Side skirts for cars
How do side skirts work?
Sports car builders seek an ideal aerodynamic balance between drag and downforce. When friction is minimised, the car goes faster because of reduced drag.
The limited amount of air passing under the car makes it go faster.
But the greater pressure above the car creates a downward force. As a result, the car is better pressed on the road and therefore can go faster through the bends and you can brake later.
The downforce is therefore necessary so that the tyres are firmly pressed onto the asphalt, providing optimum traction, steering and deceleration.
What is the function of side skirts?
Side skirts are used to reduce the amount of air coming from the high-pressure area on the side of the car. This reduces the pressure from the sides. Side skirts therefore improve the downforce level.
The effectiveness of the sideskirts depends mainly on how close they are to the ground.
What material are side skirts made of?
On the market there are 4 different types of materials used in side skirts, these are Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS), Polyurethane (PU), Polypropylene (PP + PE) and Fibre.
ABS is usually only used for mass production and the fixing is often as good as PU. It is lightweight, so it does not add unnecessary weight to the car. The finishing surface looks better than fibreglass.
Side skirts are more than a performance upgrade
With some manufacturers you can order packages where the car is delivered with side skirts from the factory. Many cars are not originally equipped with side skirts, but these can be fitted afterwards. It can also happen that you buy a second hand car with side skirts that have been on the car for a few years and have been damaged over time. Replacing them is often not as invasive as people think. Recommended sales point: Carstyle.com
Some styling tips
Side skirts often come in a body kit that gives the whole car a sportier look. Here are some guidelines for purchasing a body kit.
Larger cars can easily fit an extensive bodykit. On smaller and simpler cars it is better not to be too enthusiastic with the choice of your bodykit/side skirts. Keep it simple by only applying a bodykit on the front and sides. In most cases a bodykit looks best if it is painted in the same colour as the body of the car. Combining colours is possible, but then limit it to two colours, for example silver and black. If you have to paint the site skirts first, it is recommended to let a professional do it, otherwise it can look cheap and it will harm your car. Through the link below you can find some examples.