Fans underneath the Aero-P Concept suck it to the road when downforce is most necessary

The Ariel Atom is famous for its hyper-minimalist design that eschews a traditional body in favor of an exposed space frame, and for the new Aero-P concept the company is tinkering with ways to increase downforce while retaining the austere aesthetic. The brand's solution takes major inspiration from banned racecars by adding fans that suck the vehicle into the road.

The Aero-P has two high-speed electric fans underneath the car, and there are rubber skirts around the vehicle’s underside. They only activate when the suction would be most beneficial like from a standing start, braking, or cornering. The result is three times more downforce than a traditional wing, and this tech can work even when the Atom isn’t moving. “When the system is turned on the car visibly squats on the ground so you can see it working, which is pretty exciting,” said Ariel Director Simon Saunders.

Ariel Atom Aero-P

Ariel found that the Atom’s current design was coming to the limits of the vehicle’s mechanical grip, which made improving traction and acceleration difficult. Bolting a wing to the back (like the Atom V8) would have fixed the problem, but it would have also come with more drag during normal driving, in addition to reductions in fuel economy and the overall top speed. Ariel’s engineering team looked back at racecars like the Chaparral 2J Sucker Car and BT46B Fan Car and realized using fans provided a method of producing downforce selectively.

You won’t be able to buy an Atom that will suck itself onto the road anytime soon – possibly not ever. According to Ariel, the Aero-P is currently a functioning proof of concept for testing this technology, and the system is still in the very early stages of development. It plans to do further testing of the fans, but the company doesn’t plan on putting this solution into production yet.

Source: Ariel

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