Porsche Patents Active Rear Diffuser, Calls Ferrari Equivalent ‘Cumbersome'


This isn’t just for sports cars, Porsche’s electric cars and SUVs could soon see this device as well.

We may still be decades away from cars with fully shapable bodies like the BMW GINA Light Visionary Model, but that won't stop high performance sports car manufacturers from using functional aerodynamic bits to manipulate a vehicle’s body for a better wind signature in order to get the best possible fuel economy, top speed, and downforce when necessary. Now Porsche is patenting a new active aerodynamic system to make the rear diffuser more efficient at manipulating downforce.

Filed in September of 2016, it’s taken until April of 2017 to officially publish the patent and thanks to a set of fairly detailed diagrams, we get an idea of what the automaker is getting on with. Porsche’s patent tells of a “rear-end diffuser arrangement for a motor vehicle that has at least one flap mounted on a body part of the motor vehicle so as to be movable by at least one drive device in such a way that the flap is movable from a retracted state into a deployed state and vice versa.” Such a system would not be unlike those on the rear end of the Ferrari LaFerrari, but unlike the Italian supercar, Porsche’s system is stuck to the rear end of the car and does not sit underneath the body.

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The reason why Stuttgart’s finest went with this decision is that they felt an underbody system would be cumbersome to install and integrate into the car. Once it is installed, the system effectively elongates the rear end of any given Porsche, and by that we mean not just the sports cars. A side view diagram of the device specifies that it depicts an SUV with this active aerodynamic system while the patent goes on to explain that Porsche’s upcoming electric vehicles could stand to benefit. While the diagrams don’t seem to show a massive and game changing wing, Porsche things it will “significantly improve road grip, particularly during lateral acceleration maneuvers.”

When not in use, the flap even features a concave inner shape so that it can blend into the body when it’s tucked away. Before we laud Porsche for ingenuity, we want to see this thing in action.

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