Improving Your Car With a Camaro Car Spoiler
Most drivers put on a Camaro car spoiler because of aesthetics. But a spoiler could improve the performance of your Camaro. Here’s why.
How did the first Camaro perform back in 1967? The SS-350 completed a quarter-mile in 15.8 seconds at 89 mph. Another test clocked in at 15.4 seconds at 90 mph.
While the first-generation didn’t feature a rear spoiler, many Camaro owners of later models choose to install one, and high-performance cars of any model often include factory-installed spoilers.
However, some people believe that spoilers look good and don’t do much else, which is true for some cars. One a Camaro, though, a car spoiler can increase the cars’ performance and handling. Let’s find out how.
What Does a Custom Spoiler Do Anyway?
On a typical vehicle, a spoiler does little more than look sporty, which is really its purpose when it comes to average sport coupes and other popular family cars. So the question that comes to mind then, is, “What do custom car spoilers do for high-performance cars?”
The short answer to the question is that spoilers increase your car’s performance. Though, you only see results at speeds of over 100km/h or more.
Dr. Martin Agelin-Chaab, an assistant professor in automotive engineering at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) in Oshawa, Ont., explains that spoilers only work to increase a car’s performance at high speeds (and when they are installed properly).
Installing a Spoiler for Performance
A spoiler only works if it’s cutting air at a precise angle. Most of the time, higher-end sports cars feature spoilers that are correctly installed because they are added specifically for performance.
Engineers aren’t going to put the time into the design and production of aerodynamic spoiler only to have poor installation make the spoiler another problem rather than a solution.
Installing a spoiler takes at least three hours in a wind tunnel to test in order to be sure it’s done right.
Spoilers Create Downforce
During the pre-production period for any car, engineers spend a great deal of time testing how the car performs against the wind. A great deal of study goes into directing airflow so that the car can counter the effects of the wind.
Wind directly affects a car’s traction. So, cutting the wind gives the car better handling.
Spoiling Aerodynamic Lift
On a high-performance car, spoilers spoil aerodynamic lift. That’s the force that pulls your car off the ground. A spoiler is supposed to push the car onto the road, increasing something called downforce.
The spoiler deflects air up, which creates a downward force that helps keep the car from lifting at high speeds. It keeps the tires to the road, giving the car a better grip.
Improved traction gives the car better handling. This is especially important for cornering and making sharp turns, giving drivers added safety as well as an added advantage in a race.
Spoilers Reduce Drag
Spoilers also reduce drag. The less air resistance the car has, the less gas it will burn. At speeds of 120 km/h or more, over half your fuel is spent working against drag.
Anything that reduces drag, even slightly, can have a noticeable impact on fuel economy.
Here’s something you may not have considered: Front dams and fascia are also a kind of spoiler. These components redirect air over, under, and around the car, which, in addition to the rear spoiler, also reduces drag.
You won’t notice this difference unless you are racing or traveling at high speeds. There is no benefit during average commuter driving, but in a performance vehicle, the difference stands out.
Spoilers Limit Bulk
Adding a spoiler doesn’t magically make a car lighter. However, it does mean that manufacturers can use lighter weight materials on a vehicle when the design includes a spoiler.
As already stated, spoilers are barricades to undesirable flows, which ultimately help keep the vehicle down. Because of this, the manufacturer can reduce the bulk of the vehicle by way of those lighter materials. The result is a lighter, sleeker, more fuel-efficient car.
Spoilers Improve Style and Visibility
Aesthetic appeal doesn’t technically fall into the category of performance, but the sleek look of a spoiler is notable. Undoubtedly, this heightens the visibility of the vehicle, especially when a brake light is part of the design.
With the addition of the brake light, your car stands out as it slows to a stop, whether that be at a traffic light or after the victory lap.
The Camaro Car Spoiler
When talking about a Camaro spoiler, you are talking about a wicker bill spoiler. Formally, it is the Camaro Adjustable Wicker Bill for Factory Z/28 Style Spoiler.
You may have heard of this before. But do you know what a rear wicker bill spoiler can do for your Camaro?
The Gurney Flap
A wicker bill is the popular name for what is actually the “Gurney Flap,” named after its inventor Dan Gurney. The original Gurney Flap was a simple length of aluminum bolted to a wing’s trailing edge at a right angle.
The purpose was to increase downforce.
NASCAR fans and other diehard racing enthusiasts are most likely familiar with the wicker bill already. Anyone newer to racing may not be.
The wicker bill is an extra high-angled lip added to a spoiler. This addition heightens the aerodynamic properties of the spoiler. The flap that points up increases traction, and the car can make tighter turns.
Others tried to improve on Gurney’s original design, changing the flap because they thought that by pointing it down that they could improve lap times.
In the end, though, modifying Gurney’s original design only caused the car to lose traction.
Camaro Spoiler Cars
There are variations available for just about every make and model high-performance vehicle.
The spoiler we are talking about here attaches to the Camaro’s factory spoiler. It is adjustable and thus made for formidable racetrack performance.
With a Camaro spoiler, the same principles apply. While many think that the factory installed spoiler is the only option, more knowledgeable people know that adding the wicker bill has distinct advantages.
If you were to race your Camaro spoiler car (with your wicker bill spoiler) against another Camaro with only the factory installed spoiler, you would have the edge.
The wicker bill would provide added downforce to your car to handle the turn and keep the car from understeering.
But I Thought the Wicker Bill Spoiler Was Only for Corvettes?
It is. The wicker bill is also available for the Corvette. In fact, it is commonly associated with the Corvette and not the Camaro, though the wicker bill works with either model car.
By adding it to your car, you are a step ahead of Camaro owners who don’t realize this spoiler is for the Camaro, too. The result? You get bragging rights along with the performance boost.
The wicker bill spoiler isn’t really an industry secret. They are publicly available to order. Though, because it’s associated with the Corvette over the Camaro, it still serves as a secret weapon of sorts.
Your Camaro spoiler car will perform better than others in the same class with the wicker bill added.
Other Camaro Car Spoilers
There are other spoilers available for the Camaro besides the rear spoiler. They are geared toward aesthetic over performance, but the same aerodynamic principles apply.
The basic types are lip spoilers, rear window spoilers, and body kits.
Camaro Rear Lip Spoilers
A rear lip spoiler can give your car the same look as a higher performance car. This is a fairly inexpensive option for dressing up your Camaro. In fact, lip spoilers are often included on factory performance cars.
It does improve aerodynamics, though the effects are apparent only at high speeds.
Rear Window Spoilers
If you’re going for a lower profile but classy look, you can opt for a roofline or rear window mounted spoiler. A rear window spoiler has a subtle look that speaks volumes.
It has a low profile that extends from the roof of your car, over the rear window. This spoiler enhances looks only. It does not affect performance one way or the other.
Body Kits and Ground Effects
The purpose of a body kit is to give your Camaro a sportier profile. Body kits also help manage the airflow and downforce as you drive, ultimately improving handling and cornering
Body kits vary, though they usually include an air dam, side skirts, and a rear dam. The parts are a composite plastic designed to resist cracking or warping under high temperature. They also resist damage due to flexing.
Appreciating the Camaro Car Spoiler
Now you know the answer to the question, “What do custom car spoilers do for high-performance cars?” More than that, you know a little bit about the physics behind spoiler design.
They do have a practical function when it comes to your Camaro’s performance and handling, and it’s also ok to appreciate the aesthetics a spoiler brings to an already striking car. Let’s face it, a Camaro car spoiler is just cool. If you have any additional questions about spoilers, please contact us.