Meet the world’s first production car with a centripetal wing, the Zenvo TS

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By Nauman Farooq

The Geneva Auto Show, wouldn’t be the Geneva Auto Show, if it didn’t have wild, exotic machinery from some of the world’s smallest -yet most creative- specialist car manufacturers, and this year’s show was no exception.

One of the craziest cars to graze the 2018 Geneva International Motor Show, was a Danish creation with a very active rear wing – the Zenvo TSR-S. This is the first ever production car to feature a centripetal wing, which changes angles not only for stabilty and grip in a straight line, but also for when a car corners.

According to Zenvo – the ground-breaking rear wing has two rotational axes enabling it to function both as an air break and a cornering stabilizer. When the TSR-S corners, the wing rotates relative to the car’s longitudinal axis. This generates an inward force together with the conventional downforce, boosting inner tyre grip and cornering stability.

Zenvo’s chief technical officer, and company founder, Troels Vollertsen explains: “The Centripetal Wing is an exceptional development that allows for increased grip and higher cornering speed. Whereas most supercars only achieve optimum downforce in cornering at a certain speed, the multi-rotational function of the wing distributes downforce in an innovative way to deliver the optimum amount of cornering grip at any speed. Whilst lifting to boost downforce, the wing also tilts while cornering – for example, lifting the left side of the wing when cornering left and vice versa, to propel the car to the inside of the corner, ensuring exceptional stability and grip.”

The name ‘Centripetal’ directly refers to the centripetal force also known as ‘center seeking’ force. When in an absolutely horizontal position, a conventional rear wing generates a downforce perpendicular to the horizontal position of the wing: absolute vertical. When the centripetal wing tilts away from the absolute horizontal, the downforce stays perpendicular to the plane of the wing thereby generating a centripetal force. This centripetal force reduces the tendency of the rear end to break away – a trait that is inherent for a mid-engine car.

Furthermore, the high pivot point of the wing allows it to act as an additional rear anti-roll bar. This provides additional grip to the inner wheel, reducing the chance of a loss of traction at the rear, and also ensuring increased downforce on the inner wheel. The wing also functions as an air brake when fully-rotated in an upright position.

The Zenvo TSR-S is powered by a 5.8L V8 motor that features flatplane crank, and twin centrifugal superchargers, which enable it to produce 1177 hp. Power is fed to just the rear wheels via a seven-speed paddle shift gearbox. According to Zenvo, the TSR-S can sprint from 0 to 100 km/h in 2.8 seconds, and has an electronically limited top speed of 325 km/h. The car is mainly made out of carbon-fibre, and weighs just 1495 kg.