all four tires on the ground, as many front wheel drive cars are known for cornering on three wheels.

Also, note that production race cars that use wings also use air dams and splitters to create downforce on the front wheels. These are often less obvious mods than the rear wing, and such mods frequently appear on both front wheel drive and rear wheel drive cars.

A wing would appear to be more out of place on a drag car, except for high powered rear wheel drive cars like Pro Mods that actually need downforce to get traction. However, some drag racers run wings to stabilize the car under braking at the end of the strip, trading a little speed for a larger margin of safety.

All this assumes that the wing actually generates downforce and the car's tuner has correctly taken this into account when setting up the suspension. Neither of these may be true for the average winged car you encounter on the street.
 
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