Dynamic Aero Application: Porsche Patents Rear Diffuser Technology
The dynamic rear wing on new Porsches (such as the 718 Boxster pictured above) may soon be joined by a rear diffuser that automatically deploys itself in similar fashion. That’s if a recently published patent filed by Porsche with the United States Patent and Trademark Office makes the transition from idea to reality.
According to the patent, this rear diffuser mounts to a part of the vehicle’s body (presumably the rear bumper cover) and will be activated by one or more motors. Porsche’s patent further reveals that the device is theoretically designed to be able to span either the full width of the vehicle it’s attached to or only a portion of the vehicle’s rear end. It also notes that the technology can be designed to fit vehicles with or without an internal-combustion engine.
A diffuser is an aerodynamic device used to generate downforce. It works as an expansion chamber, lowering the air pressure underneath the car by channeling it out the rear through a cavity that is largest at the tail of the car. Vertical strakes fitted to the rear of the diffuser further assist in the evacuation process. The net result of a functional rear diffuser is an increase in downforce, which helps keep the car’s rear tires firmly planted to the tarmac. Porsche isn’t the only automaker looking to employ a trick dynamic rear diffuser, either; a recent patent filing by General Motors reveals that the Chevrolet Corvette is likely to see a host of dynamic aero tricks added to its body, including a dynamic rear diffuser.
While Porsche’s dynamic rear diffuser is, as far as we know, merely a patent design at this point, we wouldn’t be surprised to see the technology make its way to a forthcoming Porsche model such as the next Cayman GT4 or even the production version of the all-electric Mission E concept. After all, the Mission E will need to walk a delicate line of EV efficiency and Porsche-worthy performance, a feat that dynamic aero technology could help achieve.