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Spoilers Spoil Good Design - Agree or Disagree?

24

Comments

  • lancerfixerlancerfixer Posts: 1,308
    In the local paper there has sat for quite some time now an '87 190E "custom" (read: two-tone paint and F40-looking wing) for an asking price of $5k. Can't figure out why it's not moving... :confuse:
  • fintailfintail Posts: 34,297
    bahahaha...not factory two tone I am guessing...doesn't sound pretty

    There was actually an "Evo" 190 in the early 90s that had a big silly spoiler

    image
  • lancerfixerlancerfixer Posts: 1,308
    ...what is THAT monstrosity? That looks like the wing, but from the photo in the paper there are no fender extensions.
  • In some motorsports there is/was a requirement for the cars in the race to be actually in-production cars and look for the most part the same. The World Rally Championship I believe has dropped this requirement now, but the Evo, Impreza, Celica, Focus and Audi Quattro are a few examples that have had variants created on the road for this sport. All have or have had what could be considered ridiculous looking (usually equates to huge) spoilers and other excessive body work, which are functional for the sport and are pointless/ridiculous on the much slower (legal) road use.
  • The Mercedes 190E "Evolution II". A means for Mercedes-Benz entering the German Touring car Championship in the mid Nineties. Yet again an example of function over form.
  • 1racefan1racefan Posts: 932
    "I think generally spoilers work better on smaller cars"

    I would tend to agree, however IMO, one exception to this train of thought was mid/late 90's Impala SS. That was a pretty big car, and I think that the spoiler, and the mono-chromatic paint scheme on the car in general all worked well. I hated the regular Caprice version of that car, but I thought the whole package seemed to work well on the Impala SS (the exterior that is - not too fond of the interior).
    My wife's grandmother (at 85 yrs old), just bought a new Mazda 3 sedan. It is bright blue, and has the spoiler. The spoiler looks good on it too (IMO). Over the weekend, her grandmother told us, "That car is pretty peppy - I know why they have Zoom Zoom written all over the owner's manual." LOL
  • fintailfintail Posts: 34,297
    Yep, the 190 is an Evo II. The spoiler is OK on a genuine tuned car...maybe not so much on an otherwise stock 6cyl car. The 190 has just enough angularity at the rear where a small spoiler looks OK...and quite a few had it. But bigger MB tend to look kinda bad with spoilers, esp sedans.

    I can agree with the Impala...it at least had something under the hood to back up the looks.

    That Mazda 3 granny sounds pretty cool.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,141
    that the 1969 Charger Daytona and the 1970 Plymouth Superbird (the cars with the big nose cone and the mammoth wing on the back) had a drag coefficient of around 0.30. That's actually pretty good by today's standards (and Intrepid is 0.30, and most mass-produced family cars don't get much better than that these days). I have no idea what the drag coefficient of a stock Charger or Roadrunner from '69-70 would be, but I'd guess somewhere in the high 0.5X range, if not worse. The '77 Cougar had gone through intensive wind tunnel testing, and it was still a 0.58 or so, so I'd imagine an old Mopar B-body might be worse!
  • 1racefan1racefan Posts: 932
    is that on certain vehicles the spoiler really cuts down on rear visibility (when backing up and looking out the back window, or when looking through the rear view mirror). Especially on cars that have a steep rake to the back window to begin with, and then a spoiler is placed on the deck lid, it really makes rear visibility hard sometimes.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,956
    Didn't Jim Hall and the Chapparal race car kind of start the spoiler thing? I remember he had invented the type that was adjustable. He could crank it up and down and gave everyone fits on the track. Interesting man...he was always inventing things that worked, and the race officials were always banning his inventions the minute he cleaned up the track. He also invented the "sucker car" once they banned his wings----big fans under the car created downforce---what a giften madman he was!

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  • gsemikegsemike Long Island, NYPosts: 1,788
    I'm 36 and say that it depends on the car. I currently drive an Altima and don't have the spoiler. With such a raked bodyline in the first place, I don't think that it adds anything. There is another Alt in my area and the only option he has is the spoiler. This is a 4 cyl base model with plastic hubcaps. I always think, if you're only going to check one box, why would it be for the spoiler which I beleive is $795.

    Way back, I had an 89 Camaro. Now, 99% of the gen f-body had a spoiler and for good reason, without it, the rear looked unfinished. It was kind of like the trunk just dropped off. Mine had the unpillared, 3 piece spoiler which was the most subtle that they ever put on the car and the best looking.

    Prior to the Camaro, I had an 85 Regal that I did adorn with a wing. We're going back to 90, so it's not like spoilers are a phenom of the last few years. Even before then, I had a 70 Chevelle. I had the good sense not to put a spoiler on that, but more than I dude implored me to do it.
  • chevygirlchevygirl Posts: 18
    I don't like spoilers on economy cars, like Cavaliers and Sunfires. Too poseriffic. Save them for the 'Birds, the Camaros, and the "Vettes.
    Chevy Girl
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    ...my dream car was a convertible with wide whitewall tires, fender skirts, a "tire in the back" (continental kit), and dual angled antennas on the rear quarter panels (no fuzzy dice, though). This was back in the late 50s.

    Aren't spoilers today's versions of those gee-gaws? ;)
  • gsemikegsemike Long Island, NYPosts: 1,788
    I started driving in 85 and even back then, spoilers were available on all sorts of cars. They weren't as common as today, but it wasn't unusual to see one a Cavalier. I just don't by that spoilers are a new fad. They've been around forever.
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    Whitewall tires were around an awfully long time too, but that doesn't mean they were tasteful! Vinyl roofs had a pretty long run as well (about 20 years). I still think spoilers look absurd on econo and family cars.
  • danf1danf1 Posts: 935
    I had a TT. It was a 2000 model year without the spoiler. Every time I took it in for service (I know, Audis never need service) they would try to talk me into putting the spoiler on. It was an open recall and would have been done for free, but the car looked so good without it I wouldn't let them do it. I don't typically drive in excess of 100mph so I wasn't to concerned with safety. Maybe if I spent a lot of time on the Autobahn, but why screw up a beautiful design with an engineering afterthought?
  • seminole_kevseminole_kev Posts: 1,722
    I can understand that. That little spoiler really did disrupt the looks of the TT.
  • kmagkmag Posts: 98
    When I was growing up in the early 70s, performance styling accessories were popular add-ons or factory options. The black painted hood, hood scoops, real or fake, wide dual stripes down the hood and over the body, the jacked up rear end. I'd see cars like Pintos and Valiants and Ramblers and other pedestrian vehicles on the street with this stuff, even wheelie bars, as if any street car would ever really need them.

    Most of that I thought was pretty cool stuff. But I grew out of that phase.

    The spoilers that look like obvious add-ons are the modern day versions of all that stuff. You know the ones, that look like they were built from a giant Erector set.
  • logic1logic1 Posts: 2,433
    I guess I was always a Miesian at heart.

    All my High School chums in the early 80s were going the tack on route. I thought it looked dopey.

    My unadorned, beige 66 Chevy Biscayne caught the eye of more than one of the artistic outsider lasses at my school. Good enough for me! :)
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 31,090
    The TT, Boxster, 911.. all have functional spoilers.. Personally, I'd like them better without them.. perhaps they are functional because of some flaw in the basic design?

    Some other cars just have cosmetic design flaws that are much improved by a spoiler.. Now, I'd rather just not buy a car like that, but if for some reason I did, I see nothing wrong with adding that piece of plastic... The Honda Accord sedan comes to mind.. A very nice car that I just can't stomach from the rear-view.. If I got one, I'd at least add that little lip spoiler to it..

    When I was younger, my dream car was a 911 (wait.. it still is)... I always liked the ones without the whaletail.. However, when I finally found the right one for the right price, it had one... And, the kicker... the guy I bought it from, bought it without one.. then had it added, because he didn't like it without it..

    Of course, once I owned one with a whaletail, I learned that they were much cooler... :P

    regards,
    kyfdx

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  • oregonboyoregonboy Posts: 1,653
    If one adds a spoiler to the trunk lid, doesn't that overload the counter balance springs? I would expect that a factory (or even dealer) installer spoiler would include stronger trunk-lid springs.

    Do-it-yourselfers could always use a piece of broomstick to prop the lid open. :P

    james
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 31,090
    I had a '97 Accord that came with a dealer-installed spoiler.. part of a special package with the CD changer and gold emblems (still got those in the original packaging, if anyone wants them.. never installed...lol)..

    Indeed, the dealer also installed upgraded springs/struts along with the spoiler.. the spoiler was fairly heavy...

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  • lancerfixerlancerfixer Posts: 1,308
    I can't speak for other cars, but the Volvo S70 parts catalog has separate trunk shocks for cars with and without spoilers.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,332
    "...The only garish features are the silly spoiler stuck to the trunks of all models..."

    I wonder if the spoiler is a delete item. I understand it's not on the Cobalt SS, but one of the '06 Impalas pictured in the report didn't have the spoiler, suggesting that it may be deletable.

    I think the new Impala looks better than either the Accord or Camry.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,141
    I think the Impala cleaned up very nicely for 2006. And it appears to be much better assembled, and with higher-quality materials too. My only criticism is that the car looks more generic, somehow. If nothing else, the '00-05 Impala LOOKED like a Chevy! For better or worse. But with the '06 model, the front end makes me think of a cross between a Honda Accord and a Chrysler Sebring. From the rear it just has those universal generic taillights, roughly triangular in shape, that are on EVERYTHING these days! And in profile, I don't know how they managed to do this, because I don't think they changed the actual greenhouse much, but it makes me think a bit of a Ford 500!

    The spoiler doesn't bother me though. I can take it or leave it, but it wouldn't be a deal breaker for me. Y'know, if it weren't for the Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger being out, I would actually consider an Impala for my next car!
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 6,067
    Over the last week on my trip, I saw a variety of spoilers on cars, including one that looked more like a giant tray from an infant's high chair. All it needed were a couple of bar stools that you'd pull out of the trunk and they could have served you dinner on it... including space for a centerpiece! :)

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  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,332
    "I think the Impala cleaned up very nicely for 2006." I agree.

    " My only criticism is that the car looks more generic, somehow... From the rear it just has those universal generic taillights..." The generic thing could have easily been solved, from the back view, at least, by retaining Chevy's signature round tail lights. I wouldn't be surprised if they brought back the round tail lights in the next redesign, if not sooner.
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Posts: 5,713
    decided that a large, unbecoming spoiler would wreck the new-world order Eclipse's looks.

    image

    I tend to agree with them-they did a fine job with it and kept the wonderful orange color that the concept car carried so well. I prefer the looks of the concept better but I like the actual production model almost as much.

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Posts: 5,713
    on this new '06 Chevy Aveo sedan, built by Chinese labor, does nothing to spoil the beauty of it's design. Of course, we'd need the straight-on rear view and maybe the side view as well to really decide how it looks, but I think it looks pretty good in a toned-down sort of a way.

    image

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  • carlisimocarlisimo Posts: 1,280
    I thought the Cobalt SS spoiler looked great from that angle. But when you look at tall sedans from behind, the spoiler usually becomes more awkward. It certainly does on the big-butt Cobalt coupe.
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