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What's the Point of a Rear Spoiler?

July 14, 2019

What's the Point of a Rear Spoiler?

Have you ever asked yourself why rear spoilers or rear wings are often featured on high-performance cars and not on regular, mainstream cars? Or from a more critical standpoint, have you asked yourself what the point of a rear spoiler is in the first place?

The debate on the significance of rear spoilers has raged over several decades among car enthusiasts. Some believe that roof spoilers are only meant for race cars, while others have installed them on all their cars. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at rear spoilers, try to demystify their significance, and see what benefits they may offer.

Rear Spoiler History

Rear spoilers have been used on race cars for many years. They started getting popular among road cars in the 1960s and 1970s, when iconic cars like the 1970 Plymouth Road Runner Superbird and the 1972 BMW 3.0 CSL hit the market. Their huge rear wings were major selling points.

Today, you’ll see many cars with rear spoilers on a daily basis. Thanks to the growth of the aftermarket auto parts and accessories industry, rear spoilers are now more affordable than ever before, and available in different materials.

A Sportier Look

It is undeniable that a rear spoiler makes a car look sportier. A rear spoiler suggests that a car’s performance potential is significant — so a rear-winged car is expected to blow past all the cars on the highway. Rear spoilers make cars more noticeable, so it is likely to earn you points among your peers.

In some cases, installing an appropriately designed and sized rear spoiler can improve the resale value of a car, but not in all cases.

More Downforce

The main purpose of a rear spoiler, as originally intended, is to improve the performance of a car by generating downforce.

When a car is being driven within regular, street-legal limits, its weight is generally enough to keep its tires on the road. However, that may change at high speeds, especially in cars that do not come fitted with a chin spoiler or front splitter.

How Downforce Works

Air pressure can build up under a car when it is being driven at high speeds. That pressure can cancel out the weight benefits of the car and cause it to lift. The result is poorer road grip, stability, and cornering capability.

A rear spoiler can prevent that from happening. It does this by ‘spoiling’ the flow of air over the rear of a car. By resisting the smooth flow of the high-speed airflow over the car, a spoiler causes air pressure to build up over the rear of a car. That pressure pushes the rear of the car down and causes the tires to grip the road better.

Therefore, it’s safe to say that with an appropriate rear spoiler, your car can do a better job of cornering at high speeds than cars that don’t have rear spoilers.

Too Much or Too Little Downforce

It’s important to point out that the effect of a rear spoiler may not be felt at street-legal speeds. If you never intend to let your car loose on deserted country roads or on a track, you may not fully experience a spoiler’s benefits.

On the other side of the coin, the downforce a rear spoiler creates increases steadily with the car’s speed. It can escalate to a level that is overwhelming for a car. This is why many supercars come equipped with active rear spoilers that deploy when the car reaches a certain speed, such as at 120 km/h, but retract when the car reaches preset high-speed limits, such as at 250 km/h. 

Reducing Drag

A good spoiler can also help to reduce drag. Drag is a force that is applied onto a moving car by the incoming air. It acts in the same direction as the incoming air, and it increases as the car’s speed increases.

When drag force is high, it slows a car down, so more fuel has to be burnt to propel the car forward. An ideal rear spoiler can alter the way air flows over the rear of your car and minimize drag.

Getting the Right Kind of Spoiler for Your Car

Many people today buy aftermarket rear spoilers without checking whether the spoiler is ideal for the kind of car they have — which is wrong.

Rear spoilers, when produced the right way, are made for specific car models. The spoiler manufacturer does the required research concerning the aerodynamics of a car model. It produces rear spoilers that are in tune with the car’s specific aerodynamic needs.

A large rear wing can look good on your car but if it is not properly angled, it actually causes more drag. This can result in instability and higher fuel consumption. Be sure to only purchase a rear spoiler that is designed for your kind of car.


The rear spoilers at AusBody Works are the real deal. They are made by top-rated aftermarket body kit manufacturers that do their due diligence when designing them. Click here to check them out. At AusBody Works, we provide our customers with a great selection of high-quality and affordable ABS & Polyurethane body kits. Whether your car needs a rear spoiler or a full body kit to look its best, we’ve got what you need to mod your ride.