Why FWD Cars Need a Rear Spoiler !

There is a popular opinion roaming through the surfaces of the internet community that call themselves by the title of "car guys", there are simply too many people that think that front wheel driven cars don't need a rear wing and thus classifying the car as "riced out".

This article was inspired by one of our recent posts, there were a lot of comments that classified compact sports cars with fwd and rear wings as ricers, as if the spoiler was added just for style. On the contrary, my friends, there a few issues that the spoiler addresses, one of them is called downforce, which is delivered to the rear wheels, and the other thing is weight shift.
The good news is that as I've read through the comments there were quite a lot of people that get the concept of the rear wing. For those who are unsure about whether if it should be applied to a front wheel car, here are our four main reasons.

1. Reduced Lift.
I've got my fair share of driving without a wing at the back. Remember the first gen Audi TT? I remember, I almost killed myself, sadly a lot of other people did, due to the lack of a spoiler at the back, at high speeds, the back end became loose, Audi recalled all TTs in 1998 and introduced the lip that sticks out in the back of the car.

So what happened? It's pretty obvious, as the air is directed downwards following the curves of the car that air is going to create a lift, the car will not have as much traction and as a result, the rear end becomes loose. How to fix it? Just add a simple spoiler, as Audi did. The new models have an active aero spoiler that lifts up at high speeds. Actually, the first car to have an active Veyron-like aero was the boxy front wheel driven VW Corrado.

Mind you even classic modern family sedans have, what we call a lip at the back.

2. Cornering.

A rear wing helps produce valuable downforce increasing rear-wheel traction while cornering ! If you don't think you need that on a front wheel driven car, then next time when you upgrade your tires, just upgrade the front ones.

But why this helps? It is simple mathematics, the forces that the car can counter while cornering strongly depend on the cars pushing force against the road ( eg. Down Force + Car Weight ), multiplied by the tire's coefficient of friction between the tire and the road "m". If we name the force that is driving the car away from it's preferred line of travel F, then F <= m*N where N = weight + downforce. It's simple as that, more downforce = more traction = better cornering.


Although it's just a 4 door hatchback, the Type R Civic is one of best Japanese sports cars, and every single one comes with a rear spoiler.

Share To:


Vestibulum bibendum felis sit amet dolor auctor molestie. In dignissim eget nibh id dapibus. Fusce et suscipit orci. Aliquam sit amet urna lorem. Duis eu imperdiet nunc, non imperdiet libero.