By fusing carbon fiber with feathers, the supercar manufacturer has unlocked a whole new realm of performance.
Carbon fibre is the exotic lightweight material of choice for modern supercar manufacturers, but let’s be honest; it’s not really the natural order of things. If it were, birds would be made of carbon fibre because they fly, and flight is much easier when weight is kept to a minimum. Then again, carbon fibre isn’t particularly aerodynamic, and science is still learning about the wondrous aerodynamics of feathers.
You probably see where this is going. McLaren Special Operations (MSO) engineers certainly did, which is how they came up with the all-new Feather Wrap for the 570GT. The manufacturer combined the best of both worlds, creating nearly 10,000 artificial feathers with carbon-fibre veins.
Each feather is precisely 2.76 inches long and features a pearlescent lacquer coating. They are hand-applied to the 570GT in a parallel manner so as to take full aerodynamic advantage of forward movement. McLaren says the feathers vibrate at higher speeds, “further reducing drag by delaying the transition from a laminar to turbulent boundary of air.”
Also, the wrap only adds 2.5 kilograms (5.5 pounds) to the car, so yeah, it all sounds totally legit.
“Our engineers and designers have long been inspired by nature in our aim to create the lightest and most aerodynamic shapes on the road. We call this biomimicry,” said Robin Crain, Biomimicry Specialist at McLaren Automotive. “And it was on a beautiful day walking around our Woking campus that one of us looked up at the birds circling our lake, then picked up a feather from the ground and placed it on a car…. That turned into a conversation with the craftsmen and women at MSO that led to the creation of the Feather Wrap.”
McLaren says the Feather Wrap will be an available option on the 570GT beginning April 1, 2017. Given the penchant for pranks on that particular day we were skeptical on the story, however we can confirm the accuracy of this release after receiving a clear “yes” from our magic eight-ball.