It is amazing to think back through the incredible advancements in motoring that have been made in recent times. There have been some truly astonishing technological breakthroughs over the years which have forever transformed everyday motoring and often these developments have origins in racing and sometimes even in military applications.
With this in mind, here are a few of the greatest automotive breakthroughs which changed driving forever.
Suspension is essential for a smooth and safe driving experience and it is actually in racing where suspension was perfected in order for all four wheels on racing cars to maintain contact with the road at all times. Independent suspensions allow each wheel to move without affecting the movement of the other three which is now common in most production cars.
Tyres are also incredibly important in the racing world and there have been a handful of developments in this area over the years. Tyre grooves which channel water and other substances away from the cars are one example which stemmed from racing with sports cars opting for shallow grooves in order to maximise contact with the road and off-road vehicles having deep grooves to grip properly. Modern-day distributors like Pro Tyre provide a range of high-quality, technologically-advanced tyres for production cars that rely on racing car technology, plus this is an area which will improve in the years to come with self-repairing rubber being a concept that is being worked on right now.
All-wheel-drive is now a highly common feature in modern-day automobiles but was first introduced by the Audi rally team in 1980. This refined the four-wheel-drive system and enabled the vehicle to vary the power sent to each wheel depending on its needs, ensuring that the vehicle had the perfect blend of agility and power.
Engine Air Intake
In order for a car engine to maximise performance, the engine needs to breathe and the more air that gets into the engine the better – especially if this is cold air. Drag racers started using engine air intakes as a way to increase the amount of cold air entering the engine in order to maximise performance and many automakers have since adapted the technology on production cars to increase air intake.
Braking is obviously incredibly important in racing so it is no surprise that there have been major innovations here. Disc brakes can be traced back to racing cars in the 1950s and were an innovative development because they were powerful but also easy to maintain when compared to the drum brake design. Disc brakes can also be vented which helps to keep them cool and they are now found on at least the front wheels of all but a few production cars and have saved countless lives.
These are just a few of the many great breakthroughs that have changed the world of driving and as you can see it is the racing industry that has been pioneering in a bid to improve vehicle performance under extreme circumstances.