Because race car, of course.
Motorsport is one of the main driving forces in the automotive industry. While many would argue the different racing series are just for fun and entertainment, it’s those series that speed up the development of certain technologies that we often find in production vehicles years later. From the wild endurance prototype cars to the production-based rally cars, there’s one thing that has always bothered us. It’s their size.
If you put a prototype race car next to a production vehicle, you’ll definitely notice the former looks smaller. There’s a pretty good explanation for that and Drivetribe’s new video tries to shine more light on that phenomenon. It’s not a single reason, but a complex explanation that includes a number of different factors. Let’s take a very quick look.
First, when looking at a Le Mans car, your eyes will try to find things to scale the overall size of the vehicle. One of the very first things you’ll see is the windshield which is super tiny on such cars. Your brain takes that glass and scales it up to a normal car size. It takes placing a prototype race car next to a road-based race car to break the illusion.
The next reason is the huge amount of racing regulations. Obviously, different classes have different regulations with prototype cars going under length, width, and height restrictions but there are no major restrictions in terms of aerodynamics. Engineers often try to keep the frontal area as small as possible for a lower drag coefficient. On the other hand, GT cars have to be based on road cars, which means they need to keep their basic proportions. And then, there’s Formula 1 that breaks all rules.
Check out the video at the top of this page to see more direct comparisons between different kinds of race cars and to learn more about their sizes.