There was a day long ago when, if your street car didn’t come with aerodynamic effects, chances are you probably weren’t going to put any on yourself, mostly because there were no aftermarket companies who sold such things, but also because the science of aero was seen more as black art than demonstrable physics. But these days aero is all the rage, and the crowning piece is usually a big rear wing – a spoiler so over-engineered for the car its on, it could likely be used to create downforce on the back of a speeding freight train. And nowhere is there a better place to witness such exercises in excess than the SEMA Show.
Don’t misunderstand; SEMA has plenty of display vehicles that merit such modification. It’s not uncommon to find companies tapping race teams for vehicle exhibits, and sexiest among them are generally time attack and sports cars. In particular, the RC F GT3-spec car that Lexus showed off rocked a wing with top mounts, also known as goose- or swan-neck mounts, which appears to be a direction many competitors are moving in.
Arguably less deserving of such downforce are drift cars – not that they couldn’t use it (it’s all about getting that booty to lay down), but more because it’s our guess wings are engineered for cars moving in the direction their noses are pointed in. With drift cars often moving forward by being oriented sideways, it kinda doesn’t make a whole lot of sense – which is not to say it doesn’t look freakin’ sweet, because it totally does.
This is why we’re guessing people who build show or even really nice street cars go for the outsized element, because it makes a cosmetic statement. It may be gaudy, or over the top, but a good-looking rear wing is also a big middle finger to subtlety. Yeah, maybe the car will never set treads on a legitimate circuit, but don’t hate on a guy just because he’s got a clean car with a suitably matched bit of ginormous aero. So enjoy these exhibits of rear wing love.