Auto Tech

Porsche's 992-generation 911 shows off its active aero trickery

Moveable flaps, wings and slats, oh my!

Porsche's 992-generation 911 is packed with all kinds of arcane technological wizardry, but some of the coolest bits involve the way that the 911 handles the air it's moving through. To better explain (or maybe just show off) how the systems work, Porsche released a video on Thursday.

The Porsche 911's shape has always been slippery which is excellent for top speeds and fuel economy, but a modern sports car needs to do a lot more than go fast in a straight line. To that end, Porsche has used a number of active aerodynamic devices like its moveable decklid and adjustable air slats in the front grilles to help keep the car planted in the turns.

The rear decklid functions like a spoiler, moving from closed to a low-drag open position to a more vertical position for maximum downforce depending on vehicle speed. The front slats open and close at varying speeds and engine loads to best balance aerodynamic drag with the engine's cooling needs.

Porsche has been messing around with active aerodynamics on its road cars since 1989 when it introduced the 964 chassis and its adjustable decklid spoiler. Porsche has since continued to play with the technology. The 991-generation 911 Turbo, for example, featured an inflatable rubber chin spoiler that could increase downforce without adding significant weight or complexity to the car.

Considering that the 992 chassis just made its debut last year at the LA Auto Show, we'll be curious to see what kind of trickery Porsche pulls out of its hat for the more aero-intensive Turbo and GT models of the future.