Functional Aero – Amuse Z33 350Z Race Cooling System

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Amuse Z33 350Z Front Ducting

This is a topic I’ve wanted to discuss for years now. Roughly four years ago Amuse updated their Z33 350Z CSL demo car with an upgraded front aerodynamic ducting kit. Externally it did not change the look of their front bumper much, but when I first saw the system they were releasing I was blown away by it. I’d like to show you what I’m talking about here…

In the top picture you can see some pretty crazy ducts extending off of the front end. Those ducts run flush with the front of the bumper and create a direct and aggressively fed path of airflow. The ducts are split up into different functions and are designed for both oil cooler and radiator ducting.

Amuse Z33 350Z Front DuctingAmuse Z33 350Z Front Ducting

I find this to be a really cool mod (pun intended)! This is the type of hardcore circuit tuning that the Japanese manage to not only engineer well but also integrate really well. To the untrained eye it might not be much noticed on the Amuse bumper, but when you look closely you not only notice but you immediately must take the car seriously with a cooling system that well designed for racing use. I’ve seen tuners like Top Secret doing one-off systems like this for many years but I believe that Amuse might be the only shop that ever made production molds to deliver an official solution to this caliber of quality.

If I owned a 350Z I’d surely do this. Honestly though, it’s been at the top of my dream list as a modification that I’d LOVE to do with my Amuse GT1 front end of my S2000. Maybe it’s just me…but aerodynamic wise this is one of the most impressive mods I’ve seen out of Japan in the recent few years.

Amuse Z33 350Z Front Ducting

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ASI Ferrari 458 Italia? Maybe Not But Cool

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Although it is not officially from ASI, perhaps this may represent a direction they are considering for a future Ferrari 458 Italia aerodynamics kit? I really like the winglets over the rear fenders in this kit. I’ve been waiting a while for someone to make a well integrated x wing type design into aftermarket aerodynamic tuning.

It’s fun to look at aerodynamic design! The 458 Italia in itself brings heaps of new inspiration courtesy of Pinninfarina so it’s quite fun to start to imagine tuner versions.

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Lexus IS Aerodynamic Study – D1 Version and Super GT Designs

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Lexus IS Super GT Aero Design

The Lexus IS still looks great in various modified conditions and takes to re-shaping very well. These are two renderings that I happen to like quite a lot. There are some great ideas in here to enjoy. I hope you like them both as much as I do. That bumper below on the D1 is perfect!

Lexus IS D1 Aero Design

Credit goes to Take Out!49

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3pc Bumper? Voltex S2000 Development

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Voltex S2000 Front Bumper

I found this picture interesting since I don’t come across many bumpers that are 3 pieces (at least not pre-accident). My hunch is the production version of this bumper will be a 2pc version since I cant quite see the point of using three pieces, but there may be a very valid reason I’m simply overlooking. Anyone care to comment on why this is designed this way?

Either way, this is a really cool bumper that perfectly balances function and looks. Looking at that under diffuser, Voltex also continues to impress me with their advanced use of under body aerodynamics.

Voltex S2000 Front Bumper

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PCAL – The front wing – a timeline

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Another Patrick Callahan Post:

Going fast in racing is all about grip. Grip is determined by the tires, the way the tires touch the ground and the amount of force pushing down on the tires. There are many ways to increase that final variable and Christian Rado’s team recently brought one of them into the realm of time attack; the front wing. While this is perhaps the first time it has been introduced to US organized time attack, the front wing actually has quite a history. Sure, there are more elegant ways to add downforce to the front end, but the wing is unparalleled for efficiency. The first example of a front wing on a road car that I can think of is the Audi Quattro S1, although another Group B car may have been first.


The low-mounted front wing has gone on to appear on many full-bodied competition cars including the amazing carbon-bodied Honda Z600 featured here from a few weeks ago. The nature of racing the Pike’s Peak hillclimb, at which the Quattro S1 is pictured, puts a very high premium on downforce. Hence, it makes sense that the next logical step in the progression of the front wing was also debuted at the famous race on the Speedway Motors Corvette which unfortunately I have not been able to find a picture of. Imagine a purple tubeframe Corvette C5 with a giant front wing mounted to the hood and you’re not too far off. I’m happy to see this concept applied succesfully to a FWD time attack car. This is truly form over function at its most extreme, and you know what? I like it!


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PCAL – Forgotten Prophet: ST205 Dome Celica

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Dome S102

While the automotive styling products business is booming, true aero products are still tough to find. Usually the most that can be hoped for are cooling benefits or minimal downforce. Some JDM companies are trying to change this, but most rely on theoretical aerodynamics. Probably the largest reason for this is that wind tunnel time is prohibitively expensive. But what if a company that specializes in actual race car aerodynamics decided to make a product for the aftermarket?

Enter Dome. They’ve been a race car constructor and designer since 1965. Their latest product is the awesome S102 above. In 1995, they decided to take a shot at the aftermarket with the ST205 Celica. But instead of attempting to improve the already relatively good aero of the car’s body, Dome decided to fix the biggest aerodynamic flaw of the vehicle and create a prototype-style underfloor and diffuser. This isn’t just form being secondary to function, this is function being the sole objective of the part. Dome measured a 9mph increase in top speed, a 7.8% improvement in fuel economy and a very useful 200lbs of downforce. While I think this represents JDM at its best, apparently not enough people did and the project was canned.

Dome Celica Concept

With the rising popularity of time attack there has been a resurgence of interest in real aero and now diffusers are becoming much more common. I think the most logical progression of this trend will be full under floors. Although they may be hard to market since they are so large and retuning them takes real engineering and wind tunnel time, the benefits of such a product are obvious (and well illustrated below and explained at Mulsanne’s Corner).


Is the Dome Celica a sign of things to come? As much as I hope so, only time will tell…

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