9 Wild Wings

Cars that ditched rear-view vision for downforce in a big way

by LOUIS CORDONY

Final Nine Weird world of fast cars

1 1996 HSV GTS-R

Taxi yellow paintwork wasn’t the only eye-catching feature on the special edition GTS-R. Its rear wing was one of the largest ever on a factory HSV, and was there to help ‘skinny’ 235mm rear tyres tame the grunt from its blueprinted 215kW V8.

2 MERCEDES CLK GTR

We couldn’t leave the 1998 CLK GTR’s wing off this list. Just 25 of these 320km/h missiles were built, with Mark Webber doing much of the high-speed testing on German autobahns. Shame its CLR successor wasn’t tested as thoroughly...

3 ’93 PORSCHE 911 3.8RS

With Porsche hungry to dominate global GT racing in the early 90s, the 3.8RS morphed into a double-decked winged beast. Its outrageous ‘whale tail’ channeled air into its fl at-six and applied serious downforce to its rear fatties.

4 ESCORT RS ‘COSSIE’

First seen on the second-gen RS ‘Cossie’, Ford’s version of the whale tail returned higher and wider on its third-gen Escort silhouette. Built for Group A WRC, the road setup looked somewhere between outrageous and brilliant in 1994.

5 LANCER EVOLUTION VI

Featuring a bi-plane style rear wing and close to no rear vision, the ’99 Evo VI’s boot appendage was by far the most extreme of the 10 Evolutions. Its triangulated lower blade niftily matched the design theme of the car and the Mitsubishi badge.

6 FPV GT COBRA

With a huge triple-pillar wing and lairy racing stripes to distinguish itself, there was no mistaking this Falcon for anything other than the top-dog GT. It debuted FPV’s upgraded 302kW 5.4-litre Boss V8, and that was a lot of mumbo in 2007.

7 KOENIGSEGG ONE:1

Because Christian Von Koenigsegg is a rather smart bloke, he realised that stuffi ng a power station’s output into a supercar needed to be balanced by some serious aero. The One:1’s active carbon rear wing can produce 1000kg of downforce!

8 MCLAREN P1

Looking more like an art installation than a circuit tool, the P1’s rear wing relies on active tech for its trickery. Hydraulics vary the wing’s angle of attack, but in DRS mode it sits fl ush to allow the P1 to slice through the air to its maximum speed.

9 SUBARU WRX STI 22B

Big wings are synonymous with the WRX, but Subaru’s WRC homologation design ensured the limited edition 1999 22B wore a most impressive aerofoil. Being able to mechanically adjust it to three angles of attack was the party piece for track geeks.