Why are WEC cars so ugly?

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HS Thompson
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Why are WEC cars so ugly?

Post by HS Thompson »

Prototype sports cars have always been some of THE most beautiful cars ever made. The Ford GT40, the Porsche 917, the McLaren M8, the Porsche 962C, the Jaguar XJR-12, etc. All beautiful cars.

WEC cars look like absolute slugs in comparison. No beautiful lines. Bodywork that looks thrown together by a junior engineer. Why?

Below are too butt ugly cars.

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photo from Wikipedia:

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Re: Why are WEC cars so ugly?

Post by colinp »

I think they look awsome!

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Re: Why are WEC cars so ugly?

Post by Blackhander »

Completely disagree! The Audi R18 series of cars are amazing! They're by far my favourite racing cars both in terms of technology and pure aesthetics. It's a beautiful and brutal machine and the aero is incredible!

I do however much prefer the racing of formula one (with the exception of Le mans which is simply the best exhibition of racing, both man and machine). I do of course like the older GT40 and 917, but the modern cars are simply in another league, even if only judging purely on looks.
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Re: Why are WEC cars so ugly?

Post by Amon »

Well racing isn't a beauty contest :lol:
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Re: Why are WEC cars so ugly?

Post by Toby. »

Are you blind? 8O
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Re: Why are WEC cars so ugly?

Post by Saz »

I actually agree. It's the extended....thing that connects the back of the car to the rear wing that upsets the look of the cars imo. It ruins the natural flow of the cars by putting a long straight line in where there shouldn't be one.

The racing has been pretty good however. And as Amon says, racing is not a beauty contest.

The modern F1 cars have the same problem as well imo. Too many bits and pieces hanging off ruining the nice lines the cars once had.
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Re: Why are WEC cars so ugly?

Post by MistaVega23 »

I think they're ok.

It's the same with F1 cars. Compare the 80s/90s cars to today's offerings and you'll get a whole raft of people on both sides.

It's all about aerodynamic efficiency. If it's ugly but goes like a stabbed rat, then who cares?

(Although I think the noses of F1 cars in the last few seasons have been abysmal)
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Re: Why are WEC cars so ugly?

Post by moby »

It uses to be thought that "pointy" was aerodynamic, but computers and tunnels have moved things on to this. #
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Re: Why are WEC cars so ugly?

Post by mcdo »

Gonna have to disagree with ya there. Even the slow as hell Nissan at Le Mans looked cool to me
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Re: Why are WEC cars so ugly?

Post by Alienturnedhuman »

The lines aren't designed by a junior engineer. The lines are designed by an incredibly well educated and talented engineering department to produce the most efficient shape aerodynamically.

It's a choice: They can design a car that is a beautiful work of art and finishes last, or they can design a car that maximises the potential allowed within in the regulations.

A racing team does not design the car around style, it designs it around performance.

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Re: Why are WEC cars so ugly?

Post by moby »

Alienturnedhuman wrote:The lines aren't designed by a junior engineer. The lines are designed by an incredibly well educated and talented engineering department to produce the most efficient shape aerodynamically.

It's a choice: They can design a car that is a beautiful work of art and finishes last, or they can design a car that maximises the potential allowed within in the regulations.

A racing team does not design the car around style, it designs it around performance.


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Re: Why are WEC cars so ugly?

Post by HS Thompson »

I guess I'm the outlier. To me they are night and day difference.

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Re: Why are WEC cars so ugly?

Post by nixxxon »

To say whats ugly or whats beautiful is all about opinions and taste, so this thread is a bit pointless

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Re: Why are WEC cars so ugly?

Post by Fiki »

I believe the vertical fin is mandatory on WEC prototypes, isn't it? What escapes me, is why it is forbidden in F1, but needed in prototypes. Contrary to the air intake on F1s, I do believe these fins are functional. And it struck me so little advertising was on it, when I went to admire them in Francorchamps.
To me, the fin ruins the looks of cars that would otherwise be gorgeous.
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Re: Why are WEC cars so ugly?

Post by Blake »

HS Thompson on this. They are ugly, very ugly from an aesthetic point of view, as are the F1 cars of recent vintage.

To some of you, as that is all you have really known, they are perhaps much more acceptable from a "beauty" standpoint, but for many of us who have seen many of the most beautiful racing sports cars ever built (subjective yes, but by most lists accurate) today's cars just don't match up.

Yes, form does follow function and yes, today's cars are designed by well trained aerodynamicist to maximize air flow, just as the older cars were designed by the genius of their day. Neither HS or I are saying that today's cars are not effective, crazy fast, etc. But damn, they are an eyesore. I think that for me, it is a combination of the blunt, vertical front corners and that full length fin that really turn me off on those WEC cars.
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Re: Why are WEC cars so ugly?

Post by Blake »

nixxxon wrote:To say whats ugly or whats beautiful is all about opinions and taste, so this thread is a bit pointless


In that case, every thread in this forum is "pointless". So perhaps we should ignore them all?
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Re: Why are WEC cars so ugly?

Post by F1 MERCENARY »

The current trend of aesthetics in racing have all to do with CFD principals and engineers dictate what the car looks like based on mathematical calculations that favor the best overall aero package. having said that, I think designers should DESIGN the cars and the engineers should figure out how best to make them slippery.

As a designer, I find the hulktitude of the front ends on some WEC cars is quite unattractive. the rear ends however are generally quite nice. Intricate and complex but they look fairly sleek out back. no reason the front ends can't be made to look sleeker as well.
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Re: Why are WEC cars so ugly?

Post by RaggedMan »

Blake wrote:
nixxxon wrote:To say whats ugly or whats beautiful is all about opinions and taste, so this thread is a bit pointless


In that case, every thread in this forum is "pointless". So perhaps we should ignore them all?

I've been doing that a lot lately. :lol:
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Re: Why are WEC cars so ugly?

Post by dizlexik »

Amon wrote:Well racing isn't a beauty contest :lol:

Yip. :thumbup:
eeee

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Re: Why are WEC cars so ugly?

Post by Asphalt_World »

I love um.
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Re: Why are WEC cars so ugly?

Post by Nosebuckle »

Fiki wrote:I believe the vertical fin is mandatory on WEC prototypes, isn't it? What escapes me, is why it is forbidden in F1, but needed in prototypes. Contrary to the air intake on F1s, I do believe these fins are functional. And it struck me so little advertising was on it, when I went to admire them in Francorchamps.
To me, the fin ruins the looks of cars that would otherwise be gorgeous.


Agreed. The sharkfins look out of place but other than that these cars ooze sexiness.

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Re: Why are WEC cars so ugly?

Post by j man »

I agree, the WEC cars are not very pretty. I guess they suffer from the same problem that the recent F1 cars suffer from: over-regulation forcing engineers to find ever-diminishing gains in smaller and smaller areas, which is achieved via endless CFD optimisations. It's an unfortunate necessity as engineering techniques push the cars beyond the boundaries of what can be physically (and safely) driven by a human being. An optimal, unrestricted aero package would have very smooth, clean lines without the need for jagged bits and pieces sticking out wherever they're allowed.

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Re: Why are WEC cars so ugly?

Post by Exediron »

HS Thompson wrote:I guess I'm the outlier. To me they are night and day difference.

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(credit: Stef Shraeder)

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I totally agree that it's night and day. One of them looks like a crudely engineered jelly bean, and the other looks like the pinnacle of modern technology ;)

But then, I also miss the 2007/2008 era winglets on F1 cars, so I'm probably the real outlier.
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Re: Why are WEC cars so ugly?

Post by j man »

Exediron wrote:
HS Thompson wrote:I guess I'm the outlier. To me they are night and day difference.

(credit: Martin Lee)
Image

(credit: Stef Shraeder)

Image

I totally agree that it's night and day. One of them looks like a crudely engineered jelly bean, and the other looks like the pinnacle of modern technology ;)

But then, I also miss the 2007/2008 era winglets on F1 cars, so I'm probably the real outlier.

I'd say one looks like it was designed by engineers using a wind tunnel, while the other like it was designed by lawyers interpreting a rulebook. ;)

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Re: Why are WEC cars so ugly?

Post by Blackhander »

j man wrote:
Exediron wrote:
HS Thompson wrote:I guess I'm the outlier. To me they are night and day difference.

(credit: Martin Lee)
Image

(credit: Stef Shraeder)

Image

I totally agree that it's night and day. One of them looks like a crudely engineered jelly bean, and the other looks like the pinnacle of modern technology ;)

But then, I also miss the 2007/2008 era winglets on F1 cars, so I'm probably the real outlier.

I'd say one looks like it was designed by engineers using a wind tunnel, while the other like it was designed by lawyers interpreting a rulebook. ;)


Now I have to admit that I had never read the older prototype role books so I find this quite surprising to say the least! But your right, it's right here in plain sight for everyone to see.

"2.3.7 CAR DESIGN

2.3.7-1
All cars to be entered in competition are to strictly follow the design herein specified;
Wheels, there must be four at all times, if a car is found to be running less than four wheels it will be black flagged and forced to pit for additional wheels. if additional wheels cannot be sourced the car may be forced to retire from the race.
Engines, 1 of, generally driving the wheels through a drivetrain mounted in the chassis.
Chassis, Strictly must be of a wedge shaped plan as defined by the official door stop that all teams have received in this package. If the door stop has been misplaced teams may apply for authorisation to design their car around other wedge shaped objects i.e. A wedge of cheese or a dorito chip, but all efforts must first be made to locate the official door stop
Paint, preferably bright and glaring"

It does look like the lawyers would have had a pretty easy time to me
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Re: Why are WEC cars so ugly?

Post by HS Thompson »

j man wrote:
I'd say one looks like it was designed by engineers using a wind tunnel, while the other like it was designed by lawyers interpreting a rulebook. ;)


Outstanding! Best line in the thread so far.

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Re: Why are WEC cars so ugly?

Post by HS Thompson »

When I look at the Porsche 962C, I can feel that I have some level of understanding of aerodynamics.

When I look at the Audi car, it is clear I have ZERO understanding of this science.

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Re: Why are WEC cars so ugly?

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Nosebuckle wrote:
Fiki wrote:I believe the vertical fin is mandatory on WEC prototypes, isn't it? What escapes me, is why it is forbidden in F1, but needed in prototypes. Contrary to the air intake on F1s, I do believe these fins are functional. And it struck me so little advertising was on it, when I went to admire them in Francorchamps.
To me, the fin ruins the looks of cars that would otherwise be gorgeous.


Agreed. The sharkfins look out of place but other than that these cars ooze sexiness.



If I remember correctly the sharkfins were put on to help reduce the potential for the cars flipping if they started to go sideways. Perhaps the way the WEC cars are designed the sharkfins are more effective than on a F1 chassis? Dunno.

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Re: Why are WEC cars so ugly?

Post by RaggedMan »

HawaiiF1Fan wrote:
Nosebuckle wrote:
Fiki wrote:I believe the vertical fin is mandatory on WEC prototypes, isn't it? What escapes me, is why it is forbidden in F1, but needed in prototypes. Contrary to the air intake on F1s, I do believe these fins are functional. And it struck me so little advertising was on it, when I went to admire them in Francorchamps.
To me, the fin ruins the looks of cars that would otherwise be gorgeous.


Agreed. The sharkfins look out of place but other than that these cars ooze sexiness.



If I remember correctly the sharkfins were put on to help reduce the potential for the cars flipping if they started to go sideways. Perhaps the way the WEC cars are designed the sharkfins are more effective than on a F1 chassis? Dunno.

Spoiling the air when sideways was what I understood the reason for the fin as well. It could be that the greater overall sidelong surface area of an LMP1 car is what makes it work better than in an F1 car.
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Re: Why are WEC cars so ugly?

Post by Exediron »

j man wrote:I'd say one looks like it was designed by engineers using a wind tunnel, while the other like it was designed by lawyers interpreting a rulebook.

Maybe one looks like it was designed by engineers using a wind tunnel, and the other looks like it was designed by engineers using a computer?

HS Thompson wrote:When I look at the Porsche 962C, I can feel that I have some level of understanding of aerodynamics.

When I look at the Audi car, it is clear I have ZERO understanding of this science.

But doesn't that just make it more impressive? That's one of the things I like about the modern breed! :]
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Re: Why are WEC cars so ugly?

Post by Fiki »

RaggedMan wrote:
HawaiiF1Fan wrote:
Nosebuckle wrote:
Fiki wrote:I believe the vertical fin is mandatory on WEC prototypes, isn't it? What escapes me, is why it is forbidden in F1, but needed in prototypes. Contrary to the air intake on F1s, I do believe these fins are functional. And it struck me so little advertising was on it, when I went to admire them in Francorchamps.
To me, the fin ruins the looks of cars that would otherwise be gorgeous.


Agreed. The sharkfins look out of place but other than that these cars ooze sexiness.



If I remember correctly the sharkfins were put on to help reduce the potential for the cars flipping if they started to go sideways. Perhaps the way the WEC cars are designed the sharkfins are more effective than on a F1 chassis? Dunno.

Spoiling the air when sideways was what I understood the reason for the fin as well. It could be that the greater overall sidelong surface area of an LMP1 car is what makes it work better than in an F1 car.
That was the reason I remember as well. But why then ban it on F1 cars?
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Re: Why are WEC cars so ugly?

Post by mac_d »

I find them to be ugly beasts, but they serve a purpose - going fast. I do think the side on photo is especially unpleasant.

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Re: Why are WEC cars so ugly?

Post by HS Thompson »

mac_d wrote:I find them to be ugly beasts, but they serve a purpose - going fast. I do think the side on photo is especially unpleasant.


From the side view, you can see that the car has a near vertical surface! That's amazing. I can't figure out how that is better than the highly sloped (and beautiful) front of the 962C.

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Re: Why are WEC cars so ugly?

Post by Bacus »

I too think its kinda ugly, it doesn't have a sinuous flowing style, with that blunt nose and that long, out of proportion back of the car...

Here's one for example, that I like
Image

But,

It's mainly out of performance reasons, as in the modern age it's discovered that the shape of a water drop is the most aerodynamically efficient

Image

Image

That blunt nose diverts much better the air around the bodywork, especially if there is a lot of power to do that.

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Re: Why are WEC cars so ugly?

Post by HS Thompson »

What car is that Mobil sponsored one? It's beautiful.

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Re: Why are WEC cars so ugly?

Post by Blake »

HS, I believe it is a Porsche GT1 LeMans car from the mid to late 90s.
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Re: Why are WEC cars so ugly?

Post by HS Thompson »

Blake wrote:HS, I believe it is a Porsche GT1 LeMans car from the mid to late 90s.


I thought it might be a Porsche. Such a gorgeous car, with today's 919 beyond ugly.

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Re: Why are WEC cars so ugly?

Post by Bacus »

HS Thompson wrote:What car is that Mobil sponsored one? It's beautiful.


Yes, it's a Porsche GT1 from 1998.
That's what I called an aesthetic appearance.

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Re: Why are WEC cars so ugly?

Post by F1 MERCENARY »

RaggedMan wrote:
HawaiiF1Fan wrote:
Nosebuckle wrote:
Fiki wrote:I believe the vertical fin is mandatory on WEC prototypes, isn't it? What escapes me, is why it is forbidden in F1, but needed in prototypes. Contrary to the air intake on F1s, I do believe these fins are functional. And it struck me so little advertising was on it, when I went to admire them in Francorchamps.
To me, the fin ruins the looks of cars that would otherwise be gorgeous.


Agreed. The sharkfins look out of place but other than that these cars ooze sexiness.



If I remember correctly the sharkfins were put on to help reduce the potential for the cars flipping if they started to go sideways. Perhaps the way the WEC cars are designed the sharkfins are more effective than on a F1 chassis? Dunno.

Spoiling the air when sideways was what I understood the reason for the fin as well. It could be that the greater overall sidelong surface area of an LMP1 car is what makes it work better than in an F1 car.

The fin is essentially an air dam that stabilizes the rear end and allows it to corner quicker before the losing grip. It is based on speed but the mathematics are astonishingly complex yet simple in principal. The faster a car goes, the quicker it will lose grip through corners. The Fin applies counter pressure from he air, thus forcing the rear end back in line which alleviates the load placed on the wheels and the car can go quicker overall.

On F1 cars it was developed as a means to provide a longer stable surface to more neatly move the passing air to the rear of the car which it tended to do quite well. However, with the extremity that is F1 weight savings meant these fins are a bit flimsy and flapped int he wind a bit and it was thought it actually destabilized the air it was supposed to be calming. Additionally, with F1 cars being so minimal all-around, cross winds combined with the instability of the fin itself was also thought to be a less than prime benefit and we even saw one break.

Eventually, McLaren developed additional uses for the fin in the form of the the F-Duct, and the race for every team to develop their own F-Duct system was on. It became quite expensive and in the case of Mercedes, they threw everything the had at it and it never really panned out as they hoped. In 2011 the teams themselves came together and voted to eliminate F-Ducts and from 2012 on the rear fins were gone.

There's a bit more to it than that, but this is the gist of it.
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Re: Why are WEC cars so ugly?

Post by steoc4 »

The way the cockpit sprouts out of the R18 and 919 reminds me of this:

Image


That and the wide, flat nose make them incredibly ugly in my opinion. The cars looked significantly better a few years ago. I don't follow the regulations in WEC as closely as F1, so I've no idea if the new designs are more performant (they certainly don't look as slippery as they used to to a layman) or if it's just something that has fallen out of the wording regulations, like the stepped noses F1 cars had.

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