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Rear spoiler details?

Are there photos online of the Performance Model S with and without the spoiler option? Is there any difference to the handling or range of the Model S with and without the spoiler?

Re photos, simply configure a non-Performance version to see the difference. There are no other visible differences (besides trim color) between Performance and standard versions.

No info yet on the potential impact on handling or range.

Any more news on the pros/cons of the spoiler? Am playing with the new Design Studio and the option is carbon fiber spoiler or no spoiler at all - but no indication of why/why not.

Thoughts anyone?

If it is not purely decorative you get less range, but better handling at high speeds.

To me, the spoiler seems far too small to be anything but purely decorative. To actually have a positive effect on handling, it should be much larger and, first of all, should be placed on top of the trunk lid rather than being part of it, to allow air flow above *and* below the spoiler.

On the downside, it will increase the Cd value in any case, and thus reduce range, but the effect may be negligible.

Depending of the design even small spoiler can have surprisingly big effect on downforce. OTOH even big one might not have desired effect if it just "stalls" all of time. I have to agree though that that small spoiler wont have huge difference. Some but not much.

From what I've seen, small well designed rear spoilers can detach the airflow from a rounded trunk edge and change drag by a few percent. I vaguely remember that Nissan Maximas from a few years back listed two Cds, one with the spoiler and one without, the one without was higher.

Peter

I would like to hear if the spoiler is a Kamm effect spoiler or a downdraft spoiler. If it's the Kamm effect, then it's worth getting.

It looks like it might have the Kamm effect, but I'm no expert.

We are getting Model S signature #91, performance, white, black interior, carbon fibre trim, all options except rear seat. My wife, who's not into performance per se actually likes the spoiler. For its looks. So, the only comment I can offer is that the spoiler only looks good on the white or silver car. With black or red, it might not as well be there ... From an appearances point of view.

FWIW.

Hope to get the car before the end of July.

Hope. Hope. Hope!

What material is it made from?
Does it look plastic/cheap add on?

When I placed my order, the girl on the phone said the spoiler was purely decorative and had no effect on the car itself.

It's nice black carbon fibre, along with other such bits on the exterior (e.g., under the nose of the car).

From what I've seen, small well designed rear spoilers can detach the airflow from a rounded trunk edge and change drag by a few percent. I vaguely remember that Nissan Maximas from a few years back listed two Cds, one with the spoiler and one without, the one without was higher. (Peter7)

Very interesting. Aerodynamics are always good for unexpected effects... would like to learn more! If someone knows a good website, maybe you could post it here.

My assumption was that it had some function because it detracts from the lines of the car.

From my knoledge of this vehicle, the rear spolier is purely cosmetic, because the low weight to ground balance on the S will keep it grounded at high speeds better than every car on the market. Thus, no special down-force is needed to keep it grounded.

@TikiMan: what are you talking about? Weight to ground balance?

- From my knoledge of this vehicle, the rear spolier is purely cosmetic

I sure hope not, because it really looks tacky--like something an econobox puts on to make a "sport" version.

Mark, maybe that wan't the best way to say it.

This explains it better...

"When combined with the body structure, the pack contributes to the overall torsional stiffness, providing an unparalleled stiffness-to-weight ratio amongst production vehicles. The pack integration augments the strength of the passenger cabin, endowing Model S with superior safety. The pack improves underbelly and wheel well aerodynamics and lowers the center of gravity for better handling."

TikiMan, it's true that thanks to the weight and position of the battery pack (and the lack of other heavy weight components such as engine and multi-gear gear box) the Model S' center of gravity is lower than that of any other car in its class, and on par with race cars. However, this does not make aerodynamic down force obsolete.

For illustration, let's look at an F1 car. Its center of gravity isn't any higher than that of the Model S, and its down force can be tuned and adjusted in a wide range to accommodate for different race tracks. Aerodynamic down force on an F1 car can be strong enough to theoretically press the entire car onto the ceiling upside down, at surprisingly low speeds (you can google for the precise numbers). The "theoretical" part in the previous sentence is due to the fact that the ICE and its aggregates wouldn't work upside down (not for long, anyway), but with an electrical F1 car it could actually work in practice.

My message is: You cannot ever have "enough" down force for tight cornering at high speeds. More down force will always allow for even tighter cornering at even higher speeds. Aerodynamic down force on cars optimized for high-speed cornering can exceed the weight of the entire vehicle. There is certainly some effect of a low CoG, but it cannot replace aerodynamic down force.

Unfortunately, down force always implies more aerodynamic drag, which is why F1 cars can have Cd values in the order of 1.0 (remember, the Model S has something around 0.22 or 0.23 without the optional spoiler). Energy never comes for free, and that's also true for down force, i.e., a spoiler that generates down force would necessarily impact range.

On the other hand, the spoiler on the Model S may actually reduce the Cd value by optimizing aerodynamic flow around the car (as suggested by Peter7 above). In this case, the spoiler would be beneficial for the range, but it will not generate any down force. You cannot create down force and save energy at the same time.

More discussion on aerodynamics:
http://www.teslamotors.com/forum/forums/aerodynamics

You cannot create down force and save energy at the same time.
...unless that energy comes from a source otherwise lost.

Like getting Kamm effect, but also added downforce which equals +- zero change in Cd. Not likely, but possible.

I wonder when we get to point where we are technically advanced enough that we can tell mass directly to go some direction at some speed by changing its energy state bypassing these crude chemical and physical methods. Possibly never.

Timo;
I guess it depends on what you mean by "tell". And how to get the mass to listen.
;)

Volker,

Thanks for the further details. It would be nice to know the spoiler on the S isn't just for looks, unlike all those massive aftermarket wing spoilers you see bolted onto 95 HP Honda's.

According to the product specialist I spoke to getting my final questions answered before finalizing my order, the carbon fiber spoiler is purely cosmetic and has no effect on Cd, handling or range.

In the design studio I preferred the look without the spoiler, at least on a sig red car. Watching the video of the first delivery convinced me it actually looks pretty sharp in real life, so I'm going for it.


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