Do you like rear spoilers on a Corvette because of the way they look, or the way they function? The answer may depend upon how fast you're going. Though the rear spoiler has become one of the Vette's most noticeable attributes, it serves a scientific and safety-minded purpose, too.
According to the applied laws of aerodynamics, while you drive, air is forced over the rear spoiler, creating downforce upon your car's rear end. This downforce transfers to the rear tires and allows them to have a stronger grip upon the road. The faster you're going, the more downforce is created. That's why a spoiler or wing is just good-looking at 30 mph, but critical to your car's handling at 130 mph.
This month, we're bringing you our "Official Guide to Corvette Rear Wings and Spoilers." Advanced technologies allow aftermarket companies to manufacture these products using a variety of materials and methods-carbon-fiber, resin-transfer molds, fiberglass, and more. In addition to great style and looks, many of them will offer you dramatic improvements in downforce and stability, as compared with the OE piece.
Because choosing a rear-deck spoiler for your Corvette is a personal choice, we didn't favor one of these manufacturers over the others. Instead, we listed them all and allowed them to state their case. All that's left is for you to decide which of them is right for your car.
Advanced Composite Products, Inc. (ACP)
Brief description: The C5 World Challenge 1-inch spoiler was designed in conjunction with GM Motorsports to meet the SCCA World Challenge "rules for the moment," which allowed a rear spoiler to help "trip" the air off the back of the car without causing a great amount of drag. It worked exactly the way it was supposed to and was included in the ground-effects kit offered by GM Performance Parts. (While the spoiler was eventually replaced with a wing, the SCCA failed to remove the spoiler from the rule books, so it was quickly learned that using both the wing and the spoiler increased the flow of the air under the wing and gave even better downforce.)
The C5 World Challenge wing provides even better aero balance and tuneability for the Corvette. The wing is made from carbon-fiber and is built using an autoclave, along with a vacuum-bag-molding process. It comes with mounting brackets integral to the wing body. There is a separate chassis-mounting kit available, which mounts the wing to the rear-chassis crossmember. With this wing-along with the front splitter, undertray, and vented hood-you will have a very broad range of tuning capability.
If you want a wing for looks and not performance, our C5 deck-mounted unit may be the best-looking one on the market. It can be ordered in fiberglass or clear carbon, and mounts on the deck with specially designed brackets that do not require drilling. This wing has not been tested in the wind tunnel, so we won't make any performance claims . . . but it does look good!
Our C6 rear spoiler (21/2 inches high) is designed to trip the air off the back of the car. The clear carbon version is built using an autoclave for maximum strength and minimum weight. It is also available in fiberglass. (A C6 4-inch spoiler is currently being built and will be available after March 30.)
The C6 World Challenge 72-inch carbon-fiber wing is the ultimate Corvette wing. It's built using data developed for the Corvette Racing C6.R and has been resized to work with the World Challenge aero and engine package. It outperforms the C5 wing by producing less drag and more downforce, along with a wider range of tuneability, when used with our front splitter, undertray, and louvered hood. It comes with mounting brackets integral to the wing body. There's a separate chassis mounting kit available, which mounts the wing to the rear-chassis crossmember.
Trademark features: Quality parts, wind-tunnel tested, designed by racers for racers!
Quote from company: "Parts that fit. Parts that function. Built in the USA with materials made in the USA."
American Custom Industries
Brief description: American Custom Industries offers a variety of custom rear spoilers for '68-present Corvettes. These fiberglass spoilers range from the most subtle in styling to some of the more radical designs on the market today. Our proven hand-lamination process allows us to provide uniform thickness throughout our parts, resulting in the consistent quality and durable construction off of which we have built our reputation.
Trademark features: Since 1968, American Custom Industries (ACI) has strived to design and manufacture the best fiberglass Corvette parts in the world. All of our molds and parts are prototyped and developed by ACI in our in-house R&D department. All of our parts are manufactured on site from the highest-quality materials to provide our customers with the best product available. All products are hand-laminated by skilled professionals and inspected to ensure they will meet the expectations of our customers.
Quote from company: "Styling with attitude!"
APR Performance Inc.
Brief description: Our Corvette rear-deck spoiler can be used alone or in conjunction with other aerodynamic components to improve the overall efficiency of your vehicle's aero package. Its benefits include reducing rear end lift, increasing downforce, and reducing drag when used with other aero components (i.e., rear wing, rear diffuser, and so on).
Trademark features: To start the manufacturing process, we use prepregnated carbon-fiber material, which gives more consistent resin saturation than a non-prepregnated material. The epoxy resin gives better part characteristics than other materials, which often shrink too much or don't hold together well. We "lay in" the amount of carbon-fiber layers the part design requires; then, once all the material is placed in the mold, we position a bladder inside and close the mold. The process cures the part inside the autoclave at a specified temperature, pressure, and duration. Each manufacturing step is carefully monitored to ensure a high-quality part with a beautiful finish.
Quote from company: "APR's goal is to make sure you always receive a high-quality carbon-fiber product in the timely manner you deserve. Each product undergoes a thorough inspection to insure satisfactory fitment and function."
Classic Design Concepts (CDC)
Brief description: Our subtle-yet-aggressive spoiler adds the perfect finishing touch to your Corvette. It installs using existing third-brake-light mounting points, requiring no additional holes or modifications to your C6 Corvette.
Trademark features: The CDC rear spoiler is made using an OEM-level urethane-molding process that ensures OE fit, finish, and construction quality. Classic Design Concepts stands behind its quality with an unprecedented three-year warranty.
Quote from company: "Classic Design Concepts: Tiger Shark and ZR1-conversion parts for C5 and C6 Corvettes."
Eckler's Corvette Parts
Brief description: Our custom spoilers for C4, C5, and C6 Corvettes are designed to give your car an aggressive performance look. Once installed, our C3 Pace Car rear spoiler looks like the original that GM installed on the '78 Pace Car (as well as the '79 option). The difference is that it does not have the wave like the original urethane parts did, and the paint will match the rest of the car, without fading from UV rays.
Trademark features: Eckler's stands behind every fiberglass product to fit and look great, without question. We design them to install without issues, and they come with instructions and hardware where required.
Quote from company: "Since 1965, Eckler's has continued to produce the finest hand-laminated parts available for your Corvette. We may be copied, but never equaled."
Lingenfelter Performance Engineering
Brief description: Lingenfelter offers Starcraft rear fascias available for C5 and C6 Corvettes; both include spoilers as part of their design.
Trademark features: Our C5 rear fascia is constructed of polyurethane, just like the OE C5 Corvette body components, for lasting durability and great looks. It includes a high-lip spoiler.
Our C6 rear fascia is constructed of high-quality fiberglass with a smooth finish. It's similar in appearance to the fascia on the Lingenfelter Commemorative Edition Corvette and includes a "winglet" rear spoiler.
Extreme Dimensions, Inc.
Brief description: Extreme Dimensions offers rear spoilers from both our Duraflex and Carbon Creations lines. Duraflex combines fiberglass, plastic, and flex resins to obtain its unique features and has a much higher durability rate than the average fiberglass product. This revolutionary product gives the consumer a premium fiberglass product at an affordable price. Carbon Creations carbon-fiber products are manufactured with the highest-quality standards and are inspected by our quality-control team before leaving our facility. These products are designed to be as light as possible, while retaining durability and ensuring safety.
Trademark features: Duraflex: High-quality 6-oz. fiberglass, black-primer finish, high-quality mesh grille, damage rate reduced up to 75 percent.
Carbon Creations: 100 percent Grade-A carbon-fiber, UV-coating protection, authenticity badge, maximum strength and durability, up to 70 percent lighter than OEM, one-year warranty.
Quote from company: "Extreme Dimensions is a world-renowned automotive-aerodynamic company headquartered in the United States. Through the years, we have surpassed industry standards by dedicating ourselves to excellent customer service. What sets us apart from our competitors is that we only manufacture high-quality fiberglass, carbon-fiber, and polyurethane composites. We stormed the industry with our hybrid DuraFlex fiberglass line, while our Carbon Creations line continued to set the standard in premium carbon-fiber aerodynamics. Extreme Dimensions distributes the most innovative and largest selection of aerodynamic products in the industry."
Brief description: Katech offers bolt-on rear spoilers that require no drilling to install. They're made from motorsports-quality carbon-fiber throughout and weigh only 1.5 pounds each. Featuring a glossy finish with UV protectant built in, Katech spoilers have provisions for the factory third brake light and come with easy-to-follow instructions.
Trademark features: Our spoilers are wind-tunnel tested, and we include a copy of the wind-tunnel report with every spoiler purchase.
Quote From Company: "Katech's carbon-fiber rear spoiler is one part of a complete set of matched and wind-tunnel-tested, carbon-fiber aero parts for the C6 Z06, ZR1, and Grand Sport."
Mecham Design, Performance
Brief description: The DuMans High Down-Force Wing is an off-deck, full-function aerodynamic device worthy of its title. Not just an add-on, this rear wing is artfully and structurally crafted for the demands of the high-performance C5 platform. The contours and sideboards flow to the C5's form, creating a natural extension of the car's shape. The aero blade is curved to follow the C5's tail and features an aero shape that creates significant downforce, stabilizing the C5 at medium to very-high speeds. The swept-back stanchions are designed to provide excellent rear visibility while utilizing the clean air up off the rear deck. The DuMans wing complements the DuMans Extractor Hood in both appearance and function. It installs on Corvette coupe, hardtop, or convertible rear decks with four bolts bonded into the feet of the stanchions. Construction is hand-laid reinforced composite with a hollow blade and sideboards.
Trademark features: The DuMans Wing is a form-following-function design with ease of finish, installation, and functionality in mind. It generates significant downforce, provides the driver an excellent rear view, and complements the look of the Corvette.
Quote from company: "For the C5 owner who wants improved stability and a unique appearance. This one not only works, it looks like it was designed for the car."
Brief description: The RKSport C5 rear spoiler is the same design that created so much excitement in GM's clay stages of the C5. The spoiler is manufactured using hand-laminated fiberglass for superior strength and durability. The wing package is designed to fit around the factory third brake light.
The RKSport C6 rear spoiler was designed to create a new and dynamic look for your Corvette. The spoiler is manufactured using hand-laid carbon-fiber for superior strength and durability. The wing package is designed to fit around the factory third brake light and is also available in fiberglass.
Trademark features: Both of our Corvette rear spoilers install using 3M tape. There is no drilling needed.
Quote from company: "Our quality commitment starts with owner R.K. Smith, who won two World Challenge titles in a Corvette, in 1990 and 1992. RKSport is the 'Performance Styling Specialist.'"
SLP Performance Parts
Brief description: Enhance your '05-'10 C6 or '97-'04 C5 with a one-piece, tape-on rear spoiler from SLP Performance Parts. Designed to flow with the sleek lines of the body while not calling attention to themselves, our OE-look spoilers complement the already-great appearance of your Corvette.
Trademark features: Our spoilers are manufactured from a OEM-quality composite material that is unaffected by temperature, has superior durability and flexibility, and uses the same flexible material that GM uses to manufacture front and rear fascias. Our spoilers come ready for prep, prime, and paint with OEM-quality double-sided tape for an easy, tape-on installation. No drilling is required.
Quote from company: "SLP manufactures OEM-quality, one-piece, tape-on C5 and C6 spoilers that have subtle-yet-aggressive styling and require no drilling to install. Ask yourself, 'Do you really want to drill holes in your beloved Corvette?'"