Air Travel

How it all flows

Motor (Australia) - - GEEK SPEAK -

LIFE’S A DRAG

In Strada mode all flaps open at 70km/h to re­duce drag and re­main open un­til 310km/h at which points the front flaps close to in­crease front down­force and sta­bil­ity at high speed. In Sport all flaps once again open at 70km/h but close at 180km/h for high-speed cor­ner­ing sta­bil­ity, only for the rear flaps to open again at 310km/h to re­duce drag when ap­proach­ing V-max.

HUN­KERED DOWN

Corsa mode is where ALA proves its worth. Be­tween 70-310km/h the three elec­tric mo­tors ad­just the flaps to im­prove weight distri­bu­tion, trac­tion and re­duce the re­quired steer­ing an­gle. On a straight all flaps are open to keep drag to a min­i­mum. While the more pow­er­ful Aven­ta­dor SV was able to hit higher out­right speeds dur­ing its Nur­bur­gring lap, the Per­for­mante’s abil­ity to shed drag al­lowed it to reach its lower top speed quicker, im­prov­ing its lap time.

STOP­PING POWER

As soon as the brakes are ap­plied all flaps snap shut to pro­vide max­i­mum down­force across all four tyres. In cor­ners the rear flap on the in­side of the car – for ex­am­ple, on the left-hand side of the car in a left-hand cor­ner – closes to pro­vide more down­force and grip to the un­loaded tyres. This might sound counter-in­tu­itive, but it’s about evenly spread­ing cor­ner­ing load across all four tyres rather than adding more pres­sure to the al­ready heav­ily-stressed outer tyres.

HID­DEN SE­CRETS

Un­like on the Pa­gani, this process hap­pens out of sight in the ducts ahead of the Per­for­mante’s rear wing, but ev­ery time you turn the steer­ing wheel those rear flaps are mov­ing to ma­nip­u­late the air flow and keep you stuck to the ground.

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