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Under-Body Aerodynamics Ain't Just For Looking Awesome

Illustration for article titled Under-Body Aerodynamics Aint Just For Looking Awesome

Excellent under-body aerodynamics will make the bottom of a car look as flat as the underside of a Hot Wheels racer. But looking awesome is obviously not the only purpose.


Wikipedia does a pretty good job explaining the basic idea. You want to

create an area of low pressure underneath the car, so that the higher pressure above the car will apply a downward force. Naturally, to maximize the force one wants the maximum area at the minimal pressure. Racing car designers have achieved low pressure in two ways: first, by using a fan to pull air out of the cavity; second, to design the underside of the car so that incoming air is accelerated through a narrow slot between the car and the ground, lowering pressure by Bernoulli's principle.


So, although the jacked-up car above may look like flatter than a Ken doll, it's for creating some serious low pressure.

That leaves us with two questions. First, can you find a car that's got better under-body aero? Second, think you can tell us what car this is? [Wikipedia, pacepirate]

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Not a very good picture, but the first time I ever saw the bottom of an Elise I was surprised at how flat it is. #cardesign