A Car Spoiler Is Not the Same Thing as a Wing

Spoiler and wing are not that familiar with new car drivers. Car spoilers are usually visual shorthand for a fast and powerful vehicle. These car bonus features have shapes that are quite similar as car wings. In fact, most car owners cannot tell the difference between these twos. Nevertheless, they are not the same even though sharing the same terms.  

Car Spoiler Definition

Wing is the trademark of many vehicles. Take Honda Civic Type R as an example: the elegant beauty of this car mainly comes from those vents, fenders and rear wing. In short, the wing is one of the most crucial parts of the outlook for automobiles. Yet, wings are not just for show. Along with various elements of well-engineered car body kits, the wing serves a purpose: Aerodynamics. 

As you can see in the street or in the race, the car has to push through oncoming air. The car has to speed up in order to keep pace with the air flowing underneath it due to the air passing overhead to the trunk of the vehicle. This is the Bernoulli principle. Airplanes take a great advantage of this phenomenon in order to take off. However, in the case of an automobile, the pocket of low pressure pulls it upwards and backward, creating drag and lift, which is where the rear-mounted wings come to work.

what is a car spoiler
Spoilers help car stay in the ground (Photo Source: Pexels)

To be more specific, car wings also apply the Bernoulli principle in reverse. Instead of flying the car up, the wing can hold it down firmly by creating downforce. Not to mention, the wing pushes the wheels into the ground, as well as increasing traction. This pressure downforce the wings create is heavier than the car’s weight. 

 So in short, the wing of the car stops it from flying. This explains why supercars and race cars have wings.

On the other hand, this extra downforce will result in extra drag’s cost. And in this case, the aero packages usually reduce the speed of the cars. 

Differences between a Car Spoiler and a Car Wing

At first sight, a car wing is very similar with a car spoiler. The spoilers can change the flow of the air around the vehicle in order to raise the performance of the automobiles. This is the same with the car wing. Yet, they are slightly different. 

While manufacturers create various kinds of car spoilers, they aim to design them with the purpose of reducing rear-end lift. In other words, the well-designed car spoilers are all designed to spoil the airflow going over the rear of the car. This end result is less lift thanks to a reduction in pressure differential and less turbulence. 


In spite of the size of the spoilers, these wonderful car features can change the flow of the air running around the whole vehicle. This can be explained by the serving as airflow barriers instead of slowing the air down. Together with the reduction in lift, the spoiler raises high-speed stability. Unlike a wing, a car spoiler can even reduce drag rather than increase it.

What to Pick? Wing or Spoiler?

We are now able to distinguish between wing and spoiler. So the next question is: If we want to modify our cars, which car feature should we install? This is a hard topic even with expert drivers. Spoilers are more subtle compared with wings since the latter needs to be raised above the car trunk in order to be truly effective. On the other hand, spoilers are usually attached solid to the trunk lip. Sometimes, they automatically retracted into the bodywork as needed. For that reason, they do not obstruct the rear view as much.

car spoiler vs car wing
It is hard to decide which is more suitable (Photo Source: Pexels)

Nevertheless, a true wing cannot be replaced. A spoiler can redirect the air with the purpose of decreasing lift, while a car wing generates a totally opposing force. This mechanic is based on using the existing airflow. As a result, it creates much more downforce. Not to mention, spoilers cannot be raised up like wings due to fluid dynamics purposes.

In conclusion, if car owners plan to go to a racetrack, they should have wings as their main feature. On the other hand, the spoiler is the ultimate choice if you just want to drive on the road.