How it all flows
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.
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.
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.
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.