Did You Know? These 10 Everyday Car Technologies Came From Racing

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Racing, whether it's Formula One, NASCAR or rally cars tearing through the dirt track, it's always adrenaline pumping action and fun to watch. Many motorsports enthusiasts might want to hop in their Swift or Polo and imitate same stuff but in a safer way.

But did you know that the everyday cars you drive on streets are more in common with the race cars? Yes, we are not tricking or fooling you, racing car technology has influenced the road cars more than you think. Read on to know more about the top ten racing car technologies that may be present under the hood of your car.

10. Transmissions

We are all aware of the automatic transmission that we find in our everyday cars. Yes, the automatic gearbox makes our life a lot easier in the daily commute. But the gearbox in a Formula One car also serves the same purpose. The only difference is automatic transmission doesn't need any input from driver whereas a Formula One driver requires precise gear shifting techniques.

The direct-shift gearbox and automatic manual transmission have also been evolved from racing technology. Both the gearbox allows drivers to shift gear quickly in a race track. Similarly, it is fun to drive on the roads. Bot these gearboxes eliminate the usage of a clutch pedal and the driver's job becomes a lot easier.

The AMT transmission is becoming popular in India as more manufacturers are launching AMT cars in the market. Whereas the DSG gearbox can only be found in sports cars. This transmission works exactly the same as the sequential shifter in a race car. It limits the driver error and results in quick and precise gear shifting.

9. Push Button Engine Start/Stop

Everybody wants to save time in their day to day work. With the busy modern lifestyle, nobody has time these days. So why not save some time while starting our cars. Yes, hopping into the car putting the key into the slot and turning it to turn on the engine takes few minutes.

But what is the faster way to do that? Push button start/stop is the answer. Yes, we find this feature in most of the cars we drive today and this has been adopted from race cars.

8. Suspension

You may think that a race car suspension and your road car suspension are worlds apart. But you're wrong, the race car suspension is almost directly adopted in the road going cars. Like the road going cars, race cars use independent suspension system. Both serves the same purpose of keeping the car stable.

For example Formula One car uses multi-link suspension whereas the rally cars use MacPherson struts. Both the suspensions are used in production cars. So why does your car doesn't handle like a race car? It's dead simple, because race car suspensions are tuned for performance and road going car is designed for comfort.

7. Tyres

Most of us don't bother about the tyres until we get a flat. Tyres play a major role in the handling of your car. The tyres used in most of the race cars are directly derived into the production tyres what we are using in our cars.

Whether it may be tyres with grooves or with deep buttons for off-roading. The only major difference is race cars use soft rubber tyres for that sticky grip which doesn't last longer and normal tyres are made to endure long distances.

6. Brakes

The most important component of a car. Brakes are designed to bring your car to stand still in a safe manner. Most of the modern cars use disc brakes. In racing, disc brakes were first used in the 1950s. Disc brakes are more powerful and the heat generated while braking can be easily managed in this system.

The only difference is, the race car disc brakes are made of lighter and durable materials whereas the normal cars get cast-iron disc brakes. Some luxury sports cars are also equipped with race-spec brakes.

5. Engine Air Intake

For a clean and efficient operation of an engine, sufficient air should be pumped into the engine. Whether it may be a race car or road car, without sufficient air the engine will struggle to produce the required amount of power.

In most race cars such as Formula One and NASCAR uses a turbocharger to forcefully induce air into the engine which increases performance. Turbochargers are found in most of the road going cars. Another important design adopted from racing are the hood scoops. These scoops allow air to flow to the engine compartment and cool it down resulting in better performance.

4. Dual Overhead Camshafts (DOHC)

While you are purchasing a new car you may have come across this ‘DOHC' on the brochure of the car. Unless you are a geeky petrol head you may have no idea what does it mean. It's simple, engines have valves that open and close to allow air in and exhaust out. A camshaft controls the movement of valves.

But instead of having one camshaft, the dual camshaft can fasten the process and improve performance. Dual cam engines were first used in racing in the 1900s and it was directly translated into the production cars.

3. Exterior Design

When you see a race car, the exterior design will be busy with lots of detailing. Those are not just for looks but every nook and corner of a race car serves it purpose. The race cars are tested in wind tunnels and aerodynamically designed for pure performance.

Having said that, these design cues are directly borrowed to use in the production-spec cars. The main purpose is to make the car look appealing. And most of the manufacturers have got hold of the aggressive race car like design, which is being used in the everyday road-going cars.

2. Materials

For a race car the lesser the weight the higher the performance. So it doesn't mean that race cars should be built from paper! The materials used in race cars should also withstand heavy stress levels. The most common material used in race cars is carbon fiber.

Carbon fibre is light and strong. It is used in almost every race car. But the only drawback of the material is it's very expensive. But still, some of the sports car components are made of carbon fiber. Aluminum is also used in engine components which will increase performance.

1. Safety

When it comes to race cars safety is paramount. With the high speeds the race cars achieve it is of utmost importance to provide safety for the driver. A race car is built around a safety shell which is not exposed to our eyes. A Formula One car is built by strong carbon fiber body.

Whereas the NASCAR, touring cars and rally cars have specially designed roll cage to protect the driver. The roll cage is nothing but a network of steel tubes welded together. But these are only race-spec cars have. But one simple technology is adopted from race cars and we are using it daily. Yes, the OVRM's were first used in race cars in 1900's.

The OVRM's are the most simple and important thing we can find in our car to spot things behind us.

Read more on: #auto news
Story first published: Tuesday, November 15, 2016, 12:16 [IST]
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