Wings and Things
The Superlite factory offers two wings which require a different mount depending on if you get a race or street tail. The fiberglass wing is included with the race tail, and can be upgraded to the carbon fiber wing. The street tail can be supplemented with either wing. Prices shown are for add-ons.
|Carbon Fiber||???||Selig 1223||$2,795|
The Carbon race wing has a more much effective lift/drag ratio. The carbon fiber weave is beautiful and it would be a shame to paint it. close up carbon fiber picture:
The fiberglass wing is delivered in a black gelcoat, and can be painted, or left as is.
There are also aftermarket wings, as from APR or others. These have varying degrees of effectiveness (lift vs drag) but offer different looks. The factory wings have optional supports that fit the factory wings, but if you select an aftermarket wing, you will likely have to fabricate your own mounts, as the aftermarket wings are unlikely to have the same mounting points.
Note that the factory wing supports are engineered to transfer the forces to the chassis. If you choose another wing, make sure that you make mounts that do the same- you cannot mount the wing to the body- it must be mounted to the chassis (and not to the uprights, either, as the Chaparral Can AM team and some F1 teams learned to their regret).
Aftermarket wings also vary in width, and most of them are too narrow to fit the SL-C, as it is fairly wide. Don't make the mistake of getting a wing made for a Mustang or other relatively narrow car- measure your car where you want to mount the wing, and find wings that fit that measurement.
Mounting your Wing
The best place to mount a wing is up high, and behind the car, in order to be in clean air. Mounting the wing too low to the body, or too far forward makes it less efficient, and in some cases, worse than not having a wing at all (if the airflow over the wing is disturbed, then drag will increase and downforce can be reduced or even eliminated).
The factory wing mounts are a compromise for appearance, safety, and function. For a street car, they are ideal. For a track or race car, use the race mounts, which mount the wing farther back and higher, and also attach the wing from the top, in a gooseneck manner. Note that from an aerodynamics point of view the bottom is the most important part of the wing. For this reason the race support comes up, over, and back over the wing. You'll see this approach in other race series where it is permitted. For the street, the marginal decrease in drag isn't critical.
In any case, whether you use a factory or an aftermarket wing, be sure to consider the mounting solution ahead of time. It's a major pain to have to cut into a freshly painted body to pass wing mounts.
If you want to use the factory race mounts, you must specify that at order time, as the wing itself must be fabricated differently. You can't use a wing with bottom mounts on a race mount (because the race mounts expect the wing mount tabs to be on the other side of the wing. The factory does not do exchanges for this purpose.
If the mounts you have don't have internal bracing, you should strongly consider adding such strengthening. They can prevent wing wobble, which if excessive, can cause the wing mounts to fracture, with a loss of the wing, and with it, possibly control in a high-speed corner.
All wings on race cars have end plates. The purpose of these plates is to force air over the wing profile, instead of allowing it to spill off to the sides.
The effect of not having end plates can be calculated, but in general there is no good reason not to use them. Not having end plates will noticeably decrease the effectiveness of the wing, in addition to whatever optic effect you think it has. Here's an interesting article about the use of end plates in Formula 1.
End plates can be as simple as 1/8" aluminum that follows the wing outline, to larger ones made of carbon or fiberglass that can combine tail lights as well.
The clear recommendation is to use end plates. The factory can provide them, or you can make your own.
Care and Feeding
If you have a carbon fiber wing, you should consider spraying it with an automotive clearcoat. This protects the epoxy and underlying weave from UV damage, which is a common cause of CF failure. The wings are relatively expensive, so plan ahead.
Both the carbon fiber and fiberglass wings have leading edges that can be damaged by impacts from small rocks, debris, and other detritus found on track and on the street. The easiest way to protect the wings is to use helicopter tape. This is a strong, clear tape that is designed to protect the leading edges of helicopter blades, and it is in common use in racing circles.