It’s not really a secret that Porsche has a pretty strong grasp on aerodynamic efficiency. The company has been building road cars and race cars that use oncoming air to assist in their road holding abilities for decades, with wings and diffusers and kick ups and flaps. Porsche has also been working diligently to defy the oncoming air whenever possible, building its cars in a way that pushes the wind around them, through them, and under them, as necessary. Not only can aerodynamic values help your track lap times or cornering g-forces, but they can affect your comfort levels inside the car, as well as your fuel mileage (or electric range). Optimizing the basic shape of a car, while maintaining strong ties to traditional Porsche DNA is an important part of what the engineers within Porsche do. It’s something of a dark art, airbending.
In recent efforts with the University of Stuttgart, Porsche is investigating whether it is possible to make a car buzz through the air more efficiently if it vibrates. “We are examining whether it is possible to reduce the Cd value at certain points in the car body by systematically introducing vibrations,” offered Professor Andreas Wagner, the automotive engineering program chair at the university. “If you introduce a defined pulse into the flow around the car using speakers, its separation behavior can be influenced.” This interesting method of aerodynamic advancement comes with its own set of challenges, however. NVH (or Noise, Vibration, and Harshness) is a term used in the automotive field to measure passenger comfort inside the car travelling at speed. Obviously improving aerodynamics is important, but it can’t supersede passenger comfort.
Placing small resonant speakers in the body of your next Porsche could make it a more efficient machine. Imagine you’re shooting down the Döttinger Höhe at the ring in your 2028 911 GT3 RS and the car introduces a hum all around you as you crest 200 miles per hour. The extra background noise means you get a bonus three miles per hour of top speed as the air begins to shift around the car. That would be worth it, right? That’s the kind of thing Porsche would absolutely engineer, and honestly who cares about NVH when you’re ripping around at the double ton?