From Alexa to Air-Controlled "Wings": The Craziest Tech in Cars Today

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The Air-Controlled Wing
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The Air-Controlled Wing

Last October, the 2018 Lamborghini Huracan Performante circled the Nurburgring Nordschleife track in six minutes, 52 seconds — a production car lap record at the de facto standard sportscar test loop. The wild beast arrived in New York to take a bow even though it won’t take a spot on the show floor, and Lambo execs on hand explained how the car accomplished the feat through active aerodynamics. Two external ducts connect to air channels that flow through the rear wing. At high speeds, the ducts open, directing air underneath the wing to reduce drag and increase the car’s peak velocity. The wing’s air channel is split in two, so at lower speeds — such as braking in a corner — one side can open, increasing downforce on the inner wheel to make for quicker turning. Lambo’s R&D chief Maurizio Reggiani explained that using air channels rather than hydraulic motors to move the wing saves weight, vital to a track-based supercar. “We’re always looking to apply what we know about physics in the smartest, yet simplest way,” he said. 

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