Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Spoiler Evolution: What Happened to Porsche's Whale Tail?

This morning, I went to the local drug store to buy a magnifying glass for my brand new, super-duper birthday present-- The Times Atlas of the World. When I pulled into the parking lot, I saw an exquisite Porsche 996 Carrera S. This led me to contemplate (read: obsess) all day about the evolution of the Porsche 911 rear spoiler.

A quick internet search revealed that coincidentally, Motor Trend asked the same question recently. And, it provided the photographs below for comparison's sake.

The 930 with the original whale tail.

A later 930 model. Notice the black lip is much thicker and the bottom part of the spoiler is more integrated into the engine compartment lid.

Although this 964's spoiler appears smaller, computer aided design means this spoiler provides more down force and better cooling for the engine.

The 993 Turbo's spoiler is evolving and appears to be morphing into an integral part of the rear bodywork. But not quite yet.

The 996's spoiler is almost completely tucked into the bodywork.

The current 997 spoiler is about 25% larger than the 996's but is more aerodynamic and provides more down force.

What is certain is that Porsche engineers will forever tinker with the spoiler design. Though the newer spoilers are a lot more effective aerodynamically and at cooling, they will never match the beauty and grace of the classic whale tail.


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