Motorsport is a prime mover in car technological development. As the racing teams have to be in the forefront of technological advancements to get a slight edge, they keep pushing the limits for safety, performance, reliability, fuel reliability and fuel economy. The inventions first utilized in racing are typically adopted by the mass produced car manufacturers at a later stage, and will therefore, benefit normal car owners down the line.
A lot of the common technologies found in normal cars today, originated on the racing tracks. Some of them include:
- Direct-Shift Gearboxes (DSG) and clutchless manual transmissions, that allow a quick shift of gears.
- The push button ignition and FOB.
- Suspension systems like the multi-link suspensions used in Formula One cars are now available on a number of cars.
- Water groove tire innovation came from race cars and have been put into everyday use.
- The disc brakes, with ceramics or cast iron discs, allowing quick stops have become very common.
- Advancements in the engine air intake systems to improve the way the engine breaths
- Dual overhead camshaft is an engine design that improves performance.
- Exteriors like the aerodynamic components and other exterior features of racing cars. These exterior designs are not only meant to look good, they also have their purpose like the aero-foil wings front and rear which produces down force, and in turn better traction.
- Materials like carbon fiber which are used in a few cars, and aluminum for engine blocks. Both materials are very light weight and improve performance and fuel economy.
- Racing cars demand extreme performance and therefore, demand extreme safety. The roll cage used to protect drivers from impact like in Nascar racing, has been initiated in reasonably priced cars today. Even the rear view mirror is a safety feature that originally came from racing cars.