Possibly the first thing you notice (apart from wheels) on an AC Schnitzer car is the body styling. Sporty and muscular looking, AC Schnitzer aerodynamic components turn the visual impact of your BMW or MINI up to 11. Our intention is not to change the look of the vehicle completely, just to enhance it. These components don’t just look good though – they are actually functional, keeping your car more firmly planted on the road. Let’s see what’s involved.
At AC Schnitzer, all draft designs originate from a true Italian artist: Michele Viandante, who has been chief designer for over 30 years. Michele uses his vast experience and every technique at his disposal including CAD and clay modelling to produce the designs, may of which are function tested in the wind tunnel. Only when all the performance, legal and safety requirements for German TÜV approval are met are the designs finalised and put into production.
The majority of AC Schnitzer aerodynamic components are made in PU-RIM, a type of polyurethane widely used in the automotive industry due to its outstanding mechanical properties. Lightweight, yet tough and dimensionally stable, PU is easily formable and paints extremely well, even repeatedly if necessary. This makes it perfect for spoilers and skirts that are to be painted in body colour for a perfect match to the standard bodywork. Unlike fibreglass or some other plastics, it will last for many years without becoming brittle or causing the paint to craze.
Carbon fibre reinforced plastic, CFRP or carbon for short, is ultra light but extremely strong. This combination of properties explain why it has become so widely used in motorsport and aerospace. However, high quality carbon is time consuming and expensive to produce. Experienced craftsmen working only by hand mould fragile carbon mat and resin into complex shapes before hardening it in an autoclave. The end result must be free of distortions in the carbon weave and have a flawless finish. Only then can it be sold as genuine AC Schnitzer.
The graph below is the result of TÜV testing on an ACS2 Sport (BMW M2). The test compared a standard M2 with one fitted with a M Performance rear spoiler, an AC Schnitzer carbon boot spoiler, AC Schnitzer carbon “racing” wing and finally the carbon racing wing with “Gurney strip” added. The results speak for themselves! Greater downforce means enhanced stability and control at speed.
PU-RIM products, and occasionally some mounting components included with carbon fibre products, will need to be primed and painted before installation. Painting and fitting should be carried out by a competent, experienced bodyshop.
All AC Schnitzer aerodynamic components come with comprehensive fitting instructions and a fitting kit included. The fitting kit may include some hardware (bolts, washers, spacers etc), a bonding agent, or a combination of these. If necessary, a cutting or mounting template might also be included. If any components are bonded on, the car should be left to stand overnight before being driven. This allows the bonding agent to cure properly.