You’d be forgiven for assuming that racing cars and road cars are two very different entities, especially given that the former are purposely built for speeds that would make the Autobahns blush. However, the ever-changing technologies that go into improving the performance of race cars does in fact filter through into the new and upcoming cars that we see out and about on the roads.
So what exactly are such technologies and how much of an effect do they actually have?
Having an aerodynamic race car is hugely important to cut race times by improving speed, cornering and overall performance. This is achieved by shaping the body kit so it can cut through the air better, reduce drag and improve the downward force the car has on the track; all of which combining to create better, faster cars.
Today you only have to take a look at modern generations of vehicles to see how aerodynamic designs have crept in. Gone are the chunky square styles of the 70s and 80s, now even the smallest of family roundabouts have sleek and shaped bodies to maximise their performance.
Improving Hybrid Tech
In addition to the above, several hybrid cars have used the aerodynamic designs to help improve their fuel efficiency. A few manufacturers of common hybrid vehicles have smaller front openings which in turn lower the amount of drag the car experiences, ultimately making them far more fuel efficient.
You might be surprised to hear that new and more modern brakes have their origins in racing. Disc brakes were first introduced to racing to offer more control and as road cars have gotten faster such brakes have made the transition across.
It’s not just about the cars either; the expertise of drivers is having a big effect on how future cars are designed. This isn’t surprising though, as drivers know their cars inside out and if any aspect of its driving performance needs changing they’ll be able to identify it. This can range from the responsiveness of steering to the effectiveness of gear changes, all of which can have a bearing on improving the quality of road cars.
So when you purchase your next new vehicle it might be worth doing a little research into the history of it. You might find some interesting surprises about the influences on its designs.