By on November 29, 2012

There is no better way to ruin a car than by putting a spoiler on it. Don’t believe me? Picture any mainstream road car with and without a wing. Which one looks better? I think the answer looks obvious.

The Jaguar XFR-S is the latest, and perhaps most egregious offender. I think every car in the Jaguar lineup right now is beautiful. The XF’s design, despite being almost five years old (an eternity in the luxury car world) looks as fresh as it did upon its debut. But Jaguar somehow decided to go put the most pathetic looking spoiler in the history of JC Whitney catalogs.

The wing on the XKR-S looks even worse – the normal XKR is even more attractive than the Aston Martin V8 Vantage, but the XKR-S, with its blue paint, black wheels and silly spoiler, is 17 year old Derek’s idea of what a Hustler Centerfold would be attracted to; a luxury car that looks like a tuner car and sounds like a Mustang. Nowadays, I’d be mortally embarassed if I had to take a lady to dinner in a Gatorade blue car with a spoiler, no matter how fast or expensive it is (well, that arguably makes things worse in a way).

My hatred of spoilers isn’t confined to fast Jags. Got a Mitsubishi Evo? Chuck the wing. A Mustang 5.0? Delete it too. The last-generation Toyota Supra? Sans basket handle, please. There are three cars that look good with a spoiler. The Ferrari F40 and Acura NSX were designed to have them from the start. The Porsche 911 GT3 RS is so bloody obnoxious that the spoiler is a necessity. Note that hatchbacks are exempt from my fatwa. A hatch spoiler on a GTI makes it look more butch than a standard golf.

Dissenting opinions are welcome as always. But if I somehow find myself with a Pontiac G8 GXP, I hope there’s a V6 owner willing to swap trunklids.

 

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74 Comments on “Death To Spoilers...”


  • avatar
    jz78817

    Disagree. It’s not a universal thing. *Some* cars look wrong with one. Other cars (like the Mustang) look wrong *without* one.

    (note that here I’m talking about factory ones which ostensibly came from their design studios, and not those bolt-on monstrosities that idiots buy.)

    • 0 avatar
      Sgt Beavis

      For me, the Mustang looks wrong with a wing, but it looks PERFECT with a duck tail spoiler.

      IMO there is a huge styling difference between a Wing and simple spoiler.

      • 0 avatar
        dolorean

        We’re talking about just the latest version, yes? For each gen, a spoiler would look right or wrong, mainly along the lines of coupe versus fastback. ’69 Coupe? No spoiler. ’69 Fastback? Would look stupid without one. ’93 Notchback? No spoiler other than the tasteful ‘luggage rack’. ’93 Cobra? Has to have the duck tail spoiler.

    • 0 avatar
      Freddy M

      +1

      It depends on the car, and it depends on the spoiler. I always thought that the Acura RSX looked quite naked without a spoiler. The tasteful factory installed wing balanced out the short deck from the long nose in my opinion. However, the HUGE aftermarket box spoiler looked wrong on it, even in Type-R form.

      That said, I go absolutely nuts over the current Impreza STi with its massive wing, and the lower WRX somehow looks… neutered without it.

      It’s all about the car and wing combo. Oh, but I totally agree about the new Jaaaag XF-RS. That spoiler has got to go, and take the E-paint with it.

  • avatar
    Brock_Landers

    R32 to R34 Skyline GTR-s look totally naked without one. Especially R33. A German Shepherd without a tail :)

  • avatar
    Robstar

    I have mixed feeling on the 2005 WRX STi park bench…

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    Really depends on the wing. Shopping cart handle on a sedan? I am totally with you. But something understated and in line with the original design? Why not?

    I may be partial because the OEM accessory spoilers for old Hondas are highly coveted and generally do enhance the looks of the cars they are on. Still though, cars like Audi’s S’s could use some more aggressive accoutrements. Though I guess when it comes to extremes conservative is always better than wacky. I wholeheartedly agree though that this Jag is tacky as hell. I guarantee they won’t sell any with this color or with the spoilers if people have the choice.

  • avatar
    prabal34

    A month ago I was considering buying a Dodge Charger RT but I don’t like a wing on it. I searched all over trying to find a local RT w.o. a wing but no luck.

    Generally speaking, I was okay with factory wings on cars till about a couple years ago when every performance oriented car started to come with one.

  • avatar
    Kendahl

    My first thought on seeing the photograph of the Jaguar XFR-S was, “Lose the spoiler!”

  • avatar
    Boff

    The 5.0 has a comparatively unobtrusive lip spoiler that is quite different from the pedestal spoiler offered in the last 4.6L cars. The current California Special spoiler is more large and hokey.

  • avatar
    Type57SC

    Mid nineties Integra looks awful without a spoiler. It’s kind of a hatchback, but not in the boxy GTI way I think you meant.

    Porsche Turbos also all need whale tails.

  • avatar
    mcarr

    I share your sentiments on spoilers. They all need to die by fire.

  • avatar
    Type57SC

    Also, all lip spoilers are generally okay. Especially the E39 M5.

    • 0 avatar
      Domestic Hearse

      Agreed, Type57SC. Lip spoilers, if you must have one, usually integrate into the car’s lines, adding subtle sportiness. Stacking a GT3esque wing on the back of a passenger car, um, notsomuch.

      Years ago, I thought the rather bland butt of my Infiniti J30 needed some pizzaz, so I added the factory spoiler from the touring model equipment group. Ah, much better. And generally, this is the case with many cars.

      However, I generally don’t like any type of rear spoiler on a FWD vehicle. Even a lippy one, as rear downforce at high speed is not going to make the car drive any better — probably worse.

  • avatar
    rpol35

    Gotta agree with you Derek. I had one on my ’90 Supra and I yanked it off and plugged the holes; the boy racer look is done. What’s really ridiculous is finding one on some entry level Korean or domestic craptastic 4 door sedan. I really don’t get it.

    • 0 avatar
      mr_muttonchops

      You think that’s bad? Somewhere in my town is a first gen Toyota Echo 2-door with a racing spoiler. The rest of the car is completely stock, and it’s gray.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      I took my spolier the 2005 GTO back in the day and filled the holes too. Just picked up an 04 GTO to due a twin turbo setup and, yup, sans spoiler. Sure it looks like a Cavalier but it doesn’t sound like one. :)

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    Spoilers work better on cars that hew pretty close to the 3-box shape (coupes especially, sedans end up being a bit fussy), which is why Skylines and older Hondas wear them so well. Jellybeans and aero shapes really don’t lend themselves to additional visual mass at the tail.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    I disagree on the late model Supra. They don’t look right without the handle!

    Worst spoiler I’ve seen: Pontiac G6 hardtop convertible, big spoiler with LED.

  • avatar

    The racer boy spoilers are silly, particularly because the cars will rarely, if ever, be driven on the street at speeds when the spoiler would be effective. The high end companies have been going to active and/or retractable spoilers for a while.

    That being said, I do embroidery for a local Camaro & Firebird club and I think the way the spoiler is integrated with the trunk lid on the 4th generation (1993-2002) Camaro is a brilliant piece of design work. That may, however, prove Derek’s point. That Camaro spoiler was part of the car’s design from the get go. I’m pretty sure that when the XF was first drawn in a Jaguar studio, it didn’t have a spoiler on it.

    Though you never know, I’ve spoken to a lot of designers and have seen a few early design sketches and sometimes they can be over the top. Steve Pasteiner, who worked at GM design in the ’60s and ’70s, told me that he once did a drawing of an Oldsmobile muscle car, with the engine intake sticking out of the hood, huge wheels, side exhaust pipes. Bill Mitchell saw the drawing and said to him, “Steve. Just because you f*ck around doesn’t mean you have to leave your dick hanging out.”

    • 0 avatar
      ttacgreg

      Hear, hear! Built in as part of the desi gn, yes! (BTW don’t forget the Porsche 959.)

      As a tack on boy racer high school high profit cosmetic accessory that is completely nonfunctional? No!

      I find it ironc that vertical fins lasted a handful of years in the late 50’s, whereas horizontal ones have endured for decades.

    • 0 avatar
      ttacgreg

      My Plymouth Laser turbo was chosen over the Mitsubishi Eclipse because that was the only way to get the turbo motor without the braggadocio boy racer spoilers, which IMHO spoiled the car’s clean lines and contours
      .

  • avatar
    200k-min

    It really depends on the car. When the ’96 Taurus came out I didn’t like the droopy ass on the thing but in later years seeing “some” of the different spoiler designs made it look somewhat ok in my mind.

    My ’99 Accord has a factory installed spoiler which I think enhances the look of the vehicle, i.e. very bland sedan w/out. Generally Honda’s of the 90’s looked better with the spoiler, current Honda’s not so much.

    As I recall the original Chevy Lumina sedan came with a lip spoiler that w/out just made the vehicle look cheap. Maybe it’s me but 15-20 years ago I think most sedans available at the time looked better with some type of trunklid enhancement.

    That said, I did see a new ’13 Fusion with one the other day and though it was tasteful looking. Maybe I’m a spoiler fanboii after all.

  • avatar
    Omnifan

    Put all spoilers in the same refuse bin as fog lights (front and rear).

    • 0 avatar
      Dynasty

      I do like fog lights. And I think they make most vehicles look better. Their true utility and usefulness might be suspect though.

      My current car has fogs, not really sure how much they truly help when it is foggy out.

    • 0 avatar
      el scotto

      No man you gotta drive around with your fog/driving lights on all the time. Especially in town when the speed limit is 25 cause 20 yards to the next vehicle is a big gap man! (snark)

  • avatar
    kvndoom

    I am looking forward to some post-christmas money so I can put a halo spoiler on my 2006 TSX. I have seen them with the OEM halo and I think it looks significantly better than my sedan without it.

    A sedan can be sporty without being ricey, it’s all about moderation.

  • avatar
    Jeff Waingrow

    I’m from the “form follows function” school. Phony portholes, hood scoops, useless spoilers, etc. are comical at best. It seems to me that they announce a lack of sophistication. That said, I do make an exception for hood ornaments. Not having one, the view from inside shows the hood as nothing but an amormous blob; there’s no sense of the car’s center point. In fact, many of today’s cars also give no sense of where the corners lie. In my Golf, if you didn’t know better, you’d think that the car ended at the base of the front windshild. Not helpful.

  • avatar
    Nostrathomas

    Even the Porsche 911 GT3 RS would look better without a spoiler. The last acceptable 911 spoiler was on the 993….although that paled in comparison to the awesome whale tails of the past.

    The only thing that sometimes looks worse than a bombastic spoiler is a little weeny retractable one.

  • avatar
    missinginvlissingen

    And that’s why it’s called a “spoiler”, not an “improver”.

  • avatar
    daveainchina

    I can’t imagine a 1968 to 1973 Corvette without the integrated spoiler in the body work.

    The Alfa Romeo spyder veloce which I think looks equally good with and without one depending on body color. How about an old Opel GT

    Can anyone see a 1978 Trans Am without a spoiler? The body certainly had both non spoiler and spoilers on it, and the non spoiler version in my mind just never looked all that attractive.

    Universally banning spoilers I don’t think is a good idea, but I do agree that they are on way to many vehicles now that just look ridiculous.

    • 0 avatar
      nikita

      That Corvette had a Kammback shape with just a small lip, not the add-on wing that is the subject of all this hate. Same with the Opel GT. Dad’s Supra had the basket handle and I thought it looked foolish, mainly a place for the center stoplight.

  • avatar
    dolorean

    I remember this argument going back to the early ’90s when the Nissan Maxima with its 4DSC moniker and the second gen Ford Taurus SHO adding the first spoilers I remember being a standard addition to ‘sports sedans’. Within a year, spoilers were added to every garden variety grocery getter (the worst being the wings on the Windstar), whether they had sporting intentions or not; as ubiquitous then as Fog Lamps are now. Cars just don’t seem complete without them.

    Caveat, not referring to coupes, sports cars, or GTs. This was a total mainstream shifting of customer preference ICW the rising resurgance of trunks over hatchbacks/wagons. A spoiler would look right at home with the Jaguar XKS coupe but too boy-racer with any of its four-door saloons.

  • avatar
    gslippy

    I generally agree with the spoiler hate, but the 1970 Superbird spoiler is as manly as it gets.

  • avatar

    Fliptail spoilers can be completely badass. But wings on anything but a Porsche or a vintage Mopar are almost always just wrong.

  • avatar
    Wheatridger

    Well, well, now I know. I just spoiled my car. The other day I installed an aftermarket spoiler on my 10-yea-old New Beetle. I think it looks better — silly me! — but I had a practical reason, too. I’m in and out of the trunk a lot, and the liftgate has no external handle. On snowy days, like we used to have in Denver, you have to stick your fingers into the cold, wet seam under the liftgate to raise the it. Now, I won’t. I’ll just have to replace the support struts, since the spoiler added a few pounds to the load. I’ve wanted a spoiler for years, but for frugality’s sake, I waited until the third brake light burned out and needed replacement. So I got a mod at the price of a repair.

    Yes, many spoilers & wings are stupid. But as the owners of Audi TTs should know, sometime they’re really necessary. I may never break 100 mph in my TDI, but it’s good to know that it’s aerodynamically prepared.

    • 0 avatar
      Wheatridger

      In the first long highway run since adding the spoiler, the car returned 49 mpg! That’s two mpg above the best I’ve ever recorded. Average speeds were 75, just keeping up with the slow half of traffic. The car also felt more stable, though I’ll wait until a windy day before claiming a definitive benefit.

  • avatar
    gessvt

    Spot on, Derek. I’ve checked the “spoiler delete” option on various Probe GTs and Mustangs that I leased in the past. Same with my SVT Contour. Even Fox hatchback 5.0 Mustangs look sinister without the goofy 3rd brake light spoiler. Notchbacks should remain free of any trunk add-ons.

    Every time I see a 2004-06 Pontiac GTO, I think “lose the spoiler”. I’ve seen a few without them, and despite the tacky plugs in the trunk, they look worlds better. Agree on your Supra comment too.

    However, the spoiler on my Legacy GT wagon is a thing of beauty. One of the rare exceptions IMHO.

  • avatar
    scrubnick

    Two examples of cars that really need a spoiler:
    Lexus SC300 and Infiniti J30. Both of them have no butt and the spoiler helps finish up the back end of the car. Like the girl with no butt, it’s the extra padding in the pants to make them look complete.

    • 0 avatar
      sastexan

      Gonna have to disagree with you on the J30 – that spoiler looked tacked on and totally ruined the lines. It was too narrow on the trunk lid and aesthetically did nothing at every angle except square in back.

      The J30 had a very tight, athletic butt – unlike, say, a panamera with a flat rear end.

  • avatar
    -Cole-

    despite being almost five years old (an eternity in the luxury car world)

    I respectfully disagree. Luxury cars go much longer. Some don’t seem to care…

  • avatar
    Darkhorse

    I have a 2003 Impala LS bought used and it has one of those ridiculous spoilers. I’ve been trying to figure out how to remove it. I don’t see any bolts so I’m thinking it was bonded to the trunk. Does any one know? Any ideas to get it off the trunk lid?

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    I was at the gas station on Tuesday picking up a Powerball ticket (sorry I was not the winner…) and I noticed a black Mustang GT (about a 2009 model or so – not brand new) with no spoiler, five spoke “bullet” style wheels, lightly tinted windows, black leather interior, and cue ball manual shifter. A 60+ year old man with white hair came out of the store, got in, and drove away. (The spoiler delete made it very sinister to me for some reason.)

    I thought; “That’s way more badass than a Harley. Hope I’m that cool when I’m old.”

  • avatar
    eCurmudgeon

    Put me down under the “No ‘spoilers’ under any circumstances. Ever.” file.

    Far as I’m concerned, a spoiler is an admission that the manufacturer was unable to get the rear-end aerodynamics under control and had to resort to a stopgap solution. Better to go back to the drawing board and get it right instead…

  • avatar
    18726543

    Some cars definitely do benefit from having a spoiler in my opinion. My dad has an ’06 Subaru Legacy GT with a spoiler and I really like the way the car looks. When I see that body style Legacy without a spoiler it looks very bland! This is factory spoiler, by the way. Just about any aftermarket one moves you in the wrong direction.

    The OEM doesn’t always get it right though. The Merkur XR4Ti (85-87) and Mustang SVO of yore come to mind…

    I worked for Acura when the RSX made its debut and many of our customers took it upon themselves whole-heartedly to make a mockery of what Acura did pretty well. We had one customer who bolted a big stupid spoiler to their trunk lid only to have the forces acting on the spoiler literally tear the sheet metal in a horseshoe pattern around the front of each mount! We all agreed he got what he deserved.

    Oh, and pickup trucks should NEVER have wing spoilers.

  • avatar
    carguy

    100% agree – particularly on economy cars. I bought a Mazda3 a few years ago and insisted that the trunk lid be swapped out from a lower model without a spoiler. It looked so much better that way.

  • avatar
    chaparral

    I love ‘em, as long as they’re big enough, and have a good enough aspect ratio, to actually work.

    For a 3000-lb car, you’d need about 300 lbs of total downforce to be able to tell the differerence between wing and no wing. Assuming there are few corners entered “hard” above 80 MPH, that means we’ve gotta get 150 lbs downforce per wing at 35 m/s.

    With a plain single-element wing and a fairly low aspect ratio, it’s unreasonable to expect a lift coefficient of more than 1.5.

    Therefore, you’ll need .55 square meters of wing. Assuming that the car is 1.7m wide, that means they’ll have to be about .35m long.

    So you’ll need a single-element wing, 67″ wide by 12 7/8″ long. It’ll have to be mounted by the endplates to the front and rear of the car.

  • avatar
    Trend-Shifter

    I know some spoilers are about downforce at speed while others are about increasing gas mileage.
    A real functional spoiler works for me if it matches the vehicles intent.

    As an example I like the spoiler across the rear window of my 84 Audi 5000 Avant. I was even thinking of installing a 2008-2012 Fusion spoiler on my 87 Audi 5000 sedan if it would increase gas mileage.

    Are there any sources out there that would illustrate how each spoiler design affects things like down force, stability, or gas mileage?

  • avatar
    JMII

    My Z has this little lip type factory spoiler. I think it looks stupid zit or pimple and want something bigger, but not ricer-boy BIG. Its really hard to find something that compliments the Z’s smooth shape. A small, flat duck tail would be ideal, similar to the factory G35 coupe (only smaller). Naked looks like something is missing, but oddly convertible Z’s look best that way. The factory upgraded Nismo spoiler isn’t very attractive to me, neither is their rear valence, but the lip on the front looks great. Of course owning a Z means seeing alot of other Z’s that have been riced out with wings that best suited to a dragster… UGH.

    I owned an Eclipse GS-T, with the huge arched spoiler and always thought it was overkill. Plus it killed the rear visibility of otherwise great hatchback design. Funny thing is to see GS Eclipse (IE: non-turbo) that added the wing in an effort to fool people into thinking it was a turbo model. Weak sauce there.

  • avatar
    SilverCoupe

    As many have said, it obviously depends on the car. I totally loved the look of my ’89 Supra Turbo, which had the side of the spoiler fared into the side of the car. I could not understand why an acquaintance who had a similar car would not get one installed. The car looked naked without it.

    But when I replaced that car with a 2000 TT, I refused to let Audi retrofit the car with a spoiler even though it was free due to a recall. The spoiler would have just screwed up the clean appeareance of the rear of the car, that was not designed for one. Sure, it would have kept the tail of the car on the road at speeds over 130, but I never took it over 130 anyway.

  • avatar
    mbaruth

    I’m partial to spoilers. I can’t imagine my Boss without it. Or my old RX-8. Or my old G8 GT.

  • avatar
    Adamatari

    Q: does it enhance the stability of the car?

    The XFR-S and XKR-S aside (the XKR-S already has enough slots for an arcade, and you’re complaining about the spoiler?), there are cars that need something and cars that don’t. Ironically, most sports cars probably have enough areodynamics designed into them for it to be moot, but I do remember driving a ’95 Saturn SL2 that needed some downforce on the front end (I guess a front spoiler) because at 70 mph on the highway it got noticeably vauge in the front. Not dangerously so in normal conditions, but still not good enough (much like the brakes on the car – good enough for everyday but heaven help you if you needed to stop in an emergency).

    Looks wise, lip spoilers are much better for cars that are trying to be understated. But like I said above about the XKR-S, at some point the spoiler is just part of it. The EVO? You might as well, seriously, that thing is NOT subtle.

    Honestly, car designers should start caring about aerodynamics again, CAFE is getting stricter and right now everyone is playing around with cars that are bricks in the wind. Much better bricks than those of 20 years ago, but still bricks compared to what they could and should be aerodynamically. But sports cars are not the big offenders, it’s the economy cars that have gone tall.

    As for picking up women for dinner dates, I don’t care. It’s not their car. If my whole goal is to impress boring upper-middle class people with boring tastes, I would get a BMW and be done with it. But that’s just stupid. If they hate a gatorade blue car I can’t imagine what they’ll say when I put on some anime, or how they’ll react to a smokey blues bar. Boring people are not worth the time.

  • avatar
    Mr Imperial

    Would someone be willing to photoshop a 1969 Charger Daytona or a 1970 Superbird w/o a wing? Just for the sake of the argument, thought that would be interesting to see.

  • avatar
    Dynasty

    Spoilers
    Stripes (eg: Charger, Challenger, Mustang..)
    Wings (Mitsubishi and Subaru)
    Fake hood intakes (Ram trucks, probably some Pontiac too)
    Plastic louvers on the rear windows (Mustang)
    Etc, etc..

    They are all tacky, and serve no purpose other than trying to make something look sportier. I’m all about form, but form without function is stupid.

    Ever notice a house with decorative shutters? Real shutters serve a purpose, and add architectural detail at the same time. Decorative shutters just look dumb.

    I will never buy a vehicle that has wings, a spoiler, racing stripes, or anything else that is a tacky design gimmick.

  • avatar
    Johnny Carcinogen

    I couldn’t imagine my Mazdaspeed 3 without it.

  • avatar
    LeeK

    When I bought an Evo VIII in 2003, I insisted that the price of the car include the removal of the spoiler and corresponding body work to the trunk lid for welding over the four large holes, filling, sanding, and re-painting. It took three weeks before the body shop could take my car in, and people pleaded with me not to do it. “It isn’t an Evo without the wing!” they insisted. After it was done, I noticed an immediate reduction in the number of stares from the general public, and I was always appreciative of the improved rearward visibility and general lack of attention from law enforcement and kids in hopped up Civics that wanted to race me at stop lights. Enthusiasts knew what the car was, but for most people it was just another Lancer with slightly better wheels and an aggressive hood.

    Mitsubishi offers a variant of the MR version of the current Evo X without a spoiler and I think it looks far better than than the basket handle that comes standard on the lower GSR level. Even though the wing does in fact reduce lift at speeds over 90 MPH, the need for one on the street is non-existent.

  • avatar
    sckid213

    One car that definitely needed a spoiler was the 1999-2000 Mercury Cougar. Really helped give some much-needed shape to the back end. The revised spoiler for 2001-2002 was not nearly as nice, nor were any of the other (pretty substantial) changes they made for the last two years of that car’s run.

    Then there are spoilers that are literally used to hide styling abortions. Didn’t the latest Monte Carlo have the spoiler tacked on as standard toward the end of its run to cover up its lumpy trunklid?

    • 0 avatar
      DrunkenDonuts

      Yup. I had an ’04. That lump was awful. Even if it didn’t have the lump (I think they finally got rid of it in ’07 or ’08), they just didn’t look right without a spoiler on there. I wish it had been RWD, but oh well.

  • avatar
    Geekcarlover

    I know I’m in a minority, but I liked the Crossfire retractable spoiler. In some (very few) cars they look like they should be there. But the giant park bench looking things mounted on way too many buzz bombs have got to go.
    Add to the kill with fire list after market ground effect kits. Especially in mismatched colors.

  • avatar
    Michael McDonald

    I drive a 2004 Infiniti M45. It has a factory installed wing, and I think the car looks naked without it. I’ve seen pictures of the car without it and it looks naked without it.

    My opinion is that it entirely depends on the car and the accessory added.

  • avatar
    SevenIM

    There’s a big difference between wings and spoilers. Factory spoilers, or aftermarket ones that were designed for a particular model are okay, as long as they compliment the car’s overall lines without going overboard.

    Then there’s that kid with a ’91 Honda Accord – its rusty as hell, but it sports 19″ wheels, taillights that are busier than a Jehova’s Witness at a door factory, and a muffler tip big enough to jam a softball in. And then it has this.. thing attached to the trunk. He calls it a spoiler; he paid at least $250 for it, but he just as well could have bought some scrap aluminum, screwed some other pieces of scrap aluminum to the sides and bolted it to the trunk.

  • avatar
    NMGOM

    Ultimately, any adjunct air-control surface that must be used acknowledges a failure in or problem with the aerodynamic design of a car. That includes air dams, nose winglets, diffusers, and spoilers. If the function of these elements can be built in unobtrusively, or made to flow esthetically as a natural extension of other bodywork, then so much the better. The problem arises when you see a car literally bristling with these ugly appendages.
    You will note that BMW has been trying to minimize them for years, by using better aero design to serve those purposes; and that the New DeltaWing racer has made a mockery out of conventional race cars by use of advanced, effective aero design ALONE.

    —————–

  • avatar
    duffman13

    I have to answer with a resounding ‘it depends.’ 90s Mustang looks strange without one, while an 06+ looks strange with one. 90s Supra looks strange without the basket handle as well.

    I have an S2000, and autocross and track the car. My car in particular came with the factory aero kit – Frount lip, side strakes, and rear lip spoiler.

    I dislike the rear wing spoiler that they offered on the late model S2000s, but I think the rear lip complements the car perfectly, and looks better than if the rear was left unadorned.

    All that said, the S2000 suffers from a high-speed rear-end lift problem coupled with a twitchy supension and needs some form of rear spoiler to be driven hard at a racetrack. I’m adding a rear lower diffuser this spring to help that, because I don’t want to spoil the look of the lip spoiler.

  • avatar
    cls12vg30

    I typically don’t mind spoilers, many fastback-style cars look funny without them. The last-generation Celica looked great with the original spoiler, ridiculous without it, and double-plus ridiculous with the later “Speed Package”.

    I have a 1988 Nissan 200SX hatchback that has a sizeable lip spoiler. Almost all the hatchback S12’s came with it. The few I’ve seen without look odd.

    This style spoiler seems to have another benefit as well. The back of the car stays much cleaner with the spoiler. I believe it’s because the presence of the spoiler changes the airflow coming off the back of the car. Any car moving through the air will create a low-pressure vortex directly behind it. On some cars, this can kick up dirt off the road and deposit it on the rear of the car. The lip-style spoiler has the effect of moving this vortex further away from the rear of the car, minimizing this effect.

    In theory, it should also help a little with drag, since that low-pressure zone behind the car acts like a vacuum, resisting the car’s forward motion. I imagine wing-type spoilers would not be as effective at forcing the vortex further away from the car.

    There is no excuse for having a huge park bench hanging off the trunk of a FWD economy car. That said, my Sentra SE-R Spec V has the trunklid wing that they all came with. It’s tasteful, IMHO, and helps with the aesthetics of the B15 Sentra’s droopy butt. I’m pretty sure it has no other effect whatsoever.

  • avatar
    snitsky999

    I cannot agree 100% with you, but I agree mostly with you. The average vehicle rather being a 4 door, 2 door, or hatchback look stupid with a spoiler. Some vehicles look worse with a spoiler on while other vehicles look better with a spoiler on. The 1997-2003 Pontiac Grand Pix looks better with a spoiler on. The 2000-2005 Impala looks better with a spoiler off. A true sports cars such as a Mustang and Camaro look good with spoilers. There is nothing worse on any vehicle than an oversized spoiler. I like my vehicle without a spoiler on. If I had a choice between 2 identical vehicles being one with a spoiler and one without a spoiler I would choose the one without the spoiler. Another advantage of no spoiler is that its easier to wash since the spoiler isn’t in the way. I had a spoiler on my first vehicle so I know.


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