Death To Spoilers

Derek Kreindler
by Derek Kreindler
death to spoilers

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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  • Cls12vg30 Cls12vg30 on Nov 30, 2012

    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.

  • Snitsky999 Snitsky999 on Apr 08, 2013

    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.

    • Corey Lewis Corey Lewis on Apr 09, 2013

      You said spoiler 14 times. Surely you could spoiler be more efficient in language spoiler.

  • Sgeffe Why on Earth can’t you just get the torque specs and do it yourself if you’re so-inclined?!
  • Sgeffe As was stated in another comment, the FAA nominee went down in flames. But the NTSB chairwoman certainly didn’t, and she’s certainly not qualified either!Lots of this kind of stuff going on both sides of the aisle—Ben Carson would have arguably made a better Surgeon General than HUD Secretary under Trump, for example.
  • Art Vandelay Interesting, the Polestar 2 I had as a rental utilized Android Automotive which is what GM said it is going to exclusively, yet it still offers Apple CarPlay according to this. Wonder if GM will do the same.
  • Stuart de Baker EVs just aren't ready for prime time for those with a single car and who take road trips. Being able to charge as soon as you arrive at a charging station, and even the chargers working on your car is a crapshoot. In the former case, you could have to wait for nearly an hour while someone else is charging.I also don't find EVs particularly fun to drive (I've driven a Tesla Model S and an Ionic 5.) I LOVE driving my '08 Civic (stick). I love the handling, the feel and responsiveness of the engine, the precise steering (the Michelin Pilot Ultra Sport tires help, but even with the snows on, the car is a joy). I have 152k on the clock, and hopefully another 25 years or so of driving (I was born early in the Eisenhower Administration and I have exceptionally healthy habits), and I'm going to try to keep the Civic for the duration.My Civic causes a less global warming emissions than some of these humongous battery operated trucks.
  • FreedMike They should throw in a Lordstown pickup with every purchase. Make it the “vapor twofer.”