Arduino Activated Automotive Aerodynamic Apparatus Is… (Spoiler Alert!)

Sometimes a great hack is great for no other reason than that it’s fun, and [Michael Rechtin]’s DIY Active Aero Spoiler and Air Brake certainly qualifies as a fun hack. This is a mod designed to live in a world where looks are everything, stickers add horsepower, and a good sound system is more important than good wheel alignment. Why is that? Because like the switch that exists only to activate the mechanism that turns it off, the DIY Active Aero Spoiler and Air Brake seen below is almost completely useless. So to understand its allure, we must understand its inspiration.

For a few decades now, luxury sports car manufacturers have been adding active aerodynamic components to their vehicles. For example, several Porsche models feature adaptive spoilers that adjust to driving conditions. Super cars such as the Bugatti Veyron have spoilers that flip up at high angles during braking to increase drag and reduce braking distance. All of these features are sadly missing from the average two or four door family-car-turned-wannabe-track-fiend. Until now!

[Michael] has created a new active spoiler for every mall-bound muffler-challenged hand me down. The build starts with a CNC cut foam wing which is covered with fiberglass, Bondo (an automotive necessity) and some faux carbon fiber for that go-fast feel. An Arduino, IMU, two servos, and a battery pack detect deceleration and automatically increase the spoiler angle just like the big boys, but without needing any integration into the vehicles systems. Or bolts, for that matter.

It’s unlikely that the braking force is enough to slow down the vehicle though, given that it’s not enough to pop the suction cups holding it to the trunk lid. But does it have the “wow” factor that it was designed to induce? Spoiler Alert: It does!

As it turns out, this isn’t the first adjustable spoiler featured here at Hackaday, and this adjustable spoiler on a car that’s made for actual racing is quite interesting.

Thanks to [Zane] for the tip on this project!

8 thoughts on “Arduino Activated Automotive Aerodynamic Apparatus Is… (Spoiler Alert!)

  1. Suction cups, seriously? Sorry but it’s super unsafe, imagine driving behind him on a motorway and this thing detaches and hits your windshield at 70mph.

    (Yes I’m fun at parties)

    1. Think his demos were a little slower than that and didn’t get the impression he was going to leave it on the car.

      And, umm, not convinced many of the guys who make their cars go faster with stickers and an “improved” filter drive as slow as 70. But they would be brave enough to use bolts to ++ruin their cars, so it would all be OK. At least till it rains and the Arduino shorts.

      This was a pretty neat project. A few measurements of downforce using some load cells would be interesting.

      My car doesn’t need any extra drag. It’s a mini, which to my eyes seems to have all the aero of a mildly rounded brick. Hoping to fix that by getting a Landover which doesn’t go fast enough to suffer drag:)

      1. Don’t be that hard on the Landrover.

        It will be a reliable vehicle for at least 3 months. 2 minimum before ‘zero drag’ is achieved. Assuming you buy it brand new.

        You should understand, You’ve got an english/german car already.

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