My next area of attack was on the Aerodynamics. The Mini has problematic aerodynamics to say the least. I have several areas to improve, including a front splitter, rear wing, underbody airflow, rear diffuser and other aerodynamic aids.
A couple of years ago I had a splitter on the front - mainly for aesthetics. However I noticed that although it was not really functional (i.e. you couldn't properly adjust the angle or alignment), it did have a positive impact on high-speed stability. Moreover, given the fact that most of the weight reduction has been behind the center of gravity, I knew I had to compensate for the added front downforce with a rear wing that I could similarly adjust - both in angle & height.
I was able to get both the splitter and rear wing fabricated by APR Performance. They produce real functional racing elements & were able to make customizations based upon my requests (e.g. making the rear wing 1' narrower than normal).
Here is what the splitter looked like when delivered
I wanted to mount it in such a way as to allow the bumper to "float". By building a simple aluminum bracket, I was able to create a solid structure to mount it to that was also weak enough to bend/flex if I hit something:
The bumper slides in above this bracket and two adjustable braces connect through it:
The next area of attack was the rear wing. I knew that by a proper placement of the rear wing I could also also reduce the drag on the rear end. However it is difficult to balance both goals in a single wing element. So my idea was to use a double element rear wing. Here is a link to a simple CFD simulation I ran looking at the effects of a double element rear wing:
Here's a view of it sitting on the floor:
And here's the design I came up with for the bracket to mount the rear wing:
With this arrangement I can control the vertical position, as well as the angle of the overall wing.
I'll cover the under-body and rear diffuser designs in a seperate post.