SPOILER ALERT: Top 15 Greatest Rear Wings
I'm afraid to say that this blog contains massive spoilers - but whatever you do, don't look away.
This blog must be delivered with a clear warning, as it contains massive spoilers. But rather than covering your ears and shutting your eyes in an effort to avoid ruination, you should read on, because in this blog, I'll be compiling a list of the top 15 greatest wings ever fitted to production cars. I know – I'm excited too! But, as is the way with these top 15 lists, I first must write a few patronising prerequisites.
The business of deciding what the greatest rear wings ever are is, of course, a subjective affair. I don't expect everyone to agree with me, and in fact, I welcome opposing viewpoints and opinions – as long as the people responsible for those opinions don't have it in their mind that they are right and everybody else is wrong. Even if you are the sort that is capable of that special level of arrogance, you'll have already scrolled down to the bottom and may be typing angrily with CAPS LOCK ON without reading a word.
It's also worth mentioning that only production cars qualify for this list – so no aftermarket, Halfords nonsense, or crazy Pikes Peak racers. Whether the spoilers I have included have earned a place through being beautiful, crazy, or perhaps even both, these are what are to me the greatest rear wings ever fitted to production cars.
So, with that bit of housekeeping out of the way, let the countdown commence...
15: PLymouth Superbird
Arguably, the most recognisable rear wing that's ever come out of America – which is hardly surprising, given that the word "Superbird" is Latin for "the one with the big wing" (in my mind).
In all seriousness though, the Superbird's legendarily tall rear wing was the result of Nascar homologation rules at the time of its birth. I say, thank the automotive gods for bringing some entertainment to the often dull topic of homologation.
14: Toyota GT86 Aero
Credit: Auto Evolution
The Aero package for the Toyota GT86 is purely aesthetic, and thank heaven for that; nothing should be allowed to mature the tail-happy nature of this wonderful Sports Car.
You see the wing, and it immediately makes you think the car can reach a million – and that's what it's all about: invoking those childish emotions in people. That's the impact a crazy rear wing has – and this one is available on an obtainable machine, unlike our next entry...
13: Aston Martin Vantage GT12
Does the Vantage lose any beauty in inheriting styling traits from a racing car? Through my eyes, yes! But it's still a stunner.
Unlike the standard V8 Vantage which showcases beauty and grace, the GT12 showcases beauty and vengeance – like Margot Robbie wielding a pair of machine guns. And it's all accentuated by its peach of a rear wing.
12: BMW E9 CSL "Batmobile"
The E9 BMW CSL was a homologation special that carried with it the nickname "Batmobile", and it's not difficult to see why.
The rear wing was the cherry on top of the body's striking cake – if that is, the owner fitted it. Due to the fact that the car's wing was illegal to be used in its native Germany, all CSLs were shipped from the factory with the wing in the boot; installation was left to the buyer.
11: Honda Civic Type R (EK8)
The new Honda Civic Type R – the EK8 – is the front-wheel drive Nurburgring record holder, being able to lap the green hell in 7:43.8. And if that time wasn't enough to affirm its hyper-hatch status beyond all doubt, the look of the thing definitely does.
Credit: Car & Driver
The rear wing practically screams excitement – along with "I hope you're not fond of rear visibility". It is unlike anything I've ever seen on a production hatch before, with the design of the rear of the car helping it to outclass the craziness of even the old gen FK2 Type R.
10: Lamborghini Huracan Performante
While the Huracan's rear wing might not appear to be the craziest or the most noteworthy in terms of the way it looks, the way it works definitely makes it worthy of appearing on this list.
The wing itself is hollow, with air running up the supporting columns, through the wing, and out of a vent underneath. Due to the fact that air can be directed down each column independently, the Performante has a startlingly effective active-aero system that was partly responsible for its Nurburgring time of 6:51.
9: Porsche 991.1 GT3RS
Track-honed 911s are known for displaying their rear wings high, with pride – but the 991.1 GT3 RS takes that principal to a whole new level. It's an astonishingly large wing that you can't help but be drawn in by. Speaking of which...
8: Dodge Viper ACR
Credit: Motor Trend
Some say "it's not size that matters – it's what you do with it", but the Viper ACR manages to have both of those boxes ticked.
Credit: Motor Trend
Not only is the wing antisocially large, it's also massively functional. It creates 1 tonne of downforce at 177mph, which is precisely when the car's 645bhp can't make it accelerate any further – purely because of that monstrous rear wing.
7: Lamborghini Countach
Credit: Supercar Club Global
The Countach without its wing is like the Statue of Liberty without her torch. But believe it or not, when the Countach first arrived, the now signature rear wing was not included. In fact, if it had been completely up to Lamborghini, the car would never have been given a rear wing.
Credit: Nomana Bakes
The story of the Countach's spoiler begins with a man called Walter Wolf, who owned the now defunct F1 team Walter Wolf Racing. One day, he decided to put an F1 car's wing on a Countach 400S – which garnered much appraisal, particularly from the producer of Hollywood film Cannonball Run, who immediately decided that it was the car he was going to use in his film.
But when he approached Lamborghini, he was rather disheartened to find out that the wing he'd seen had been put on by a customer, and wasn't an option from the factory. He managed to convince them to make a wing for his car – but as soon as potential customers saw the newly winged-Countach in the movie, everyone wanted the car with a wing.
Credit: H. R. Owen
Due to this demand, Lamborghini were therefore forced to set up a specific factory dedicated to producing Countach wings. It was purely an aesthetic accoutrement; designed to do nothing, as if it were to generate downforce, if would exacerbate the Countach's inherent light front end at speed. All it does is slow the top speed down by around 15mph – but it looks so damn good, it's a price worth paying.
6: Pagani Huayra BC
Credit: Speed Hunters
The Pagani Huayra BC isn't so much a hypercar as a means of diagnosing a mental disorder for the designer. It is arguably the most deliciously insane looking thing ever put onto road-legal wheels.
In accustom with all the madness, sits a rear spoiler unlike anything you'll see on any other car. Not only is it big and proud, it sweeps backwards like it's clinging on for dear life at the speed the car is capable of.
5: McLaren P1
I recall the first time I saw the back end of the McLaren P1, and thinking that the time we all once referred to as "the future" was here. That time however is now in the past – but there's still nothing remotely past-like about the McLaren's sensational rear wing.
Capable of developing 1323lbs (600kg) of downforce, the wing has to retract completely flush to the body at 156mph; otherwise, the suspension would shatter under the weight of the air it's capable of forcing down on the back end. But more than just the functionality, the P1's spoiler looks like it was sculpted using witchcraft, rather than built using science. It is a feature of the car you cannot help but be hypnotised by.
4: Lamborghini Veneno
I've stated in the past that I think the Lamborghini Veneno is one of the ugliest cars ever made (9th ugliest, to be precise) - and that is a viewpoint I stand by.
If you isolate the rear wing of this car however, and strip it away from the screwed up body, it is a wonderful piece of craziness. I guess then you could liken the car to a chicken: the body's hideous – but the wing's magnificent!
3: Pagani Zonda 760RS
It's hard to believe that the Pagani Zonda started out with a mere 355bhp, and evolved into one of the most phenomenal hypercars ever made: no example more astonishing than the 760RS.
The most insane aesthetic element of the mightily insane 760RS has the be the rear wing, that reaches beyond the width of the car. Attached to the back end with 3 elegant and simple struts, it almost appears to be floating.
2: Koenigsegg Agera RS
I find Koenigsegg and Pagani to be the purveyors of insanity in the modern automotive realm, with very little reaching beyond the madness of the Agera RS. And whilst it is clearly decorated with sheer lunacy from head to toe, the rear spoiler is the centrepiece to it all.
While it is an item of pure craziness, there is also an elegance there. The wing is shaped to follow the lines of the car's hips, and at the edges, it drips down the sides – much like I am looking at it – like it's melting. It is one of the most staggering rear wings ever fitted to a production car – but as it sits at No2 in this list, it isn't the most staggering. But before I get to revealing my No1 pick, I must also list some other great wings that very nearly made the cut...
Ford Escort RS Cosworth
Credit: Graypaul Classic Cars
Mercedes 190E 2.5 16V Evo-II
Subaru WRX STi
Ford Shelby Mustang GT350R
1: Koenigsegg One:1
I know – I perhaps shouldn't have placed Koenigseggs in both 2nd and 1st place. But the moment you set eyes on the One:1's rear spoiler, you're abundantly aware that Koenigsegg are the undisputed kings of the wing.
Everything from the way it's attached to the body, to the glorious shape, and the way you can peer through it. There isn't a single detail that gives you taste buds a break, and helps suppress the dehydrating amounts of drooling it invokes.
Know I what to know: what are your favourite wings? Let me know in the comments!
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Written by: Angelo Uccello
Tribe: Speed Machines
Facebook: Speed Machines - DriveTribe