Awesome Car Technologies Inspired By Racing
Car technology has gone a long way. Features that were but a dream before are now a reality. Some of the most notable technologies actually came from racing car design before they were mass produced to the common cars of today. It’s because of the functionality of such features that they are finally added to common cars. As a result, they provide more convenience to drivers.
Whether it be NASCAR, Formula One, or any setup meant for street racing, the uniqueness of their technology made them distinctive from the ordinary cars in the past. Teams who get involved in car racing tend to purchase and build cars with top performance, and that also include usage and fuel-efficient features that suit the needs of the racer in order to perfectly run down the racetrack.
You can say that car racing technology has influenced production cars in terms of performance nowadays due to the added features that we have in our vehicles nowadays. From racing efficiency to convenience, those notable features were not expected at first to be perfect for common cars. Car manufacturers monitored how these race cars are made, and found that their functionality enough of a motive to include some of their features upon mass production. What made it way better is that these features made driving comfortable, and some even lessened the risk of accidents when it comes to ordinary driving.
Those features really shaped the industry of cars nowadays into a more convenient type of product that we can use in our daily lives for the sake of fast and safe transportation. You’ll be surprised on the features, especially on the ones that are now “normally used” in cars. Here are the following racing technologies that are now included to mass produced vehicles nowadays:
Let’s look on the outer part of the vehicles first – which is the appearance itself. The design of the modern cars that we have nowadays root from the past models of race cars. Note that the exterior design of cars is not just there for the sake of good looks just like what we generally thought. The exterior design of vehicles was made to help cars perform better . Whether it’s NASCAR vehicles, Formula One vehicles, or even production cars, the exterior design serves a good purpose that you will realize as helpful as you read further.
The smooth looks of the modern cars have a deep history on it. Back in the days when racing was discovered, car designers and racing crews used the wind tunnel in order to create aerodynamic shapes on vehicles to improve its versatility. They know well that extreme speeds will be used on race cars, and that’s why some developed spoilers and air dams in order to stabilize the speed of the vehicle as it runs down the road. Of course, the old spoilers too large back then which is why most manufactures decided to create spoilers in a more compact kind of form.
So if you see the exterior design as an accessory for good looks, remember that it also serves an extra-helpful functionality that makes the vehicle run at smoother speeds – not just a smooth design for the car.
The transmission is one of the basic components of cars nowadays, but little do others know that these were first installed on race cars back then.
First, let’s go to the modern transmissions that we know today. Most drivers in most countries such as the Unites States tend to use automatic transmissions as it provides easier means of driving to others compared to some race cars such as the Formula One vehicles. On the other hand, a manual transmission helps the driver control the engine power on their own preferences whenever they drive around the road. Automatic and manual transmissions have their advantages and disadvantages that fully depend on how the user is skilled with each.
Transmissions were installed in Formula One in order for the driver to control their engine power whenever they go fast or slow. Transmissions are things that we take for granted in cars nowadays, but these were not common back in the old days of driving. Direct shift gearboxes and clutchless transmissions were also known to be racing innovations back in the old day so then racers can quickly shift gears for them to focus when driving fast while monitoring their opponents.
Direct shift gearboxes, or also called as DSGs, for race cars are known to function with the use of two transmission-like parts. These are the two dials that are installed on the odd and even numbered gears, respectively. Since there are two dials installed compared to the manual transmission, shifting becomes easier done on DSGs because the racer will just go ahead and switch the gear quickly without exerting too much effort than normal transmissions. One notable feature that made this fast when shifting is the clutchless feature of the gearbox – it provides less hassle while the driver is busy when driving fast.
This concept was used in clutched manual transmissions and automatic vehicles nowadays so that the idea of engine control will be provided on all cars. They might not be as fast as using DSGs when it comes to common cars, but it provides the safety feature that common cars need when it comes to the traffic that flows on our everyday roads when switching gears. A benefit that transmissions have is that it also helps common drivers save gas since speeds are controlled with the gears installed in manual transmission cars. On the other hand, the automatic transmission is easier but is known to spend a lot of fuel.
Brakes are a very common part of the car and is also a requirement in order for the car to work properly. Without it, accidents will commonly happen since it helps the car towards a full stop during certain situations. Back then race car brakes were made so then it can make a full stop at very high speeds, but can be too risky as it causes impact inside the car. Engineers decided to create better brakes for these cars so then it can make a full stop even when under extreme speeds. Nowadays, these are now mass produced along with common cars due to its extremely helpful purpose.
During the old days, disc brakes were made in the 50s, and most racing crews prefer to have these installed in the car due to its high braking power compared to the drum brakes that were widely used in the early 1900s. Disc brakes are known to cool down easily since brakes are known to cause a lot of friction and heat when in use. When heat is applied, the braking power weakens and can cause a slipping motion on the car; thus causing accidents. Disc brakes were made in order to help heat dissipate for consistency.
Now, modern models of cars usually have disc brakes on each wheel, and are connected to the brake inside your car so then it can help you brake easily when needed be. In this modern age, a few cars have disc brakes made out of ceramic materials so then it can make lighter, yet still strong means of braking. However, it’s only installed in luxury cars since the production of the material is too expensive.
The suspension is responsible for keeping the four wheels of the car on the track, especially when the speeds reach very high. Surely, you see this as a normal part of the car as you learn the parts that made it. It helps the car remain stable in terms of structure, and the wheels get consistent performance as it keeps up with the engine’s power. This is extremely important in race cars since they tend to reach very high speeds, and the help of the suspension provides a good way to keep the wheels going just like at normal speeds.
Another nice feature that it has which is why race cars and common cars work well is due to the fact that each wheel will be able to run stable without having a problem on one of the wheels. Most race cars and common cars are known to have independent suspension which is the normal type that’s being mass produced. On the other hand, NASCAR and Formula One vehicles tend to have a different type of suspension adjustment compared to common cars.
Race cars tend to have a suspension that helps the vehicle exert more force when on the road – which is greatly needed during sudden stops and bursts of speed. If you want to make a setup on your suspension that’s the same as a race car, you have to note first that the production cars have a type of suspension setup that’s made to provide comfort when driving, and so as balance when making turns at high speeds. Surely, you know well that comfort is much needed when normally driving compared to the classic setup that racers have – which can get uncomfortable if you’re not used to it.
The safety equipment is known to be exclusive to race cars back then due to the high speeds that it can reach when on the track which is why safety features are crucial. Note that car racing focuses on speed, just a bit of reckless driving, and the fact that reaching the goal is the most important part. That fact made safety equipment very advanced in race cars even nowadays simply because utmost speeds need the finest safety feature for the sake of the driver. Gladly, these are now installed into modern cars nowadays and are commonly mass produced as part of the car.
All race cars are built with this part of the structure of the vehicle in order to protect the racer whenever they drive. For open wheel racing competitions, the vehicles are required to have a car structure made out of high-quality carbon fiber so then it can withstand most impacts – which is common when racing. In terms of NASCAR and other means of street racing, roll cages are being used as a means of absorbing impact for the vehicle.
The roll cage is a network of steel formed like a cage around the car. The concept of roll cages are used to cars but are hidden inside the carpet, doors, headliners, and most interior features which are why cars can somehow withstand impacts. Other than that, the rear view mirror is another feature in the car, and these were installed ever since the early 1900s so then racers can watch over their opponents behind them. Some common cars at that time don’t have this feature yet; nowadays, all cars obviously have this invaluable part of the car.
In cars such as Porsche, the time saver is known to be an installment that proves to be very useful. This is the round button that says “Start Stop Engine” on the side of the steering wheel. This feature has been there ever since the good old days of Porsche race cars.
During a race, even a split second is extremely important. With the help of the left ignition installed as a button, drivers will be able to start the car while shifting without much effort. It’s so useful as they can get back on track with ease – to the point where they catch up even on the racer that’s in the first place. A some cars that are mass produced nowadays have this technology where all you need to do is to push the button to start or stop it.
Since this is discovered today, there are some manufacturers who even made variations of the time saver. BMW is known to have a safety feature where you need to place the key first before pushing the button to make it work. Some even have an electronic time saver that’s programmed to the car for it to start with the use of a fob. The fob can also help the user unlock all doors instantly upon starting the car. It works once the fob is detected by the program in the car so then the button can be pushed for it to start. The time saver is common to modern sports cars nowadays.
Engines are in need of breathing properly in order to prevent overheating, and at the same time provide the right performance that it’s meant to have. Just like how we run, breathing is needed in order for us to perform well and also in momentum. Car engines use combustion in order for it to work, and that’s why it needs air so then it won’t stop all of a sudden, or even overheat towards damaging it. Air intakes for the engine are the reason why race cars have this because the combustion rate is very high when reaching high speeds, and that can burn the vehicle without this safety feature.
The engine will be at their top performance if there is an air intake present in the car, and it will perform much better when it takes in cold air. Cold air tends to thicken the combination of air and fuel inside the engine as the machine burns gas, and it helps the car get the energy that it needs when running. Now, you know well why most cars don’t flame up even when at top speeds where the engine starts to sound very loud.
This feature was improved further by car manufacturers for production cars through the means of the ram air intakes and the superchargers. At first, the ram air intake is commonly installed in NASCAR race cars and Formula One vehicles; where the superchargers are banned in order to provide a fair competition. On the other hand, drag racers tend to use these superchargers due to the fact that they run on a straight line – where more and more speed is the only thing needed until they reach the finish line. These two notable features in race cars were finally added by manufacturers to help modern cars run properly without overheating the engine, especially during hot days where traffic can happen.
However, not all production cars have the superchargers and ram air intakes since these were only provided as a product meant for setups. Therefore, car manufactures developed a different kind of strategy where they will be able to place the aspect of air intakes to production cars. You will be able to notice the air intake feature on the nostril-like part on the hood of the cars. These are also called as hood scoops, and they tend to allow cold air to reach into the engine – which is located inside the hood itself. Just like what it provides to race cars, it helps production cars experience better performance as it cools the engine while running.
One of the factors why race cars tend to have amazing track times and top speeds is due to its lightweight quality. Just like how our bodies are, we will tend to run faster if we’re light compared to a person with a large amount of weight. Racing crews tend to create vehicles made out of lightweight materials during times where one person is only involved or where a full interior is not necessary. Race car designers tend to use light materials in order to help cars run very fast along with their top-performing engines.
However, you have to remember that not all parts of the race cars need to have lightweight materials all over it since it’s impossible. Race cars tend to operate under stressful circumstances due to the speeds and force that it exerts which is why durability is also an inclusion aside from being lightweight. If this is not followed, this will tear the material of the car under very high speeds.
This is why carbon fiber materials were made so then it can provide lightweight quality for the car, and at the same time assure that it will never tear down once the car reaches high speeds. Carbon fiber is known to be extremely light, and can last for a lot of years. Due to its quality, fuel efficiency is instantly provided to the driver whenever they use their vehicles since speed is not hindered by weight anymore. The only disadvantage of having a carbon fiber installed in cars is the fact that it can cost a lot of money.
This is quite common in production cars as an aftermarket product to provide good looks to the vehicle. There are lots of car enthusiasts that love the looks of carbon fiber because of the design that it provides while some of them know well that it serves an even greater function than just aesthetics.
For other materials that provide lightweight quality, aluminum is one of the best materials that racing teams can use for their race cars. This is often used for in order to provide engine block for the vehicle. Aluminum engine blocks are being made for this purpose, and nowadays, there are some production cars that are using this material nowadays.
Some owners of production cars tend to use this not for making the engine lightweight, but for exterior purposes as well. Aluminum metals for cars are less expensive than carbon fiber, and still provide the same lightweight quality and durability just like the latter. As a result, a lot of car owners prefer to use aluminum on their cars instead so then they can focus on spending more money for other useful setups. Aluminum doesn’t only lighten the car but also improved fuel economy without affecting the performance of the car.
If you notice these car features, you will really see them as a common part or addition of the car. Now that you’ve finally learned a lot from these parts, you will now realize that they have their fair share of history from racing. Racing is known to be carefully studied since it’s dangerous, and it needs a strict guideline when it comes to car designs and performance so then it can perform well for the purpose of reaching finish lines fast. Gladly, there are some experts who researched how race cars are more advanced than the common ones. In this way, they can derive and/or adapt the technology in order to help others experience a better means of efficient driving – not just a means to drive like a real racer.